nep-cba New Economics Papers
on Central Banking
Issue of 2007‒09‒30
29 papers chosen by
Alexander Mihailov
University of Reading

  1. Globalization and Monetary Control By Woodford, Michael
  2. Does a 'Two-Pillar Phillips Curve' Justify a Two-Pillar Monetary Policy Strategy? By Woodford, Michael
  3. Money in monetary policy design under uncertainty: the Two-Pillar Phillips Curve versus ECB-style cross-checking By Beck, Günter W.; Wieland, Volker
  4. Interest Rate Signals and Central Bank Transparency By Gosselin, Pierre; Lotz, Aileen; Wyplosz, Charles
  5. The Limits of Transparency By Cukierman, Alex
  6. Uncertainty about perceived inflation target and monetary policy By Aoki, Kosuke; Kimura, Takeshi
  7. Real-time Prediction with UK Monetary Aggregates in the Presence of Model Uncertainty By Anthony Garratt; Gary Koop; Emi Mise; Shaun P Vahey
  8. International Portfolios with Supply, Demand and Redistributive Shocks By Nicolas Coeurdacier; Robert Kollmann; Philippe Martin
  9. Financial Exchange Rates and International Currency Exposures By Philip Lane; Jay C. Shambaugh
  10. What do we really mean by monetary (or price) stability, and financial stability? By Peter Sinclair
  11. Currency Choice and Exchange Rate Pass-through By Gita Gopinath; Oleg Itskhoki; Roberto Rigobon
  12. Heterogeneous expectations, learning and European inflation dynamics By Weber, Anke
  13. Simulation-Based Tests of;Forward-Looking Models Under VAR Learning Dynamics By Giulio PALOMBA; Luca FANELLI
  14. Learning and Time-Varying Macroeconomic Volatility By Fabio Milani
  15. The Role of Policy Rule Misspecification in Monetary Policy Inertia Debate By Jiri Podpiera
  16. Essential Interest-Bearing Money By David Andolfatto
  17. What Has Financed Government Debt? By Hess Chung; Eric M. Leeper
  18. Money and housing: evidence for the euro area and the US By Greiber, Claus; Setzer, Ralph
  19. Housing IS the Business Cycle By Edward E. Leamer
  20. International investment positions and exchange rate dynamics: a dynamic panel analysis By Binder, Michael; Offermanns, Christian J.
  21. Do real interest rates converge? Evidence from the European Union By Arghyrou, Michael G; Gregoriou, Andros; Kontonikas, Alexandros
  22. Fiscal policy in developing countries : a framework and some questions By Perotti, Roberto
  23. The Bank of Canada's Version of the Global Economy Model (BoC-GEM) By Rene Lalonde; Dirk Muir
  24. The rationality and reliability of expectations reported by British households: micro evidence from the British household panel survey By Mitchell, James; Weale, Martin R.
  25. Vertical Adjustment under the Classical Gold Standard (1870s-1914): How Costly did the External Constraint Come to the Europen periphery? By Matthias Morys
  26. Currency Crisis Triggers: Sunspots or Thresholds? By Guimarães, Bernardo
  27. Does Purchasing Power Parity Hold Sometimes? Regime Switching in Real Exchange Rates By Lee, Hwa-Taek; Yoon, Gawon
  28. A New Core Inflation Indicator for New Zealand By Giannone, Domenico; Matheson, Troy
  29. Exact prediction of inflation and unemployment in Canada By Kitov, Ivan

  1. By: Woodford, Michael
    Abstract: It has recently become popular to argue that globalization has had or will soon have dramatic consequences for the nature of the monetary transmission mechanism, and it is sometimes suggested that this could threaten the ability of national central banks to control inflation within their borders, at least in the absence of coordination of policy with other central banks. In this paper, I consider three possible mechanisms through which it might be feared that globalization can undermine the ability of monetary policy to control inflation: by making liquidity premia a function of 'global liquidity' rather than the supply of liquidity by a national central bank alone; by making real interest rates dependent on the global balance between saving and investment rather than the balance in one country alone; or by making inflationary pressure a function of 'global slack' rather than a domestic output gap alone. These three fears relate to potential changes in the form of the three structural equations of a basic model of the monetary transmission mechanism: the LM equation, the IS equation, and the AS equation respectively. I review the consequences of global integration of financial markets, final goods markets, and factor markets for the form of each of these parts of the monetary transmission mechanism, and find that globalization, even of a much more thorough sort than has yet occurred, is unlikely to weaken the ability of national central banks to control the dynamics of inflation.
    Keywords: capital mobility; global liquidity; global slack; inflation
    JEL: E31 E52 F41 F42
    Date: 2007–09
  2. By: Woodford, Michael
    Abstract: Arguments for a prominent role for attention to the growth rate of monetary aggregates in the conduct of monetary policy are often based on references to low-frequency reduced-form relationships between money growth and inflation. The 'two-pillar Phillips curve' proposed by Gerlach (2004) has recently attracted a great deal of interest in the euro area, where it is sometimes supposed to provide empirical support for the wisdom of a 'two-pillar strategy' that uses distinct analytical frameworks to assess shorter-run and longer-run risks to price stability. I show, however, that regression coefficients of the kind reported by Assenmacher-Wesche and Gerlach (2006a) among others are quite consistent with a 'new Keynesian' model of inflation determination, in which the quantity of money plays no role in inflation determination, at either high or low frequencies. I also show that empirical results of this kind do not in themselves establish that money growth must be useful in forecasting inflation, either in the short run or over a longer run. Hence they provide little support for the ECB's monetary 'pillar'.
    Keywords: band-pass regression; ECB monetary policy strategy; monetarism
    JEL: E52 E58
    Date: 2007–09
  3. By: Beck, Günter W.; Wieland, Volker
    Abstract: The European Central Bank has assigned a special role to money in its two pillar strategy and has received much criticism for this decision. In this paper, we explore possible justifications. The case against including money in the central bank’s interest rate rule is based on a standard model of the monetary transmission process that underlies many contributions to research on monetary policy in the last two decades. Of course, if one allows for a direct effect of money on output or inflation as in the empirical “two-pillar” Phillips curves estimated in some recent contributions, it would be optimal to include a measure of (long-run) money growth in the rule. In this paper, we develop a justification for including money in the interest rate rule by allowing for imperfect knowledge regarding unobservables such as potential output and equilibrium interest rates. We formulate a novel characterization of ECB-style monetary cross-checking and show that it can generate substantial stabilization benefits in the event of persistent policy misperceptions regarding potential output. Such misperceptions cause a bias in policy setting. We find that cross-checking and changing interest rates in response to sustained deviations of long-run money growth helps the central bank to overcome this bias. Our argument in favor of ECB-style cross-checking does not require direct effects of money on output or inflation.
    Keywords: monetary policy, quantity theory, Phillips curve, European Central Bank, policy under uncertainty
    JEL: E32 E41 E43 E52 E58
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Gosselin, Pierre; Lotz, Aileen; Wyplosz, Charles
    Abstract: The present paper extends the literature on central bank transparency that relies on information heterogeneity among private agents in four directions. First, it adds the interest rate to the list of signals that the central bank can reveal. Second, it allows for more than one economic fundamental. Third, it extends the range of uncertainties that matter. So far the literature has focused on uncertainty about the economic fundamentals, assumed to be estimated with known precision; we also allow for uncertainty about precision. Fourth, it derives results that are general in the sense that they do not depend on any particular social welfare criterion. Each extension sheds new light on the role of central bank transparency. Focusing on the signaling role of the interest rate, we consider various degrees of transparency, ranging from full opacity, to just publishing the interest rate, to also revealing the signals and estimates of their precision. While uncertainty about the fundamentals results in the now familiar common knowledge effect, uncertainty about information precision creates a fog effect, which reduces the quality of decisions taken by the central bank and the private sector. In the absence of the fog effect, full transparency is generally not desirable, because it deprives the central bank from the ability to optimally manipulate private sector expectations. When the central bank's fog is large, we find that full transparency is usually the best communication strategy. This result tends to survive when the private sector's fog is large. Full opacity is only desirable when the central bank is poorly informed. Another result that emerges from our analysis is that it is usually desirable for the central bank to divulge some information, even if it is erroneous, and known to be erroneous. The reason is that, when the private sector knows that the central bank is mistaken, it needs to evaluate the extent of its mistakes.
    Keywords: central bank transparency; information asymmetry; monetary policy
    JEL: E42 E52 E58
    Date: 2007–09
  5. By: Cukierman, Alex
    Abstract: This paper probes the limits of transparency in monetary policymaking along two dimensions: feasibility and desirability. It argues that, due to limited knowledge about the economy, even central banks that are considered champions of openness are not very clear about their measures of the output gap and about their beliefs regarding the effect of policy on inflationary expectations. Consequently feasibility constraints on transparency are more serious than stylized models of the transmission mechanism would imply. In addition no central bank has made clear statements about its objective function, including in particular the relative weight on output versus inflation stabilization, the policy discount factor and the shape of losses from the inflation and the output gaps over the possible ranges of realizations of those variables. The paper also argues that there is a trade-off between full transparency and full utilization of information in setting policy and that excessive transparency may facilitate the exertion of political pressures on the central bank. The last section of the paper abstracts from feasibility constraints and discusses the desirable levels of openness in various areas of the policymaking process. It is argued that the strongest case against immediate transparency arises when the CB has private information about problems within segments of the financial system. Premature release of information may, in such a case, destroy efficient risk sharing arrangements and long term investments by triggering a run on the financial system. This is illustrated within the context of the classic Diamond Dybvig model of bank runs. The paper also probes the desirable levels of transparency in other areas of the policymaking process like the bank's objective function, the bank's output target, forecasts of economic shocks, disagreements within the CB board and the bank's own ignorance.
    Keywords: monetary policy; Transparency - actual and desirable
    JEL: E58 E61
    Date: 2007–09
  6. By: Aoki, Kosuke; Kimura, Takeshi
    Abstract: We analyse the interaction between private agents’ uncertainty about inflation target and the central bank’s data uncertainty. In our model, private agents update their perceived inflation target and the central bank estimates unobservable economic shocks as well as the perceived inflation target. Under those two uncertainties, the learning process of both private agents and the central bank causes higher order beliefs to become relevant, and this mechanism is capable of generating high persistence and volatility of inflation even though the underlying shocks are purely transitory. We also find that the persistence and volatility become smaller as the inflation target becomes more credible, that is, the private agents’ uncertainty about inflation target (and hence the bank’s data uncertainty) diminishes.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, central banks
    JEL: E52 E58
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Anthony Garratt (School of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics, Birkbeck); Gary Koop; Emi Mise; Shaun P Vahey
    Abstract: A popular account for the demise of the UK monetary targeting regime in the 1980s blames the weak predictive relationships between broad money and inflation and real output. In this paper, we investigate these relationships using a variety of monetary aggregates which were used as intermediate UK policy targets. We use both real-time and final vintage data and consider a large set of recursively estimated Vector Autoregressive (VAR) and Vector Error Correction models (VECM). These models differ in terms of lag length and the number of cointegrating relationships. Faced with this model uncertainty, we utilize Bayesian model averaging (BMA) and contrast it with a strategy of selecting a single best model. Using the real-time data available to UK policymakers at the time, we demonstrate that the in-sample predictive content of broad money fluctuates throughout the 1980s for both strategies. However, the strategy of choosing a single best model amplifies these fluctuations. Out-of-sample predictive evaluations rarely suggest that money matters for either inflation or real output, regardless of whether we select a single model or do BMA. Overall, we conclude that the money was a weak (and unreliable) predictor for these key macroeconomic variables. But the view that the predictive content of UK broad money diminished during the 1980s receives little support using either the real-time or final vintage data.
    Keywords: Money, Vector Error Correction Models, Model Uncertainty, Bayesian Model Averaging, Real Time Data
    JEL: C11 C32 C53 E51 E52
    Date: 2007–09
  8. By: Nicolas Coeurdacier; Robert Kollmann; Philippe Martin
    Abstract: This paper explains three key stylized facts observed in industrialized countries: 1) portfolio holdings are biased towards local equity; 2) international portfolios are long in foreign currency assets and short in domestic currency; 3) the depreciation of a country's exchange rate is associated with a net external capital gain, i.e. with a positive wealth transfer from the rest of the world. We present a two-country, two-good model with trade in stocks and bonds, and three types of disturbances: shocks to endowments, to the relative demand for home vs. foreign goods, and to the distribution of income between labor and capital. With these shocks, optimal international portfolios are shown to be consistent with the stylized facts.
    JEL: F30 F41 G11
    Date: 2007–09
  9. By: Philip Lane; Jay C. Shambaugh
    Abstract: Our goal in this project is to gain a better empirical understanding of the international financial implications of currency movements. To this end, we construct a database of international currency exposures for a large panel of countries over 1990-2004. We show that trade-weighted exchange rate indices are insufficient to understand the financial impact of currency movements. Further, we demonstrate that many developing countries hold short foreign-currency positions, leaving them open to negative valuation effects when the domestic currency depreciates. However, we also show that many of these countries have substantially reduced their foreign currency exposure over the last decade. Last, we show that our currency measure has high explanatory power for the valuation term in net foreign asset dynamics: exchange rate valuation shocks are sizable, not quickly reversed and may entail substantial wealth shocks.
    JEL: F31 F32
    Date: 2007–09
  10. By: Peter Sinclair
    Abstract: price stability conflates two ideas: low inflation, and steady inflation. The typical quadratic objective function is unsatisfactory in various ways. Blindness to a mean-amplifying, variance-preserving transformation of inflation rates is one of them, and fixation with the year unit another. Average inflation steadiness over longer periods is valuable, but scores no weight. This paper explores these issues, and others, concerning the links that monetary policy has with both financial stability and fiscal stability.
    Keywords: Monetary Policy
    JEL: E52
    Date: 2007–05
  11. By: Gita Gopinath; Oleg Itskhoki; Roberto Rigobon
    Abstract: A central assumption of open economy macro models with nominal rigidities relates to the currency in which goods are priced, whether there is so-called producer currency pricing or local currency pricing. This has important implications for exchange rate pass-through and optimal exchange rate policy. We show, using novel transaction level information on currency and prices for U.S. imports, that even conditional on a price change, there is a large difference in the pass-through of the average good priced in dollars (25%) versus non-dollars (95%). This finding is contrary to the assumption in a large class of models that the currency of pricing is exogenous and is evidence of an important selection effect that results from endogenous currency choice. We describe a model of optimal currency choice in an environment of staggered price setting and show that the empirical evidence strongly supports the model's predictions of the relation between currency choice and pass-through. We further document evidence of significant real rigidities, with the pass-through of dollar pricers increasing above 50% in the long-run. Lastly, we numerically illustrate the currency choice decision in both a Calvo and a menu-cost model with variable mark-ups and imported intermediate inputs and evaluate the ability of these models to match pass-through patterns documented in the data.
    JEL: E31 F3 F41
    Date: 2007–09
  12. By: Weber, Anke
    Abstract: This paper is the first attempt to investigate the performance of different learning rules in fitting survey data of household and expert inflation expectations in five core European economies (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain). Overall it is found that constant gain learning performs well in out-of-sample forecasting. It is also shown that households in high inflation countries are using higher best fitting constant gain parameters than those in low inflation countries. They are hence able to pick up structural changes faster. Professional forecasters update their information sets more frequently than households. Furthermore, household expectations in the Euro Area have not converged to the inflation goal of the ECB, which is to keep inflation below to but close to 2% in the medium run. This contrasts the findings for professional experts, which seem to be more inclined to incorporate the implications of monetary union for the convergence in inflation rates into their expectations.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, heterogeneous expectations, adaptive learning, survey expectations
    JEL: D84 E31 E37
    Date: 2007
  13. By: Giulio PALOMBA ([n.a.]); Luca FANELLI (Universit… di Bologna, Dip. di Scienze Statistiche)
    Abstract: In this paper we propose simulation-based techniques to investigate the finite;sample performance of likelihood ratio (LR) tests for the nonlinear restrictions;that arise when a class of forward-looking (FL) models, typically used in monetary;policy analysis, is evaluated with Vector Autoregressive (VAR) models. We;consider both `one-shot' tests and sequences of tests under a particular form of;adaptive learning dynamics, where `boundedly rational' agents use VARs recursively;to update their beliefs. The analysis is based on the comparison of the likelihood of the unrestricted and restricted VAR, and the p-values associated;with the LR statistics are computed by Monte Carlo simulation. We also address;the case where the variables of the FL model are approximated as non-stationary;cointegrated processes. Application to the New Keynesian Phillips Curve in the;euro area shows that the FL model of inflation dynamics is not rejected once the;suggested simulation-based tests are applied. The result is robust to specification of the VAR as a stationary (albeit highly persistent) or cointegrated system.;However, in the second case the imposition of cointegration restrictions changes;the estimated degree of price stickiness.
    Keywords: Monte Carlo test, VAR, adaptive learning, cross-equation restrictions, forward-looking model, new Keynesian Phillips curve, simulation techniques
    JEL: C12 C32 C52 D83 E10
    Date: 2007–09
  14. By: Fabio Milani (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: This paper presents a DSGE model in which agents' learning about the economy can endogenously generate time-varying macroeconomic volatility. Economic agents use simple models to form expectations and need to learn the relevant parameters. Their gain coefficient is endogenous and is adjusted according to past forecast errors. The model is estimated using likelihood-based Bayesian methods. The endogenous gain is jointly estimated with the structural parameters of the system. The estimation results show that private agents appear to have often switched to constant-gain learning, with a high constant gain, during most of the 1970s and until the early 1980s, while reverting to a decreasing gain later on. As a result, the model can generate a pattern of volatility, which is increasing in the 1970s and falling in the second half of the sample, with a decline that can roughly match the magnitude of the Great Moderation. The paper also documents how a failure to incorporate learning into the estimation may lead econometricians to spuriously find time-varying volatility in the exogenous shocks, even when these have constant variance by construction.
    Keywords: Adaptive learning; Constant gain; Monetary policy; Macroeconomic volatility; Inflation dynamics
    JEL: C11 D84 E30 E50 E52 E58 E66
    Date: 2007–05
  15. By: Jiri Podpiera
    Abstract: Operational monetary policy rules are characterized by a parsimonious specification and are therefore prone to specification error when estimated on real data. I devise a policy rule estimation procedure, which is robust to marginal misspecification, and study the effects of specification error in least squares. I find the robust evidence of upward bias in policy inertia in least squares applied to most commonly used Taylor type rule. In effect, least squares learning of a central bank can lead to increasing monetary policy inertia over time.
    Keywords: Monetary policy inertia, policy rule.
    JEL: E4 E5
    Date: 2006–12
  16. By: David Andolfatto (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: In this paper, I provide a rationale for why money should earn interest; or, what amounts to the same thing, why risk-free claims to non-interestbearing money should trade at discount. I argue that interest-bearing money is essential when individual money balances are private information. The analysis also suggests one reason for why it is sufficient (as well as necessary) for interest to be paid only on large money balances; or equivalently, why bonds need only be issued in large denominations.
    Date: 2007–09
  17. By: Hess Chung; Eric M. Leeper
    Abstract: Equilibrium models imply that the real value of debt in the hands of the public must equal the expected present-value of surpluses. Empirical models of fiscal policy typically do not impose this condition and often do not even include debt. Absence of debt from empirical models can produce non-invertible representations, obscuring the true present-value relation, even if it holds in the data. First, we show that small VAR models of fiscal policy may not be invertible and that expanding the information set to include government debt has quantitatively important implications. Then we impose the present-value condition on an identified VAR and characterize the way in which the present-value support of debt varies across types of fiscal shocks. The role of expected primary surpluses in supporting innovations to debt depends on the nature of the shock. Debt is supported almost entirely by changes in the present-value of surpluses for some fiscal shocks, but for other fiscal shocks surpluses fail to adjust, leaving a large role for expected changes in discount rates. Horizons over which debt innovations are financed are long---on the order of 50 years or more.
    JEL: E60 E62
    Date: 2007–09
  18. By: Greiber, Claus; Setzer, Ralph
    Abstract: This paper examines the relation between money and housing variables in the euro area and in the US. Our empirical model is based on a standard money demand relation which is augmented by housing market variables. In doing so, co-integrated money demand relationships can be established for both the euro area and the US. Furthermore, we find evidence for asset inflation channels, that is, liquidity fuels housing market developments.
    Keywords: money demand, asset inflation, housing, wealth
    JEL: E41 E52
    Date: 2007
  19. By: Edward E. Leamer
    Abstract: Of the components of GDP, residential investment offers by far the best early warning sign of an oncoming recession. Since World War II we have had eight recessions preceded by substantial problems in housing and consumer durables. Housing did not give an early warning of the Department of Defense Downturn after the Korean Armistice in 1953 or the Internet Comeuppance in 2001, nor should it have. By virtue of its prominence in our recessions, it makes sense for housing to play a prominent role in the conduct of monetary policy. A modified Taylor Rule would depend on a long-term measure of inflation having little to do with the phase in the cycle, and, in place of Taylor's output gap, housing starts and the change in housing starts, which together form the best forward-looking indicator of the cycle of which I am aware. This would create pre-emptive anti-inflation policy in the middle of the expansions when housing is not so sensitive to interest rates, making it less likely that anti-inflation policies would be needed near the ends of expansions when housing is very interest rate sensitive, thus making our recessions less frequent and/or less severe.
    JEL: E17 E3 E32 E52
    Date: 2007–09
  20. By: Binder, Michael; Offermanns, Christian J.
    Abstract: In this paper we revisit medium- to long-run exchange rate determination, focusing on the role of international investment positions. To do so, we develop a new econometric framework accounting for conditional long-run homogeneity in heterogeneous dynamic panel data models. In particular, in our model the long-run relationship between effective exchange rates and domestic as well as weighted foreign prices is a homogeneous function of a country’s international investment position. We find rather strong support for purchasing power parity in environments of limited negative net foreign asset to GDP positions, but not outside such environments. We thus argue that the purchasing power parity hypothesis holds conditionally, but not unconditionally, and that international investment positions are an essential component to characterizing this conditionality. Finally, we adduce evidence that whether deterioration of a country’s net foreign asset to GDP position leads to a depreciation of that country’s effective exchange rate depends on its rate of inflation relative to the rate of inflation abroad as well as its exposure to global shocks.
    Keywords: Exchange Rate Determination, International Financial Integration, Dynamic Panel Data Models
    JEL: C23 F31 F37
    Date: 2007
  21. By: Arghyrou, Michael G (Cardiff Business School); Gregoriou, Andros; Kontonikas, Alexandros
    Abstract: We test for real interest parity (RIP) in the EU25 area. Our contribution is two-fold: First, we account for the previously overlooked effects of structural breaks on real interest rate differentials. Second, we test for RIP against the EMU average. For the majority of our sample countries we obtain evidence of real interest rate convergence towards the latter. Convergence, however, is a gradual process subject to structural breaks, typically falling close to the launch of the euro. Our findings have important implications relating to the single monetary policy and the progress new EU members have achieved towards joining the euro.
    Keywords: real interest rate parity; convergence; structural breaks; EU; EMU;
    JEL: F21 F32 C15 C22
    Date: 2007–09
  22. By: Perotti, Roberto
    Abstract: This paper surveys fiscal policy in developing countries from the point of view of long-run growth. The first section reviews existing methodologies to estimate the effects of fiscal policy shocks and of systematic fiscal policy, with time series or with cross-sectional methods, and their applicability to developing countries. The second section surveys optimal fiscal policy in developing countries, by considering the role of the intertemporal government budget, and sustainability and solvency. It also reviews the fuzzy deba te on " fiscal space " and " macroeconomic space " - and the usefulness (or lack thereof) of these terms for policy analysis. The third section asks what theory tells us about the optimal cyclical behavior of fiscal policy in developing countries. It shows that it very much depends on the assumptions about the interactions between credit market imperfections at the individual, firms, or government level, and on the supply of external funds to the country. Different sets of assumptions lead to different implications about optimal cyclical behavior. The available evidence on the cyclical behavior of fiscal policy, and possible reasons for the observed prevalence of a procyclical behavior in developing countries, is also reviewed. If one agrees that fiscal policy is indeed less countercyclical than we think is optimal, the issue is how to correct the problem. One obvious question is why government do not self-insure, i.e. why they do not accumulate assets in upturns and decumulate them in downturns. This leads to the analysis of fiscal rules and stabilization funds, in the fourth section. The last section concludes with what the author considers important research and policy questions in each part.
    Keywords: Economic Stabilization,Debt Markets,Public Sector Expenditure Analysis & Management,Economic Theory & Research,
    Date: 2007–09–01
  23. By: Rene Lalonde; Dirk Muir
    Abstract: The Bank of Canada's version of the Global Economy Model (BoC-GEM) is derived from the model created at the International Monetary Fund by Douglas Laxton (IMF) and Paolo Pesenti (Federal Reserve Bank of New York and National Bureau of Economic Research). The GEM is a dynamic stochastic general-equilibrium model based on an optimizing representative-agent framework with balanced growth, and some additional features to help mimic the overlappinggenerations' class of models. Moreover, there is a concrete role for fiscal policy (albeit not fully optimized) and monetary policy. At the Bank, the model has been extended beyond the standard version with tradable and non-tradable goods sectors to include both oil and non-oil commodities. Furthermore, the oil sector is decomposed into oil for production and oil for retail consumption. The authors provide a detailed technical description of the model's structure and calibration. They also describe the model's simulation properties for Canadian and U.S. domestic shocks, and describe how the model can be used to analyze issues that currently are at the forefront for the Canadian and global economies, such as trade protectionism, global imbalances, and increasing oil prices.
    Keywords: Economic models; International topics; Business fluctuations and cycles
    JEL: C68 E27 E37 F32 F47
    Date: 2007
  24. By: Mitchell, James; Weale, Martin R.
    Abstract: This paper assesses the accuracy of individuals’ expectations of their financial circumstances, as reported in the British Household Panel Survey, as predictors of outcomes and identifies what factors influence their reliability. As the data are qualitative bivariate ordered probit models, appropriately identified, are estimated to draw out the differential effect of information on expectations and realisations. Rationality is then tested and we seek to explain deviations of realisations from expectations at a micro-economic level, possibly with reference to macroeconomic shocks. A bivariate regime-switching ordered probit model, distinguishing between states of rationality and irrationality, is then estimated to identify whether individual characteristics affect the probability of an individual using some alternative model to rationality to form their expectations.
    Keywords: household behaviour, expectation formation
    JEL: D19 D84
    Date: 2007
  25. By: Matthias Morys
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom has that peripheral economies had to `play by the rules of the game` under the Classical Gold Standard (1870s-1914), while core countries could get away with frequent violations. Drawing on the experience of three core economies (England, France, Germany) and seven peripheral economies (Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Norway, Serbia, Sweden), my paper argues for a more nuanced perspective on the European periphery. While the conventional view might be true for some countries - most notably the Balkan countries - our findings, based on a VAR model and impulse response functions, suggest that the average gold drain that a specific peripheral economy was exposed to differed substantially from country to country. We also show that some of the peripheral economies, most notably Austria-Hungary, always enjoyed enough "pulling power" via discount rate policy to reverse quickly any such gold outflow. In sum, while the experience of some peripheral economies under gold was poor and hence normally short-lived, the experience of other peripheral countries resembled more those of the core economies.
    JEL: E52 E58 N13
    Date: 2007
  26. By: Guimarães, Bernardo
    Abstract: If currency crises are triggered when the currency overvaluation hits a threshold, the expected magnitude of a devaluation, conditional on its occurrence, is substantially different from the unconditional expected currency overvaluation. That is not true if currency crises are triggered by sunspots. Therefore, implications for the behaviour of the probability and the expected magnitude of a devaluation depend on what triggers currency crises. Those two variables are not observable but can be estimated using data on exchange rate options. This paper identifies the probability and expected magnitude of a devaluation of Brazilian Real in the period leading up to the end of the Brazilian pegged exchange rate regime and contrasts the estimates to the predictions from a simple model of currency crises under different assumptions about the trigger. The empirical findings favour thresholds and learning over sunspots.
    Keywords: currency crises; exchange rate; options; sunspots
    JEL: F3 G1
    Date: 2007–09
  27. By: Lee, Hwa-Taek; Yoon, Gawon
    Abstract: Real exchange rates are quite persistent. Standard unit root tests are not very powerful in drawing a conclusion regarding the validity of purchasing power parity [PPP]. Rather than asking if PPP holds throughout the whole sample period, we examine if PPP holds sometimes by employing Hamilton-type (1989) Markov regime switching models. There are various reasons that the persistence of real exchange rates changes over time. When at least one of multiple regimes is stationary, PPP holds locally within the regime. Employing 5 real exchange rates spanning more than 100 years, we find strong evidence that the strength of PPP is changing over time. We make comparisons to an early work throughout the article. The new model selection criterion, provided by Smith et al. (2006), called the Markov switching criterion devised especially for discriminating Markov regime switching models, unambiguously indicates a preference for the Hamiltontype Markov regime switching model employed in this article. Also, the evidence for PPP is not much different during the Bretton-Woods and current float periods whether PPP holds or not.
    Keywords: Regime switching, real exchange rates, Markov switching criterion, purchasing power parity
    JEL: C22 F31
    Date: 2007
  28. By: Giannone, Domenico; Matheson, Troy
    Abstract: This paper introduces a new indicator of core inflation for New Zealand, estimated using a dynamic factor model and disaggregate consumer price data. Using disaggregate consumer price data we can directly compare the predictive performance of our core indicator with a wide range of other ‘core inflation’ measures estimated from disaggregate consumer prices, such as the weighted median and the trimmed mean. The medium term inflation target of Reserve Bank of New Zealand is used as a guide to define our target measure of core inflation - a centered 2 year moving average of past and future inflation outcomes. We find that our indicator produces relatively good estimates of this characterisation of core inflation when compared with estimates derived from a range of other models.
    Keywords: Core inflation; Monetary policy
    JEL: C32 E31 E32 E52
    Date: 2007–09
  29. By: Kitov, Ivan
    Abstract: Potential links between inflation and unemployment in Canada have been examined. No consistent Phillips curve has been found likely due to strong changes in monetary policy of the Bank of Canada. However, there were two distinct periods where linear links between inflation and unemployment could exist - before 1983 and after 1983. A linear and lagged relationship between inflation, unemployment and labor force has been obtained for Canada. Similar relationships were reported previously for the USA, Japan, France and Austria. Changes in labor force level are simultaneously reflected in unemployment and lead inflation by two years. Therefore this generalized relationship provides a two-year ahead natural prediction of inflation based on current estimates of labor force level and unemployment rate. The goodness-of-fit for the relationship is of 0.7 for the period since 1965, i.e. including the periods of high inflation and disinflation.
    Keywords: inflation; unemployment; labor force; prediction; Canada
    JEL: C53 E31 J64 E37
    Date: 2007–09–25

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