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Mr. Francisco Roch
We consider how fear of model misspecification on the part of the planner and/or the households affects welfare gains from optimal macroprudential taxes in an economy with occasionally binding collateral constraints as in Bianchi (2011). On the one hand, there exist welfare gains from internalizing how borrowing decisions in good times affect the value of collateral during a crisis. On the other hand, interventions by a robust planner that has in mind a model far from the true underlying distribution of shocks, can result in negligible welfare gains, or even losses. This is because a policy that is robust to misspecification, as in Hansen and Sargent (2011), is optimal under a "worst-case'' scenario but not under alternative distributions of the state. A robust planner introduces taxes that are 5 percentage points higher but does not achieve a significant increase in welfare gains compared to a non-robust planner when the true underlying model is not the worst-case. If households also make choices that are robust to model misspecification, the gains are significantly reduced and a highly-robust planner "underborrows" and induces welfare losses. If, however, the worst-case scenario is indeed realized, then welfare gains are the largest possible.
Mr. Olumuyiwa S Adedeji, Mr. Sohaib Shahid, and Ling Zhu
This paper examines real and financial linkages between Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries. Growth spillovers from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain are found to be sizeable and statistically significant, but those to other GCC countries are not found to be significant. Equity market movements in Saudi Arabia are found to have significant implications for other GCC countries, while there is no evidence of co-movements in bonds markets. These findings suggest some degree of interdependence among GCC countries.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper identifies policies to increase productivity in the East, reduce regional income disparities, and promote overall income convergence. Achieving this objective will require improving educational attainment and reducing skill mismatches in the East, scaling up public infrastructure to attract investment to less productive regions, and facilitating labor mobility. This paper also discusses female labor participation in Poland and the potential impact on bank profitability of the recently implemented bank asset tax. Poland’s population is aging, yet it has an important underused source of qualified labor—its women. For Poland to unleash its full economic potential, it needs to embrace the vital contribution that women can make to its economy.
Ms. Carolina Osorio Buitron and Mr. Esteban Vesperoni
Given the prospects of asynchronous monetary conditions in the United States and the euro area, this paper analyzes spillovers among these two economies, as well as the implications of asynchronicity for spillovers to other advanced economies and emerging markets. Through a structural vector autoregression analysis, country-specific shocks to economic activity and monetary conditions since the early 1990s are identified, and are used to draw implications about spillovers. The empirical findings suggest that real and monetary conditions in the United States and the euro area have oftentimes been asynchronous. The results also point to significant spillovers among them, in particular since early 2014—with spillovers from the euro area to the United States being particularly large. Against the backdrop of asynchronous conditions in these two economies, spillovers from real and money shocks to emerging markets and non-systemic advanced economies could be dampened.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note reviews linkages and interconnectedness in the Norwegian financial system for Norway. Norway’s banks have important connections with global financial centers, but regional links are also important. Norwegian banks are very dependent on global financial centers as sources of funding and to hedge currency risks. Cross-sectoral exposures of Norway’s banks, insurance companies, and real estate companies are significant and extend beyond the Nordic region. The authorities are encouraged to expand their current monitoring efforts of crossborder and cross-sectoral exposures of the Norwegian financial sector, and to conduct regional stress tests. For this effect, the authorities can resort to market data and, if available, to balance sheet data of exposures at the individual financial institution level.
Mr. Tamim Bayoumi and Mr. Francis Vitek
The Great Recession underlined that policies in some countries can have profound spillovers elsewhere. Sadly, the solution of simulating large macroeconomic models to measure these spillovers has been found wanting. Typical models generate lower international correlations of output and financial asset prices than are seen in even pre-crisis data. Imposing higher financial market correlations creates more reasonable cross-country spillovers, and is likely to become the norm in policy modeling despite weak theoretical underpinnings, as is already true of sticky wages. We propose using event studies to calibrate market reactions to particular policy announcements, and report results for U.S. monetary and fiscal policy announcements in 2009 and 2010 that are plausible and event-specific.
Mr. Tamim Bayoumi and Mr. Trung T Bui
This paper uses a novel variant of identification through hetroscedacity to estimate spillovers across U.S., Euro area, Japanese, and UK government bond and equity markets in a vector autoregression. The results suggest that U.S. financial shocks reverberate around the world much more strongly than shocks from other regions, including the Euro area, while inward spillovers to the U.S. from elsewhere are minimal. There is also evidence of two-way spillovers between the UK and Euro area financial markets and spillovers from Europe to Japan. The results also suggest that the uncertainty about the direction of causality of contemporaneous correlations—an issue that other techniques cannot tackle—is the dominant source of uncertainty in the estimated impulse response functions.
International Monetary Fund
This note conducts a business cycle accounting analysis for systemic economies, with an emphasis on spillover effects from macroeconomic versus financial shocks. The systemic economies under consideration are China, the Euro Area, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This analysis is based on historical decompositions of output growth derived from the estimated structural macroeconometric model of the world economy, disaggregated into thirty five national economies, documented in Vitek (2012). Within this framework, each economy is represented by interconnected real, external, monetary, fiscal, and financial sectors. Spillovers are transmitted across economies via trade, financial, and commodity price linkages
Mr. Trung T Bui and Mr. Tamim Bayoumi
The financial crisis, originated from the collapse of US housing markets in 2008, reverberates around the world. Its destructive force was felt nowhere more keenly than Western Europe. Indeed, it continues to mire in financial volatility as the debt problem contagiously spreads around the periphery Euro area. Taking a wider historical view of the evolution over the recent decades of the North Atlantic economy, comprising North America and Western Europe, we argue that while trade links were in relative stasis, the increasing and uniquely-close Transatlantic financial relationship was a crucial conduit in transmitting US shocks into global ones.
International Monetary Fund
The size of the U.S. economy and, in particular, the global dominance of its financial markets creates uniquely large policy spillovers. Concerns that the end of QE2 could lead to a rapid reversal of emerging market capital flows appear overblown. A credible plan for a gradual U.S. fiscal consolidation would likely have limited short-term spillovers and substantial longer-term benefits. Overall, U.S. and foreign goals appear better aligned for U.S. fiscal and financial policies than for monetary policies. Fiscal consolidation and sounder financial regulation will help.