Collateral constraints and macroeconomic asymmetries
A model with collateral constraints displays asymmetric responses to house price changes. When housing wealth is high, collateral constraints become slack, and the response of consumption and hours to shocks that move house prices is positive yet small. When housing wealth is low, collateral constraints become tight, and the response of consumption and hours to house price changes is negative and large. This finding is corroborated using evidence from national, state-level, and MSA-level data. Wealth effects computed in normal times may underestimate the response to large house price ...
The Economic Effects of Trade Policy Uncertainty
We study the effects of unexpected changes in trade policy uncertainty (TPU) on the U.S. economy. We construct three measures of TPU based on newspaper coverage, firms' earnings conference calls, and aggregate data on tari rates. We document that increases in TPU reduce investment and activity using both firm-level and aggregate macroeconomic data. We interpret the empirical results through the lens of a two-country general equilibrium model with nominal rigidities and firms' export participation decisions. In the model as in the data, news and increased uncertainty about higher future ...
Raising an Inflation Target : The Japanese Experience with Abenomics
This paper draws from Japan?s recent monetary experiment to examine the effects of an increase in the inflation target during a liquidity trap. We review Japanese data and examine through a VAR model how macroeconomic variables respond to an identified inflation target shock. We apply these findings to calibrate the effect of a shock to the inflation target in a new-Keynesian DSGE model of the Japanese economy. We argue that imperfect observability of the inflation target and a separate exchange rate shock are needed to successfully account for the behavior of nominal and real variables in ...
Measuring Geopolitical Risk
We present a monthly indicator of geopolitical risk based on a tally of newspaper articles covering geopolitical tensions, and examine its evolution and effects since 1985. The geopolitical risk (GPR) index spikes around the Gulf War, after 9/11, during the 2003 Iraq invasion, during the 2014 Russia-Ukraine crisis, and after the Paris terrorist attacks. High geopolitical risk leads to a decline in real activity, lower stock returns, and movements in capital flows away from emerging economies and towards advanced economies. When we decompose the index into threats and acts components, the ...
Likelihood Evaluation of Models with Occasionally Binding Constraints
Applied researchers interested in estimating key parameters of DSGE models face an array of choices regarding numerical solution and estimation methods. We focus on the likelihood evaluation of models with occasionally binding constraints. We document how solution approximation errors and likelihood misspecification, related to the treatment of measurement errors, can interact and compound each other.
Macroeconomic Effects of Banking Sector Losses across Structural Models
The macro spillover effects of capital shortfalls in the financial intermediation sector are compared across five dynamic equilibrium models for policy analysis. Although all the models considered share antecedents and a methodological core, each model emphasizes different transmission channels. This approach delivers "model-based confidence intervals" for the real and financial effects of shocks originating in the financial sector. The range of outcomes predicted by the five models is only slightly narrower than confidence intervals produced by simple vector autoregressions.
OccBin: A Toolkit for Solving Dynamic Models With Occasionally Binding Constraints Easily
We describe how to adapt a first-order perturbation approach and apply it in a piecewise fashion to handle occasionally binding constraints in dynamic models. Our examples include a real business cycle model with a constraint on the level of investment and a New Keynesian model subject to the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. We compare the piecewise linear perturbation solution with a high-quality numerical solution that can be taken to be virtually exact. The piecewise linear perturbation method can adequately capture key properties of the models we consider. A key advantage of ...
Housing wealth and consumption
Housing wealth is about one half of household net worth, and consumption is a considerable fraction (about two thirds) of Gross Domestic Product in the United States. Empirically, movements in housing wealth are associated with movements in consumption in the same direction. This observation has led many economists, commentators and policy makers to study how housing wealth and consumption are linked together. A sizeable portion of the comovement between housing wealth and consumption reflects common factors driving both variables, rather than the "wealth effect" of the former on the ...
Housing and debt over the life cycle and over the business cycle
We study housing and debt in a quantitative general equilibrium model. In the cross-section, the model matches the wealth distribution, the age pro.les of homeownership and mortgage debt, and the frequency of housing adjustment. In the time-series, the model matches the procyclicality and volatility of housing investment, and the procyclicality of mortgage debt. We use the model to conduct two experiments. First, we investigate the consequences of higher individual income risk and lower downpayments, and .nd that these two changes can explain, in the model and in the data, the reduced ...
Foreign Effects of Higher U.S. Interest Rates
This paper analyzes the spillovers of higher U.S. interest rates on economic activity in a large panel of 50 advanced and emerging economies. We allow the response of GDP in each country to vary according to its exchange rate regime, trade openness, and a vulnerability index that includes current account, foreign reserves, inflation, and external debt. We document large heterogeneity in the response of advanced and emerging economies to U.S. interest rate surprises. In response to a U.S. monetary tightening, GDP in foreign economies drops about as much as it does in the United States, with a ...