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Vivek Ghosal and Yang Ye
We examine the impact of uncertainty on employment dynamics. Alternative measures of uncertainty are constructed based on the survey of professional forecasters, and regressionbased forecasting models for GDP growth, inflation, S&P500 stock price index, and fuel prices. Our results indicate that greater uncertainty has a negative impact on growth of employment, and the effects are primarily felt by the relatively smaller businesses; the impact on large businesses are generally non-existent or weaker. Our results suggest that to truly understand the effects of uncertainty on employment dynamics, we need to focus on the relatively smaller and entrepreneurial businesses. We discuss implications for the framing of economic policy.
Mr. Nooman Rebei
The paper asks how state of the art DSGE models that account for the conditional response of hours following a positive neutral technology shock compare in a marginal likelihood race. To that end we construct and estimate several competing small-scale DSGE models that extend the standard real business cycle model. In particular, we identify from the literature six different hypotheses that generate the empirically observed decline in worked hours after a positive technology shock. These models alternatively exhibit (i) sticky prices; (ii) firm entry and exit with time to build; (iii) habit in consumption and costly adjustment of investment; (iv) persistence in the permanent technology shocks; (v) labor market friction with procyclical hiring costs; and (vi) Leontief production function with labor-saving technology shocks. In terms of model posterior probabilities, impulse responses, and autocorrelations, the model favored is the one that exhibits habit formation in consumption and investment adjustment costs. A robustness test shows that the sticky price model becomes as competitive as the habit formation and costly adjustment of investment model when sticky wages are included.
Maral Shamloo
In this paper I study the effect of imperfect central bank commitment on inflationary outcomes. I present a model in which the monetary authority is a committee that consists of members who serve overlapping, finite terms. Older and younger generations of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members decide on policy by engaging in a bargaining process. I show that this setup gives rise to a continuous measure of the degree of monetary authority's commitment. The model suggests that the lower the churning rate or the longer the tenure time, the closer social welfare will be to that under optimal commitment policy.
Mr. Prakash Kannan and Fritzi Köhler-Geib
The 2007 subprime crisis in the U.S. triggered a succession of financial crises around the globe, reigniting interest in the contagion phenomenon. Not all crises, however, are contagious. This paper models a new channel of contagion where the degree of anticipation of crises, through its impact on investor uncertainty, determines the occurrence of contagion. Incidences of surprise crises lead investors to doubt the accuracy of their informationgathering technology, which endogenously increases the probability of crises elsewhere. Anticipated crisis, instead, have the opposite effect. Importantly, this channel is empirically shown to have an independent effect beyond other contagion channels.
Parisa Kamali
In many countries, a sizable share of international trade is carried out by intermediaries. While large firms tend to export to foreign markets directly, smaller firms typically export via intermediaries (indirect exporting). I document a set of facts that characterize the dynamic nature of indirect exporting using firm-level data from Vietnam and develop a dynamic trade model with both direct and indirect exporting modes and customer accumulation. The model is calibrated to match the dynamic moments of the data. The calibration yields fixed costs of indirect exporting that are less than a third of those of direct exporting, the variable costs of indirect exporting are twice higher, and demand for the indirectly exported products grows more slowly. Decomposing the gains from indirect and direct exporting, I find that 18 percent of the gains from trade in Vietnam are generated by indirect exporters. Finally, I demonstrate that a dynamic model that excludes the indirect exporting channel will overstate the welfare gains associated with trade liberalization by a factor of two.