Where do economic cycles come from? This paper contemplates an utmost minimalistic model and underlying theory that rest on two assumptions for letting them emerge endogenously: (1) the presence of interest-bearing debt; and (2) a degree of downward nominal wage rigidity. Despite its parsimony, the model generates well-behaved, self-evolving limit cycles and replicates six essential empirical facts: (1) booms are long- while recessions short-lived; (2) leverage is procyclical; (3) firm profit and wage shares in GDP are counter- and procyclical, respectively; (4) Phillips curves are downward-sloping and convex, and Okun’s law relation is replicated; (5) default cascades arise endogenously at the turning points to recessions; (6) lending spreads are countercyclical. One can refer to the model as being of a Dynamic Stochastic General Disequilibrium (DSGD) kind.
Mario di Serio, Matteo Fragetta, and Mr. Giovanni Melina
We compute government spending multipliers for the Euro Area (EA) contingent on the interestgrowth differential, the so-called r-g. Whether the fiscal shock occurs when r-g is positive or negative matters for the size of the multiplier. Median estimates vary conditional on the specification, but the difference between multipliers in the negative and positive r-g regimes differs systematically from zero with very high probability. Over the medium run (5 years), median cumulated multipliers range between 1.22 and 1.77 when r-g is negative, and between 0.51 and 1.26 when r-g is positive. We show that the results are not driven by the state of the business cycle, the monetary policy stance, or the level of government debt, and that the multiplier is inversely correlated with r-g. The calculations are based on the estimates of a factor-augmented interacted panel vector-autoregressive model. The econometric approach deals with several technical problems highlighted in the empirical macroeconomic literature, including the issues of fiscal foresight and limited information.
Mr. Adrian Alter, Jane Dokko, and Miss Dulani Seneviratne
We examine the relationship between house price synchronicity and global financial
conditions across 40 countries and about 70 cities over the past three decades. The role
played by cross-border banking flows in residential property markets is examined as well.
Looser global financial conditions are associated with greater house price synchronicity,
even after controlling for bilateral financial integration. Moreover, we find that
synchronicity across major cities may differ from that of their respective countries’,
perhaps due to the influence of global investors on local house price dynamics. Policy
choices such as macroprudential tools and exchange rate flexibility appear to be relevant
for mitigating the sensitivity of domestic housing markets to the rest of the world.
Gail Cohen, João Tovar Jalles, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Ricardo Marto
Recent discussions of the extent of decoupling between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and
real gross domestic product (GDP) provide mixed evidence and have generated much debate.
We show that to get a clear picture of decoupling it is important to distinguish cycles from
trends: there is an Environmental Okun's Law (a cyclical relationship between emissions and
real GDP) that often obscures the trend relationship between emissions and real GDP. We show
that, once the cyclical relationship is accounted for, the trends show evidence of decoupling in
richer nations—particularly in European countries, but not yet in emerging markets. The picture
changes somewhat, however, if we take into consideration the effects of international trade, that
is, if we distinguish between production-based and consumption-based emissions. Once we add
in their net emission transfers, the evidence for decoupling among the richer countries gets
weaker. The good news is that countries with underlying policy frameworks more supportive of
renewable energy and supportive of climate change tend to have greater decoupling between
trend emissions and trend GDP, and for both production- and consumption-based emissions.
This paper assesses the strength of business cycle synchronization between 1950 and 2014 in a sample of 21 countries using a new quarterly dataset based on IMF archival data. Contrary to the common wisdom, we find that the globalization period is not associated with more output synchronization at the global level. The world business cycle was as strong during Bretton Woods (1950-1971) than during the Globalization period (1984-2006). Although globalization did not affect the average level of co-movement, trade and financial integration strongly affect the way countries co-move with the rest of the world. We find that financial integration de-synchronizes national outputs from the world cycle, although the magnitude of this effect depends crucially on the type of shocks hitting the world economy. This de-synchronizing effect has offset the synchronizing impact of other forces, such as increased trade integration.
Giulia Bettin, Mr. Andrea F Presbitero, and Mr. Nikola Spatafora
This paper examines how international remittances are affected by structural characteristics, macroeconomic conditions, and adverse shocks in both source and recipient economies. We exploit a novel, rich panel data set, covering bilateral remittances from 103 Italian provinces to 107 developing countries over the period 2005-2011. We find that remittances are negatively correlated with the business cycle in recipient countries, and increase in response to adverse exogenous shocks, such as natural disasters or large declines in the terms of trade. Remittances are positively correlated with economic conditions in the source province. Nevertheless, in the presence of similar negative shocks to both source and recipient economies, remittances remain counter-cyclical with respect to the recipient country.
This paper presents a statistical analysis of revisions in quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) of the Group of Twenty countries (G-20) since 2000. The main objective is to assess whether the reliability of early estimates of quarterly GDP has been weakened from the turmoil of the 2008 financial crisis. The results indicate that larger and more downward revisions were observed during the years 2008 and 2009 than in previous years.