International Financial Spillovers to Emerging Market Economies: How Important Are Economic Fundamentals?
We assess the importance of economic fundamentals in the transmission of international shocks to financial markets in various emerging market economies (EMEs), covering the so-called taper-tantrum episode of 2013 and seven other episodes of severe EME-wide financial stress since the mid-1990s. Cross-country regressions lead us to the following results: (1) EMEs with relatively better economic fundamentals suffered less deterioration in financial markets during the 2013 taper-tantrum episode. (2) Differentiation among EMEs set in relatively early and persisted through this episode. (3) During the taper tantrum, while controlling for the EMEs' economic fundamentals, financial conditions also deteriorated more in those EMEs that had earlier experienced larger private capital inflows and greater exchange rate appreciation. (4) During the EME crises of the 1990s and early 2000s, we find little evidence of investor differentiation across EMEs being explained by differences in their relative vulnerabilities. (5) However, differentiation across EMEs based on fundamentals does not appear to be unique to the 2013 episode; it also occurred during the global financial crisis of 2008 and, subsequently, during financial stress episodes related to the European sovereign crisis in 2011 and China's financial market stresses in 2015.
AUTHORS: Ahmed, Shaghil; Coulibaly, Brahima; Zlate, Andrei
Government budget deficits and trade deficits: are present value constraints satisfied in long-term data?
We undertake tests of whether long term data from the U.S. and U.K. are consistent with the intertemporal government budget constraint and the intertemporal external borrowing constraint being satisfied in expected value terms, both individually and simultaneously. An historical perspective is appropriate for focusing on whether the present value constraints (PVCs) continue to hold in the face of unusual events, such as the outbreak of wars, that cause a structural break in the short-run dynamic behavior of the variables. This provides a very strong test of whether intertemporal budget constraints are satisfied. Our main results are: (i) the PVCs hold over the whole sample period; and (ii) the data are also consistent with the hypothesis that the PVCs continue to hold following events which cause a structural break in the short-run dynamics.
AUTHORS: Ahmed, Shaghil; Rogers, John H.
The role of China in Asia: engine, conduit, or steamroller?
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.
AUTHORS: Knippenberg, Ross; Leduc, Sylvain; Marazzi, Mario; Coulibaly, Brahima; Wilson, Beth Anne; Ahmed, Shaghil; Haltmaier, Jane
Are depreciations as contractionary as devaluations? A comparison of selected emerging and industrial economies
According to conventional models, flexible exchange rates play an equilibrating role in open economies, depreciating in response to adverse shocks, boosting net exports, and stimulating aggregate demand. However, critics argue that, at least in developing countries, devaluations are more contractionary and more inflationary than conventional theories would predict. Yet, it is not clear whether devaluations per se have led to adverse outcomes, or rather the disruptive abandonments of pegged exchange-rate regimes associated with devaluations. To explore this hypothesis, we estimate VAR models to compare the responses to devaluation of developing economies and two types of industrial economies: those that have consistently floated, and those that have sustained fixed exchange-rate regimes as well. We find that both of these types of industrial economies exhibit conventional (i.e., expansionary) responses to devaluation shocks, compared with the contractionary responses exhibited by developing countries. This finding suggests that exchange rate movements may be more destabilizing in developing countries than in industrial countries, regardless of exchange rate regime.
AUTHORS: Gust, Christopher J.; Huntley, Jonathan; Kamin, Steven B.; Ahmed, Shaghil
Sources of economic fluctuations in Latin America and implications for choice of exchange rate regimes
This paper studies the sources of economic fluctuations in three key Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico) using a dynamic panel model, distinguishing between external and domestic shocks. The primary motivation is to examine the implications for the choice of monetary and exchange rate regimes, including dollarization. The results do not provide a strong, clear case in favor of a particular policy choice. On the one hand, foreign output shocks, including those of the U.S., appear to have a quite limited role in driving output fluctuations in these Latin countries; this absence of common shocks undermines the case for a rigidly fixed exchange rate regime. On the other hand, the historical experience of these countries indicates that real exchange rates are not very responsive to external shocks, in general, and that exchange rate depreciations tend to be contractionary in the short run. This suggests that rigidity of exchange rates may not be as costly for these countries as economic theory leads us to expect. Although the historical experience of these countries is certainly relevant, the caveat that it is characterized by several failed fixed exchange rate regimes, thereby making it a less-than-ideal testing ground for evaluating a pure floating exchange rate system, should be noted.
AUTHORS: Ahmed, Shaghil
Recent U.S. macroeconomic stability: good policies, good practices or good luck?
The volatility of U.S. real GDP growth since 1984 has been markedly lower than that over the previous quarter-century. In this paper, we utilize frequency-domain and VAR methods to distinguish among several competing explanations for this phenomenon: improvements in monetary policy, better business practices, and a fortuitous reduction in exogenous disturbances. We find that reduced innovation variances account for much of the decline in aggregate output volatility. Our results support the "good-luck" hypothesis as the leading explanation for the decline in aggregate output volatility, although "good-practices" and "good-policy" are also contributing factors. Applying the same methods to consumer price inflation, we find that the post-1984 decline in inflation volatility can be attributed largely to improvements in monetary policy.
AUTHORS: Levin, Andrew T.; Ahmed, Shaghil; Wilson, Beth Anne
Are Chinese exports sensitive to changes in the exchange rate?
This paper builds a model of two types of Chinese exports, those processed and assembled largely from imported inputs ("processed" exports) and "non-processed" exports. Based on this model, the sensitivity of Chinese exports to exchange rate changes is empirically examined. Unlike previous work, the estimation period includes the net real appreciation of the renminbi that has occurred over the past three years. The results show that greater exchange rate appreciation dampens export growth, both for non-processed and processed exports, with the estimated cumulative price elasticity being substantially greater than unity. When the source of the increase in the Chinese real exchange rate is appreciations against the currencies of other emerging Asian trading partners, the effect on processing exports is positive but insignificant, while the effect on non-processing exports is significantly negative. By contrast, when the source of the increase in the Chinese real exchange rate is appreciation against China's advanced-economy trading partners, the effects on both types of exports are negative. These results are consistent with the predictions of the theoretical model. Counterfactual simulations based on the estimated model strongly suggest that if the trade-weighted real renminbi had appreciated at an annual rate of 10 percent per quarter since mid-2005, Chinese real exports would have been roughly 30 percent lower today. Thus greater exchange rate flexibility could contribute to lowering China's huge trade surplus through restraining growth of exports.
AUTHORS: Ahmed, Shaghil
Global Spillovers of a China Hard Landing
China?s economy has become larger and more interconnected with the rest of the world, thus raising the possibility that acute financial stress in China may lead to global financial instability. This paper analyzes the potential spillovers of such an event to the rest of the world with three methodologies: a VAR, an event study, and a DSGE model. We find the sentiment channel to be the primary spillover channel to the United States, affecting global risk aversion and asset prices such as equity prices and the dollar, in addition to modest real effects through the trade channel. In comparison, the combined financial and real effects to other advanced and emerging market economies, especially net commodity exporters, would be more consequential due to their larger direct exposure to China and more limited scope of monetary policy to respond to shocks.
AUTHORS: Ahmed, Shaghil; Correa, Ricardo; Dias, Daniel A.; Gornemann, Nils; Hoek, Jasper; Jain, Anil K.; Liu, Edith X.; Wong, Anna
Inflation and the great ratios: long-term evidence from the U.S.
Using over 100 years of U.S. data, we find that the long-run effects of inflation on consumption, investment, and output are positive. Thus, models generating long-term negative effects of inflation on output and consumption (including endogenous growth and RBC models with money) seem to be at odds with data from the moderate inflation rate environment we consider. Also, great ratios like the consumption and investment rates are not independent of inflation, which we interpret in terms of the Fisher effect. However, in the full sample, the variability of the stochastic inflation trend is small relative to the variability of the productivity and fiscal trends, so inflation accounts for little of the movements in real variables. By comparison, we find in the post-WWII sub-period that although significant "permanent" shocks to inflation are a more regular feature of the data, the long-run real effects of a given size inflation shock are much smaller.
AUTHORS: Ahmed, Shaghil; Rogers, John H.
Long-term evidence on the Tobin and Fisher effects: a new approach
Using a new approach, we reexamine the empirical evidence on the long-term interactions between inflation and real variables. We find, using over 100 years of U.S. data, that in the long run the effect of inflation on investment and output is positive (a "Tobin type effect") and the investment rate, and hence the real interest rate, are not independent of inflation. However, over the full sample at least, the variability of the innovations to the stochastic inflation trend is small relative to the variability of the innovations to the productivity and fiscal trends. We conclude that models generating a reverse-Tobin effect, including standard real-business-cycle and endogenous growth models that incorporate money, may not be the best models for understanding the long-term real effects of inflation.
AUTHORS: Rogers, John H.; Ahmed, Shaghil