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Author:Otrok, Christopher 

Report
Dynamic factor models with time-varying parameters: measuring changes in international business cycles

We develop a dynamic factor model with time-varying factor loadings and stochastic volatility in both the latent factors and idiosyncratic components. We employ this new measurement tool to study the evolution of international business cycles in the post-Bretton Woods period, using a panel of output growth rates for nineteen countries. We find 1) statistical evidence of a decline in volatility for most countries, with the timing, magnitude, and source (international or domestic) of the decline differing across countries; 2) some evidence of a decline in business cycle synchronization for ...
Staff Reports , Paper 326

Report
Optimal Policy for Macro-Financial Stability

There is a new and now large literature analyzing government policies for financial stability based on models with endogenous borrowing constraints. These normative analyses build upon the concept of constrained efficient allocation, where the social planner is constrained by the same borrowing limit that agents face. In this paper, we show that the same set of policy tools that implement the constrained efficient allocation can be used by a Ramsey planner to replicate the unconstrained allocation, thus achieving higher welfare. The constrained social planner approach may lead to inaccurate ...
Staff Reports , Paper 899

Working Paper
Capital controls or exchange rate policy? a pecuniary externality perspective

In the aftermath of the global nancial crisis, a new policy paradigm has emerged> in which old-fashioned policies such as capital controls and other government distor-> tions have become part of the standard policy toolkit (the so-called macro-prudential> policies). On the wave of this seemingly unanimous policy consensus, a new strand> of theoretical literature contends that capital controls are welfare enhancing and can> be justi ed rigorously because of second-best considerations. Within the same the-> oretical framework adopted in this fast-growing literature, we show that a credible> ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-025

Working Paper
Specification and Estimation of Bayesian Dynamic Factor Models: A Monte Carlo Analysis with an Application to Global House Price Comovement

We compare methods to measure comovement in business cycle data using multi-level dynamic factor models. To do so, we employ a Monte Carlo procedure to evaluate model performance for different specifications of factor models across three different estimation procedures. We consider three general factor model specifications used in applied work. The first is a single- factor model, the second a two-level factor model, and the third a three-level factor model. Our estimation procedures are the Bayesian approach of Otrok and Whiteman (1998), the Bayesian state space approach of Kim and Nelson ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-31

Working Paper
News shocks and the slope of the term structure of interest rates

We adopt a statistical approach to identify the shocks that explain most of the fluctuations of the slope of the term structure of interest rates. We find that one single shock can explain the majority of all unpredictable movements in the slope over a 10-year forecast horizon. Impulse response functions lead us to interpret this shock as news about future total factor productivity (TFP). We confirm this interpretation formally by identifying a TFP news shock following recent work by Barsky and Sims (2011). By showing that the 'slope shock' and the 'TFP news shock' are closely related, we ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-011

Working Paper
Regionalization vs. globalization

Both global and regional economic linkages have strengthened substantially over the past quarter century. We employ a dynamic factor model to analyze the implications of these linkages for the evolution of global and regional business cycles. Our model allows us to assess the roles played by the global, regional, and country-specific factors in explaining business cycles in a large sample of countries and regions over the period 1960?2010. We find that, since the mid-1980s, the importance of regional factors has increased markedly in explaining business cycles especially in regions that ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-002

Working Paper
Tax Progressivity, Economic Booms, and Trickle-Up Economics

We propose a method to decompose changes in the tax structure into orthogonal components measuring the level and progressivity of taxes. While our focus is on the progessivity results, we find that the level shock is similar to standard tax shocks found in the empirical literature in that a rise in the level is contractionary. We find that an increase in tax progressivity sets off an economic boom. When tax progressivity increases, those at the bottom of the income distribution experience an increase in disposable income; these consumers have a high marginal propensity to consume, and this ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-034

Working Paper
Tax Progressivity, Economic Booms, and Trickle-Up Economics

We propose a method to decompose changes in the tax structure into a component measuring the level of taxes and a component orthogonal to the level that measures progressivity. While our focus is on the progessivity results, we find that the level shock is similar to standard tax shocks found in the empirical literature in that a rise in the level is contractionary. An increase in tax progressivity sets off an economic boom. Those at the bottom of the income distribution (who are constrained hand-to-mouth consumers) set off a consumption boom that expands the overall economy. Those at the top ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-34

Working Paper
Optimal policy for macro-financial stability

In this paper we study whether policy makers should wait to intervene until a financial crisis strikes or rather act in a preemptive manner. We study this question in a relatively simple dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model in which crises are endogenous events induced by the presence of an occasionally binding borrowing constraint as in Mendoza (2010). First, we show that the same set of taxes that replicates the constrained social planner allocation could be used optimally by a Ramsey planner to achieve the first best unconstrained equilibrium: in both cases without any ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-041

Working Paper
Estimating Macroeconomic Models of Financial Crises: An Endogenous Regime-Switching Approach

We estimate a workhorse DSGE model with an occasionally binding borrowing constraint. First, we propose a new specification of the occasionally binding constraint, where the transition between the unconstrained and constrained states is a stochastic function of the leverage level and the constraint multiplier. This specification maps into an endogenous regime-switching model. Second, we develop a general perturbation method for the solution of such a model. Third, we estimate the model with Bayesian methods to fit Mexico's business cycle and financial crisis history since 1981. The estimated ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-10

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