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Author:Trabandt, Mathias 

Working Paper
Introducing financial frictions and unemployment into a small open economy model
The current financial crisis has made it abundantly clear that business cycle modeling can no longer abstract from financial factors. It is also clear that the current standard approach of modeling labor markets without explicit unemployment has its limitations. We extend what is becoming the standard new Keynesian model in three dimensions. First, we incorporate financial frictions in the accumulation and management of capital. Second, we model the labor market using a search and matching framework. Third, we extend the model into a small open economy setting. Finally, we estimate the model using Bayesian techniques with Swedish data. Our main results are as follows: (1) The financial shock to entrepreneurial wealth is pivotal for explaining business cycle fluctuations. It accounts for two-thirds of the variance in investment and a quarter of the variance in GDP. (2) The marginal efficiency of investment shock has very limited importance. The reason for this is that we match financial market data. (3) In contrast to the existing literature on estimated DSGE models, our model does not need any wage markup shocks or similar shocks with low autocorrelation to match the data. Furthermore, the low-frequency labor preference shock that we do allow is not important in explaining GDP. (4) The tightness of the labor market is unimportant for the cost of adjusting the workforce. In other words, there are costs of hiring but no significant costs of vacancy postings per se.
AUTHORS: Walentin, Karl; Christiano, Lawrence J.; Trabandt, Mathias
DATE: 2010

Working Paper
Involuntary unemployment and the business cycle
We propose a monetary model in which the unemployed satisfy the official U.S. definition of unemployment: people without jobs who are (1) currently making concrete efforts to find work and (2) willing and able to work. In addition, our model has the property that people searching for jobs are better off if they find a job than if they do not (that is, unemployment is involuntary). We integrate our model of involuntary unemployment into the simple new Keynesian framework with no capital and use the resulting model to discuss the concept of the nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment. We then integrate the model into a medium-sized DSGE model with capital and show that the resulting model does as well as existing models at accounting for the response of standard macroeconomic variables to monetary policy shocks and two technology shocks. In addition, the model does well at accounting for the response of the labor force and unemployment rate to the three shocks.
AUTHORS: Trabandt, Mathias; Christiano, Lawrence J.; Walentin, Karl
DATE: 2010

Working Paper
DSGE models for monetary policy analysis
Monetary DSGE models are widely used because they fit the data well and can be used to address important monetary policy questions. We provide a selective review of these developments. Policy analysis with DSGE models requires using data to assign numerical values to model parameters. The paper describes and implements Bayesian moment matching and impulse response matching procedures for this purpose.
AUTHORS: Christiano, Lawrence J.; Walentin, Karl; Trabandt, Mathias
DATE: 2010

Working Paper
The Macroeconomic Risks of Undesirably Low Inflation
This paper investigates the macroeconomic risks associated with undesirably low inflation using a medium-sized New Keynesian model. We consider different causes of persistently low inflation, including a downward shift in long-run inflation expectations, a fall in nominal wage growth, and a favorable supply-side shock. We show that the macroeconomic effects of persistently low inflation depend crucially on its underlying cause, as well as on the extent to which monetary policy is constrained by the zero lower bound. Finally, we discuss policy options to mitigate these effects.
AUTHORS: Arias, Jonas E.; Erceg, Christopher J.; Trabandt, Mathias
DATE: 2016-04-12

Working Paper
Unemployment and business cycles
We develop and estimate a general equilibrium model that accounts for key business cycle properties of macroeconomic aggregates, including labor market variables. In sharp contrast to leading New Keynesian models, wages are not subject to exogenous nominal rigidities. Instead we derive wage inertia from our specification of how firms and workers interact when negotiating wages. Our model outperforms the standard Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides model both statistically and in terms of the plausibility of the estimated structural parameter values. Our model also outperforms an estimated sticky wage model.
AUTHORS: Trabandt, Mathias; Eichenbaum, Martin; Christiano, Lawrence J.
DATE: 2013

Working Paper
How do Laffer curves differ across countries?
We seek to understand how Laffer curves differ across countries in the US and the EU-14, thereby providing insights into fiscal limits for government spending and the service of sovereign debt. As an application, we analyze the consequences for the permanent sustainability of current debt levels, when interest rates are permanently increased e.g. due to default fears. We build on the analysis in Trabandt and Uhlig (2011) and extend it in several ways. To obtain a better fit to the data, we allow for monopolistic competition as well as partial taxation of pure profit income. We update the sample to 2010, thereby including recent increases in government spending and their fiscal consequences. We provide new tax rate data. We conduct an analysis for the pessimistic case that the recent fiscal shifts are permanent. We include a cross-country analysis on consumption taxes as well as a more detailed investigation of the inclusion of human capital considerations for labor taxation.
AUTHORS: Uhlig, Harald F.; Trabandt, Mathias
DATE: 2012

Working Paper
Gauging the effects of fiscal stimulus packages in the Euro area
We seek to quantify the impact on euro area GDP of the European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) enacted in response to the financial crisis of 2008-09. To do so, we estimate an extended version of the ECB?s New Area-Wide Model with a richly specified fiscal sector. The estimation results point to the existence of important complementarities between private and government consumption and, to a lesser extent, between private and public capital. We first examine the implied present-value multipliers for seven distinct fiscal instruments and show that the estimated complementarities result in fiscal multipliers larger than one for government consumption and investment. We highlight the importance of monetary accommodation for these findings. We then show that the EERP, if implemented as initially enacted, had a sizeable, although short-lived impact on euro area GDP. Since the EERP comprised both revenue and expenditure-based fiscal stimulus measures, the total multiplier is below unity.
AUTHORS: Straub, Roland; Coenen, Gunter; Trabandt, Mathias
DATE: 2012

Working Paper
Understanding the Great Recession
We argue that the vast bulk of movements in aggregate real economic activity during the Great Recession were due to financial frictions interacting with the zero lower bound. We reach this conclusion looking through the lens of a New Keynesian model in which firms face moderate degrees of price rigidities and no nominal rigidities in the wage setting process. Our model does a good job of accounting for the joint behavior of labor and goods markets, as well as inflation, during the Great Recession. According to the model the observed fall in total factor productivity and the rise in the cost of working capital played critical roles in accounting for the small size of the drop in inflation that occurred during the Great Recession.
AUTHORS: Eichenbaum, Martin; Trabandt, Mathias; Christiano, Lawrence J.
DATE: 2014-04-02

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