- Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (70)
The new keynesian approach to dynamic general equilibrium modeling: models, methods, and macroeconomic policy evaluation
- This chapter aims to provide a hands-on approach to New Keynesian models and their
uses for macroeconomic policy analysis. It starts by reviewing the origins of the New Keynesian
approach, the key model ingredients and representative models. Building blocks of
current-generation dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models are discussed in
detail. These models address the famous Lucas critique by deriving behavioral equations
systematically from the optimizing and forward-looking decision-making of households and
firms subject to well-defined constraints. State-of-the-art methods for solving and estimating
such models are reviewed and presented in examples. The chapter goes beyond the mere
presentation of the most popular benchmark model by providing a framework for model
comparison along with a database that includes a wide variety of macroeconomic models.
Thus, it offers a convenient approach for comparing new models to available benchmarks
and for investigating whether particular policy recommendations are robust to model uncertainty.
Such robustness analysis is illustrated by evaluating the performance of simple
monetary policy rules across a range of recently-estimated models including some with financial
market imperfections and by reviewing recent comparative findings regarding the
magnitude of government spending multipliers. The chapter concludes with a discussion of
important objectives for on-going and future research using the New Keynesian framework.
Optimal monetary and fiscal policy with a zero bound on nominal interest rates
- I characterize optimal monetary and fiscal policy in a stochastic New Keynesian model when nominal interest rates may occasionally hit the zero lower bound. The benevolent policymaker controls the short-term nominal interest rate and the level of government spending. Under discretionary policy, accounting for fiscal stabilization policy eliminates to a large extent the welfare losses associated with the presence of the zero bound. Under commitment, the gains associated with the use of the fiscal policy tool remain modest, even though fiscal stabilization policy is part of the optimal policy mix.
Organizational choices of banks and the effective supervision of transnational financial institutions
- This paper outlines relatively easy to implement reforms for the supervision of
transnational banking-groups in the E.U. that should not be primarily based on legal form
but on the actual risk structures of the pertinent financial institutions. The proposal also
aims at paying close attention to the economics of public administration and international
relations in allocating competences among national and supranational supervisory bodies.
Before detailing the own proposition, this paper looks into the relationship between
sovereign debt and banking crises that drive regulatory reactions to the financial turmoil in
the Euro area. These initiatives inter alia affirm effective prudential supervision as a pivotal
element of crisis prevention.
In order to arrive at a more informed idea, which determinants apart from a perceived
appetite for regulatory arbitrage drive banks’ organizational choices, this paper scrutinizes
the merits of either a branch or subsidiary structure for the cross-border business of
financial institutions. In doing so, it also considers the policy-makers perspective. The analysis
shows that no one size fits all organizational structure is available and concludes that
banks’ choices should generally not be second-guessed, particularly because they are subject
to (some) market discipline.
The analysis proceeds with describing and evaluating how competences in prudential
supervision are currently allocated among national and supranational supervisory authorities.
In order to assess the findings the appraisal adopts insights form the economics of public
administration and international relations. It argues that the supervisory architecture has to
be more aligned with bureaucrats’ incentives and that inefficient requirements to cooperate
and share information should be reduced. Contrary to a widespread perception, shifting responsibility
to a supranational authority cannot solve all the problems identified.
Resting on these foundations, the last part of this paper finally sketches an alternative
solution that dwells on far-reaching mutual recognition of national supervisory regimes
and allocates competences in line with supervisors’ incentives and the risk inherent in crossborder
Lumpy investment in sticky information general equilibrium
- In this paper, I introduce lumpy micro-level capital adjustment into a sticky information general equilibrium model. Lumpy adjustment arises because of inattentiveness in capital investment decisions instead of the more common assumption of non-convex adjustment costs. The model features inattentiveness as the only source of stickiness. I find that the model with lumpy investment yields business cycle dynamics which differ substantially from those of an otherwise identical model with frictionless investment and are much more consistent with the empirical evidence. These results therefore strengthen the case in favour of the relevance of microeconomic investment lumpiness
for the business cycle.
(Un)anticipated monetary policy in a DSGE model with a shadow banking system
Manuel M. F. Martins
- Motivated by the U.S. events of the 2000s, we address whether a too low for too long interest
rate policy may generate a boom-bust cycle. We simulate anticipated and unanticipated monetary
policies in state-of-the-art DSGE models and in a model with bond financing via a shadow banking
system, in which the bond spread is calibrated for normal and optimistic times. Our results suggest
that the U.S. boom-bust was caused by the combination of (i) too low for too long interest rates,
(ii) excessive optimism and (iii) a failure of agents to anticipate the extent of the abnormally
Complexity and monetary policy
- The complexity resulting from intertwined uncertainties regarding model misspecification
and mismeasurement of the state of the economy defines the monetary policy landscape.
Using the euro area as laboratory this paper explores the design of robust policy guides
aiming to maintain stability in the economy while recognizing this complexity. We document
substantial output gap mismeasurement and make use of a new model data base to capture
the evolution of model specification. A simple interest rate rule is employed to interpret
ECB policy since 1999. An evaluation of alternative policy rules across 11 models of the
euro area confirms the fragility of policy analysis optimized for any specific model and shows
the merits of model averaging in policy design. Interestingly, a simple difference rule with
the same coefficients on inflation and output growth as the one used to interpret ECB policy
is quite robust as long as it responds to current outcomes of these variables.
Capital inflows and asset prices: evidence from emerging Asia
- The withdrawal of foreign capital from emerging countries at the height of the recent financial crisis and its quick return sparked a debate about the impact of capital flow surges on asset markets. This paper addresses the response of property prices to an inflow of foreign capital. For that purpose we estimate a panel VAR on a set of Asian emerging market economies, for which the waves of inflows were particularly pronounced, and identify capital inflow shocks based on sign restrictions. Our results suggest that capital inflow shocks have a significant effect on the appreciation of house prices and equity prices. Capital inflow shocks account for - roughly - twice the portion of overall house price changes they explain in OECD countries. We also address crosscountry differences in the house price responses to shocks, which are most likely due to differences in the monetary policy response to capital inflows.
Evaluating point and density forecasts of DSGE models
Maik Hendrik Wolters
- This paper investigates the accuracy of point and density forecasts of four DSGE models for inflation, output growth and the federal funds rate. Model parameters are estimated and forecasts are derived successively from historical U.S. data vintages synchronized with the Fed’s Greenbook projections. Point forecasts of some models are of similar accuracy as the forecasts of nonstructural large dataset methods. Despite their common underlying New Keynesian modeling philosophy, forecasts of different DSGE models turn out to be quite distinct. Weighted forecasts are more precise than forecasts from individual models. The accuracy of a simple average of DSGE model forecasts is comparable to Greenbook projections for medium term horizons. Comparing density forecasts of DSGE models with the actual distribution of observations shows that the models overestimate uncertainty around point forecasts.
The changing dynamics of US inflation persistence: a quantile regression approach
Maik Hendrik Wolters
- We examine both the degree and the structural stability of inflation persis tence at different quantiles of the conditional inflation distribution. Previous research focused exclusively on persistence at the conditional mean of the inflation rate. Economic theory, however, provides various reasons -for example downward wage rigidities or menu costs- to expect higher inflation persistence at the upper than at the lower tail of the conditional inflation distribution.
Based on post-war US data we indeed find slower mean reversion in response to positive than to negative shocks. We find robust evidence for a structural break in persistence at all quantiles of the inflation process in the early 1980s. Inflation persistence has decreased and become more homogeneous across quantiles. Persistence at the conditional mean became more informative about the degree of persistence across the entire conditional inflation distribution. While prior to the 1980s inflation was not mean reverting in response to large positive shocks, our evidence strongly suggests that since the end of the Volcker disinflation the unit root can be rejected at every quantile including the upper tail of the conditional inflation distribution.
Fiscal consolidation strategy
John F. Cogan
John B. Taylor
Maik Hendrik Wolters
- In the aftermath of the global financial crisis and great recession, many countries face
substantial deficits and growing debts. In the United States, federal government outlays as a
ratio to GDP rose substantially from about 19.5 percent before the crisis to over 24 percent
after the crisis. In this paper we consider a fiscal consolidation strategy that brings the budget
to balance by gradually reducing this spending ratio over time to the level that prevailed prior
to the crisis. A crucial issue is the impact of such a consolidation strategy on the economy.
We use structural macroeconomic models to estimate this impact focussing primarily on a
dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with price and wage rigidities and adjustment
costs. We separate out the impact of reductions in government purchases and transfers, and
we allow for a reduction in both distortionary taxes and government debt relative to the
baseline of no consolidation. According to the model simulations GDP rises in the short run
upon announcement and implementation of this fiscal consolidation strategy and remains
higher than the baseline in the long run. We explore the role of the mix of expenditure cuts
and tax reductions as well as gradualism in achieving this policy outcome. Finally, we
conduct sensitivity studies regarding the type of model used and its parameterization.