Asia crisis postmortem: where did the money go and did the United States benefit?
The Asia crisis was originally expected to affect the U.S. economy adversely, mainly through reduced exports to, and increased imports from, the crisis countries. However, U.S. GDP growth in 1998, at 4.3 percent, was surprisingly strong. This article examines the effect of the crisis on the U.S. economy, using a quantitative approach that focuses on capital outflows from Asia. It finds that banks were the primary mechanism by which the funds left Asia, and that these funds did not flow directly to the United States. Rather, they went first to offshore banking centers and then to European ...
A theory of the currency denomination of international trade
Nominal rigidities due to menu costs have become a standard element in closed economy macroeconomic modeling. The "New Open Economy Macroeconomics" literature has investigated the implications of nominal rigidities in an open economy context and found that the currency in which prices are set has significant macroeconomic and policy implications. In this paper we solve for the optimal invoicing choice by integrating this microeconomic decision at the firm level into a general equilibrium open economy model. Strategic interactions between firms play a critical role in the analysis. We find ...
Incomplete information processing: a solution to the forward discount puzzle
The uncovered interest rate parity equation is the cornerstone of most models in international macro. However, this equation does not hold empirically since the forward discount, or interest rate differential, is negatively related to the subsequent change in the exchange rate. This forward discount puzzle implies that excess returns on foreign currency investments are predictable. In this paper we investigate to what extent incomplete information processing can explain this puzzle. We consider two types of incompleteness: infrequent and partial information processing. We calibrate a ...
Does exchange rate stability increase trade and capital flows?
On the eve of a major change in the world monetary system, the adoption of a single currency in Europe, our theoretical understanding of the implications of the exchange rate regime for trade and capital flows is still limited. We argue that two key model ingredients are essential to address this question: a general equilibrium setup and deviations from purchasing power parity. By developing a simple benchmark monetary model that contains these two ingredients, we find the following main results. First, the level of trade is not necessarily higher under a fixed exchange rate regime. Second, ...
International capital flows
The sharp increase in both gross and net international capital flows over the past two decades has prompted renewed interest in their determinants. Most existing theories of international capital flows are based on one-asset models, which have implications only for net capital flows, not for gross flows. Moreover, because there is no portfolio choice, these models allow no role for capital flows as a result of assets? changing expected returns and risk characteristics. In this paper, we develop a method for solving dynamic stochastic general equilibrium open-economy models with portfolio ...
Risksharing within the United States: what have financial markets and fiscal federalism accomplished?
We document aggregate income growth uncertainty at the state level, and the extent to which this uncertainty is reduced by risksharing through financial markets and federal fiscal policy. A methodology is adopted that is closely connected to the empirical growth literature. It does not rely on assumptions about a model or stochastic process of income. This is important because estimated gains from international risksharing have been found to be very sensitive to the assumed model or income process. We only make assumptions about the information set used to predict growth, which is sufficient ...
Asset Prices, Leverage and Portfolio Rebalancing Drive Global Capital Flows Cycle
The amount of leverage—borrowed funds relative to the value of underlying assets—increases for risky holdings during downturns, motivating their ultimate sale to achieve a more secure financial position. The opposite occurs during upswings, as risky assets gain favor.
Alternative specifications for consumption and the estimation of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution
This paper documents several advantages associated with using state level consumption data to examine consumption behavior and especially to estimate the Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution (IES). In contrast to the results of Hall (1988) and Campbell and Mankiw (1989), we provide substantial evidence indicating that the IES is significantly different from zero and probably close to one. Since the overidentifying restrictions of the standard Euler equation are generally rejected, we use these data to explore the nature of these rejections and evaluate an alternative specification of ...
Borders and business cycles
We document that business cycles of U.S. Census regions are substantially more synchronized than those of European Union countries, both over the past four decades and the past two decades. Data from regions within the four largest European countries confirm the presence of a European border effect --within-country correlations are substantially larger than cross-country correlations. These results continue to hold after controlling for exogenous factors such as distance and size. We consider the role of four factors that have received a lot of attention in the debate about EMU: sectoral ...
How big are potential welfare gains from international risksharing?
There is extensive evidence that the degree of risksharing accomplished by international financial markets is low. Some have argued that this is the result of small potential benefits from risksharing. The gains from riskpooling that have been reported in the literature range from negligible to enormous. This paper documents to what extent the results are sensitive to the parameterization of preferences, and assumptions about the stochastic process and measurement of the endowment. We find that for realistic assumptions about the underlying factors, the potential gains from risksharing are ...