Reserve Requirements and Optimal Chinese Stabilization Policy
We build a two-sector DSGE model of the Chinese economy to study the role of reserve requirement policy for capital reallocation and business cycle stabilization. In the model, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have lower average productivity than private firms, but they have superior access to bank loans because of government guarantees. Private firms rely on ?shadow? bank financing. Commercial banks are subject to reserve requirement regulations but shadow banks are not. Our framework implies a tradeoff for reserve requirement policy: Increasing the required reserve ratio acts as a tax on SOE ...
Temptation and Self-Control: Some Evidence and Applications
This paper studies the empirical relevance of temptation and self-control using household-level data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. We construct an infinite-horizon consumption-savings model that allows, but does not require, temptation and self-control in preferences. In the presence of temptation, a wealth-consumption ratio, in addition to consumption growth, becomes a determinant of the asset-pricing kernel, and the importance of this additional pricing factor depends on the strength of temptation. To identify the presence of temptation, we exploit an implication of the theory that ...
Sources of the Great Moderation: shocks, friction, or monetary policy?
We study the sources of the Great Moderation by estimating a variety of medium-scale DSGE models that incorporate regime switches in shock variances and in the inflation target. The best-fit model, the one with two regimes in shock variances, gives quantitatively different dynamics in comparison with the benchmark constant-parameter model. Our estimates show that three kinds of shocks accounted for most of the Great Moderation and business-cycle fluctuations: capital depreciation shocks, neutral technology shocks, and wage markup shocks. In contrast to the existing literature, we find that ...
Slow Credit Recovery and Excess Returns on Capital
During the recovery from the Great Recession, real interest rates on government securities have stayed low, but real returns on capital have rebounded. Although this divergence is puzzling in light of standard economic theory, it can be explained by credit market imperfections that raise the cost of capital and depress aggregate investment. The unusually slow credit market recovery is likely to have contributed to the diverging paths of the risk-free rate and returns on capital. It may have also contributed to a slow recovery in investment and output.
Land Prices and Unemployment
We integrate the housing market and the labor market in a dynamic general equilibrium model with credit and search frictions. The model is confronted with the U.S. macroeconomic time series. Our estimated model can account for two prominent facts observed in the data. First, the land price and the unemployment rate tend to move in opposite directions over the business cycle. Second, a shock that moves the land price is capable of generating large volatility in unemployment. Our estimation indicates that a 10 percent drop in the land price leads to a 0.34 percentage point increase of the ...
Does headline inflation converge to core?
Recent surges in food and energy prices have pushed up headline inflation to levels well above its underlying trend. In contrast, core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, has remained low and stable. Historical data suggest that, since the early 1990s, headline inflation has tended to converge toward core inflation. Thus, high inflation is unlikely to persist as long as inflation expectations remain anchored.
Reserve Requirements as a Chinese Macro Policy Tool
China?s central bank frequently adjusts its reserve requirements for commercial banks as a way to stabilize economic fluctuations. These adjustments affect the overall credit supply but can also lead to the reallocation of credit and capital. Evidence shows that increases in reserve requirements raise off-balance-sheet lending, which typically benefits China?s more productive private sector, at the expense of on-balance-sheet loans to less productive state-owned enterprises. Under certain conditions, reserve requirements can be a useful additional policy instrument for improving resource ...
Inflation targeting: what inflation rate to target?
In an economy with nominal rigidities in both an intermediate good sector and a finished good sector, and thus with a natural distinction between CPI and PPI inflation rates, a benevolent central bank faces a tradeoff between stabilizing the two measures of inflation: a final output gap, and unique to our model, a real marginal cost gap in the intermediate sector, so that optimal monetary policy is second-best. We discuss how to implement the optimal policy with minimal information requirement and evaluate the robustness of these simple rules when the central bank may not know the exact ...
Capital Flow Surges and Rising Income Inequality
Surges of foreign investment into developing countries can amplify economic stress and potentially undermine their financial stability. New evidence suggests that excessive foreign capital inflows can also increase income inequality in emerging economies. Research shows that, as low global interest rates trigger more investment, those inflow surges benefit entrepreneurs by raising their returns, while lowering household earnings on bank deposits within the countries. The potential impact on income inequality provides another reason beyond financial stability for resisting abrupt surges in ...
Interest-Rate Liberalization and Capital Misallocations
We study the consequences of interest-rate liberalization in a two-sector general equilibrium model of China. The model captures a key feature of China's distorted financial system: state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have greater incentive to expand production and easier access to credit than private firms. In this second-best environment, liberalizing interest rate controls improves capital allocations within each sector, but exacerbates misallocations across sectors. Under calibrated parameters, interest-rate liberalization may reduce aggregate productivity and welfare, unless other policy ...