Capital flows to emerging market economies: a brave new world?
We examine the determinants of net private capital inflows to emerging market economies. These inflows are computed from quarterly balance-of-payments data from 2002:Q1 to 2012:Q2. Our main findings are: First, growth and interest rate differentials between EMEs and advanced economies and global risk appetite are statistically and economically important determinants of net private capital inflows. Second, there have been significant changes in the behavior of net inflows from the period before the recent global financial crisis to the post-crisis period, especially for portfolio inflows, partly explained by the greater sensitivity of such flows to interest rate differentials and risk aversion. Third, capital control measures introduced in recent years do appear to have discouraged both total and portfolio inflows. Fourth, in the pre-crisis period, there is some evidence that greater foreign exchange intervention to curb currency appreciation pressures brought more capital inflows down the line, but we cannot identify such an effect in the post-crisis period. Finally, we do not find statistically significant positive effects of unconventional U.S. monetary expansion on total net EME inflows, although there does seem to be a change in composition toward portfolio flows. Even for portfolio flows, U.S. unconventional policy is only one among several important factors.
AUTHORS: Ahmed, Shaghil; Zlate, Andrei
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). Our analysis covers the so-called taper-tantrum episode of 2013 and six earlier 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 quite early and persisted throughout this episode. (3) Controlling for economic fundamentals, we also find that, during the taper tantrum, financial conditions deteriorated more in those EMEs that had earlier experienced larger private capital inflows and greater exchange rate appreciation. (4) For earlier episodes, we find little evidence of investor differentiation across EMEs being explained by differences in their relative vulnerabilities during EME crises of the 1990s and early 2000s. (5) That said, differentiation across EMEs based on fundamentals does not appear to be unique to the 2013 episode. Differences in economic fundamentals played a role in explaining the heterogeneous EME financial market responses during the global financial crisis of 2008, and the role of fundamentals appeared to progressively increase through the European crisis in 2011 and subsequently the 2013 taper tantrum.
AUTHORS: Coulibaly, Brahima; Ahmed, Shaghil; 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.
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
Should We Be Concerned Again About U.S. Current Account Sustainability?
In this note, we compare the present situation to that prevailing in the mid-2000s, when concerns about the NIIP and the current account were at the forefront, and we examine the prospects for U.S. external sustainability going forward.
AUTHORS: Ahmed, Shaghil; Bertaut, Carol C.; Liu, Jessica; Vigfusson, Robert J.
China's Footprints on the Global Economy : Remarks delivered at the Second IMF and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Research Workshop on the Chinese Economy
This note explores some key aspects of China?s economic rise and the spillovers to the rest of the world that this rise has created. It then examines, using the Federal Reserve Board?s large-scale global model (SIGMA), the potential consequences for the global economy were China?s economy to slow sharply. Although the probability of such an event is low, a sharp slowdown of Chinese economic growth could have significant consequences for the global economy.
AUTHORS: Ahmed, Shaghil