Financial development, productivity, and economic growth
Does a fall in the dollar mean higher U.S. consumer prices?
This Economic Letter looks at the relationship among changes in the exchange rate value of the dollar and in import prices and overall consumer prices, with a particular focus on the current circumstances. It appears that the lower value of the dollar at this point is affecting U.S. prices less than it has historically. The reasons for the difference include changes in trading partners, changes in the composition of U.S. trade, and improved monetary policy over the last several years. Looking ahead, then, it appears likely that the recent dollar depreciation will have only very moderate ...
After the Asian financial crisis: can rapid credit expansion sustain growth?
In the years following the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, the governments of South Korea and Thailand each have sought to generate economic recovery by expanding domestic credit. The rapid credit expansion in both countries has created concerns about the extent to which their economies can channel these funds efficiently and sustain economic growth. In particular, if banks are unable to supervise the allocation of resources effectively, there is a risk of widespread bankruptcies and a financial system crisis. Previous experience shows that these Asian economies indeed may be at risk of ...
What are the risks to the United States of a current account reversal?
This Economic Letter turns to the recent empirical literature to learn more about the potential risks to the U.S. economy of a possible current account reversal and about the factors that are associated with more disruptive corrections.
Nonlinearities in international business cycles
This paper documents the dynamic properties of national output, its components, and the current account for five OECD countries. There is strong evidence of conditional volatility for almost all time series as well as significant deviations from normality. The deviations are detected particularly in GDP, net exports, investment time series.
Emerging markets and macroeconomic volatility: conference summary
This Economic Letter summarizes the papers presented at the conference on "Emerging Markets and Macroeconomic Volatility: Lessons from a Decade of Financial Debacles" held at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on June 4-5, 2004, under the joint sponsorship of the Bank's Center for Pacific Basin Studies and the University of Maryland's Center for International Economics. The papers are listed at the end and are available at http://www.frbsf.org/economics/conferences/0406/index.html
The U.S. productivity acceleration and the current account deficit
This Economic Letter reviews the current facts about the current account deficit and its determinants, and describes the channels through which it is affected by an increase in trend labor productivity growth.
Statistical nonlinearities in the business cycle: a challenge for the canonical RBC model
Significant nonlinearities are found in several cyclical components macroeconomic time series across countries. Standard equilibrium models of business cycles successfully explain most first and second moments of these time series. Nevertheless, this paper shows that a model of this class cannot replicate nonlinear features of the data. Applying the Efficient Method of Moments (Gallant and Tauchen, 1996, 2000) methodology to build an algorithm that searches over the models parameter space establishes the parameterization that best allows replication of all statistical properties of the data. ...
The exchange rate-consumer price puzzle
Since February of 2002, the dollar has lost 27% of its value relative to other major currencies. Over the same period, consumer prices (excluding food and energy goods) have increased by a much smaller amount--8.9%. To economists, and particularly to central bankers and others who think about forecasting inflation, this relative insensitivity of consumer prices to exchange rates is a puzzle; indeed, it is one that has a long history and that is a characteristic not only of the U.S. but of other countries as well. ; Why is it a puzzle? Because international trade theory argues that, if all ...
Fiscal sustainability and contingent liabilities from recent credit expansions in South Korea and Thailand
While South Korea and Thailand had relatively sustainable fiscal policies prior to the Asian crisis, the long-term cost of the bailout of their financial sectors amounted to an estimated 30 to 40 percent of output, which was largely financed by public borrowing. The recent credit expansions in South Korea and Thailand have created new contingent liabilities for the governments of the two countries. This paper evaluates the impact of these rapid credit expansions on the sustainability of fiscal policy in South Korea and Thailand. In Thailand, a rapid credit expansion preceded the currency ...