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  • Author: Neil R. Ericsson, Steven B. Kamin
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: his paper assesses the empirical merits of PcGets and Autometrics–two recent algorithms for computer-automated model selection–using them to improve upon Kamin and Ericsson’s (1993) model of Argentine broad money demand. The selected model is an economically sensible and statistically satisfactory error correc- tion model, in which cointegration between money, inflation, the interest rate, and exchange rate depreciation depends on the inclusion of a “ratchet” variable that cap- tures irreversible effects of inflation. Short-run dynamics differ markedly from the long run. Algorithmically based model selection complements opportunities for the researcher to contribute value added in the empirical analysis.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Finance, Inflation
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: Ceyhun Bora Durdu, Serdar Sayan
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the implications of remittance fluctuations for various macroeconomic variables and Sudden Stops. The paper employs a quantitative two-sector model of a small open economy with financial frictions calibrated to Mexican and Turkish economies, two major recipients, whose remittance receipts feature opposite cyclical characteristics. We find that remittances dampen the business cycles in Mexico, whereas they amplify the cycles in Turkey. Their quantitative effects in the long run, approximated by the stochastic steady state are mild. In the short run, however, remittances have quantitatively large impacts on the economy, when the economy is borrowing constrained. This is because agents in the economy cannot adjust their precautionary wealth to sudden tightening in credit, hence, fluctuations in remittances get magnified through an endogenous debt-deflation mechanism. Our findings suggest that procyclical (or countercyclical) remittances can play a significant deepening (or mitigating) role for Sudden Stops.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Credit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia, North America, Mexico
  • Author: James M. Nason, John H. Rogers
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Exchange rates have raised the ire of economists for more than 20 years. The problem is that few, if any, exchange rate models are known to systematically beat a naive random walk in out of sample forecasts. Engel and West (2005) show that these failures can be explained by the standard-present value model (PVM) because it predicts random walk exchange rate dynamics if the discount factor approaches one and fundamentals have a unit root. This paper generalizes the Engel and West (EW) hypothesis to the larger class of open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models. The EW hypothesis is shown to hold for a canonical open economy DSGE model. We show that all the predictions of the standard-PVM carry over to the DSGE-PVM. The DSGE-PVM also yields an unobserved components (UC) models that we estimate using Bayesian methods and a quarterly Canadian--U.S. sample. Bayesian model evaluation reveals that the data support a UC model that calibrates the discount factor to one implying the Canadian dollar--U.S. dollar exchange rate is a random walk dominated by permanent cross-country monetary and productivity shocks.
  • Topic: Economics, Finance, Exchange Rate Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charles Engel, John H. Rogers
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Survey data show that the expected growth rates of consumption across countries vary widely and are not highly correlated. This data contradicts the simplest of open-economy models in which there is a freely traded non- state-contingent bond and purchasing power parity holds. We explore two alternative explanations for the finding: that households in each country in effect face different ex ante real interest rates or that there are significant credit constraints, so that expected consumption growth rates are driven largely by expected income growth. The empirical evidence strongly supports the latter hypothesis. These findings challenge the modeling of consumption that is at the heart of many, if not most, macroeconomic models.
  • Topic: Economics, Finance, Interest Rates, Credit
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Demers, Clara Vega
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper examines whether the “soft” information contained in the text of management’s quarterly earnings press releases is incrementally informative over the company’s reported “hard” earnings news. We use Diction, a textual-analysis program, to extract various dimensions of managerial net optimism from more than 20,000 corporate earnings announcements over the period 1998 to 2006 and document that unanticipated net optimism in managers’ language affects announcement period abnormal returns and predicts post- earnings announcement drift. We find that it takes longer for the market to understand the implications of soft information than those of hard information. We also find that the market response varies by firm size, turnover, media and analyst coverage, and the extent to which the standard accounting model captures the underlying economics of the firm. We also show that the second moment of soft information, the level of certainty in the text, is an important determinant of contemporaneous idiosyncratic volatility, and it predicts future idiosyncratic volatility.
  • Topic: Economics, Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Meredith Beechey, Erik Hjalmarsson, Par Osterholm
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Nominal interest rates are unlikely to be generated by unit-root processes. Using data on short and long interest rates from eight developed and six emerging economies, we test the expectations hypothesis using cointegration methods under the assumption that interest rates are near integrated. If the null hypothesis of no cointegration is rejected, we then test whether the estimated cointegrating vector is consistent with that suggested by the expectations hypothesis. The results show support for cointegration in ten of the fourteen countries we consider, and the cointegrating vector is similar across countries. However, the parameters di§er from those suggested by theory. We relate our Öndings to existing literature on the failure of the expectations hypothesis and to the role of term premia.
  • Topic: Economics, Interest Rates
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lutz Kilian, Clara Vega
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Models that treat innovations to the price of energy as predetermined with respect to U.S. macroeconomic aggregates are widely used in the literature. For example, it is common to order energy prices first in recursively identified VAR models of the transmission of energy price shocks. Since exactly identifying assumptions are inherently untestable, this approach in practice has required an act of faith in the empirical plausibility of the delay restriction used for identification. An alternative view that would invalidate such models is that energy prices respond instantaneously to macroeconomic news, implying that energy prices should be ordered last in recursively identified VAR models. In this paper, we propose a formal test of the identifying assumption that energy prices are predetermined with respect to U.S. macroeconomic aggregates. Our test is based on regressing cumulative changes in daily energy prices on daily news from U.S. macroeconomic data releases. Using a wide range of macroeconomic news, we find no compelling evidence of feedback at daily or monthly horizons, contradicting the view that energy prices respond instantaneously to macroeconomic news and supporting the use of delay restrictions for identification.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Oil, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Seth Pruitt
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: An economic agent who is uncertain of her economic model learns, and this learning is sensi- tive to the presence of data measurement error. I investigate this idea in an existing framework that describes the Federal Reserve’s role in U.S. inflation. This framework successfully fits the observed inflation to optimal policy, but fails to motivate the optimal policy by the perceived Philips curve trade-off between inflation and unemployment. I modify the framework to account for data uncertainty calibrated to the actual size of data revisions. The modified framework ameliorates the existing problems by adding sluggishness to the Federal Reserve’s learning: the key point is that data uncertainty is amplified by the nonlinearity induced by learning. Conse- quently there is an explanation for the rise and fall in inflation: the concurrent rise and fall in the perceived Philips curve trade-off.
  • Topic: Economics, Inflation, Models
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Geoffrey N. Keim, Beth Anne Wilson
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Projections of sustained strong growth in India depend importantly on the utilization of the huge increase in India's working-age population projected over the next two decades. To date, however, India's economic growth has been concentrated in high-skill and capital-intensive sectors, and has not generated strong employment growth. In this paper, we highlight the tension between India's performance in output and employment, describe the characteristics of India's demographic dividend, and discuss impediments to India's shift away from agriculture.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Beth Anne Wilson, Jane T. Haltmaier, Shaghil Ahmed, Brahima Coulibaly, Ross Knippenberg, Sylvain Leduc, Mario Marazzi
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper assesses China's role in Asia as an independent engine of growth, as a conduit of demand from the industrial countries, and as a competitor for export markets. We provide both macroeconomic and microeconomic evidence. The macroeconomic analysis focuses on the impact of U.S. and Chinese demand on the output of the Asian economies by estimating growth comovements and VARs. The results suggest an increasing role of China as an independent source of growth. The microeconomic analysis decomposes trade into basic products, parts and components, and finished goods. We find a large role for parts and components trade consistent with China playing an important and increasing role as a conduit. We also estimate some regressions that show that China's increasing presence in export markets has had a negative effect on exports of some products for some other Asian economies, but not for other products, including those of the important electronic high-technology industry.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia