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 ...
Spillovers at the Extremes: The Macroprudential Stance and Vulnerability to the Global Financial Cycle
Evidence suggests that macroprudential policy has small and insignificant effects on the volume of portfolio flows. We show, however, that these minor effects mask very different relationships across the global financial cycle. A tighter ex-ante macroprudential stance amplifies the impact of global risk shocks on bond and equity flows—increasing outflows by significantly more during risk-off episodes and increasing inflows significantly more during risk on episodes. These amplification effects are more prominent at the “extremes,” especially for extreme risk-off periods, and are larger ...
Capital Controls and the Global Financial Cycle
Capital flows into emerging markets are volatile and associated with risks. A common prescription is to impose counter-cyclical capital controls that tighten during economic booms to mitigate future sudden-stop dynamics, but it has been challenging to document such patterns in the data. Instead, we show that emerging markets tighten their capital controls in response to volatility in international financial markets and elevated risk aversion. We develop a model in which this behavior arises from a desire to manipulate the risk premium. When investors are more risk-averse or markets are ...
Fiscal Unions Redux
Before the advent of sophisticated international financial markets, a widely accepted belief was that within a monetary union, a union-wide authority orchestrating fiscal transfers between countries is necessary to provide adequate insurance against country-specific economic fluctuations. A natural question is then: Do sophisticated international financial markets obviate the need for such an active union-wide authority? We argue that they do. Specifically, we show that in a benchmark economy with no international financial markets, an activist union-wide authority is necessary to achieve ...
Operating global, acting local
Remarks at Institute of International Bankers Seminar on Risk Management and Regulatory/Examinations Compliance Issues, New York City.
A model of the Twin Ds: optimal default and devaluation
This paper characterizes jointly optimal default and exchange-rate policy in a small open economy with limited enforcement of debt contracts and downward nominal wage rigidity. Under optimal policy, default occurs during contractions and is accompanied by large devaluations. The latter inflate away real wages, thereby avoiding massive unemployment. Thus, the Twin Ds phenomenon emerges endogenously as the optimal outcome. In contrast, under fixed exchange rates, optimal default takes place in the context of large involuntary unemployment. Fixed-exchange-rate economies are shown to have ...
Fiscal Policy in Debt Constrained Economies
We study optimal fiscal policy in a small open economy (SOE) with sovereign and private default risk and limited commitment to tax plans. The SOE's government uses linear taxation to fund exogenous expenditures and uses public debt to inter-temporally allocate tax distortions. We characterize a class of environments in which the tax on labor goes to zero in the long run, while the tax on capital income may be non-zero, reversing the standard prediction of the Ramsey tax literature. The zero labor tax is an optimal long run outcome if the economy is subject to sovereign debt constraints and ...
Optimal Capital Account Liberalization in China
China maintains tight controls over its capital account. Its prevailing regime also features financial repression, under which banks are often required to extend a fraction of funds to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at below-market interest rates. We incorporate these features into a general equilibrium model. We find that capital account liberalization under financial repression incurs a tradeoff between aggregate productivity and intertemporal allocative efficiency. Along a transition path with a declining SOE share, the second-best policy calls for a rapid removal of financial repression, ...
Capital Controls and Income Inequality
We examine the distributional implications of capital account policy in a small open economy model with heterogeneous agents and financial frictions. Households save through deposits in both domestic and foreign banks. Entrepreneurs finance investment with borrowed funds from domestic banks and foreign investors. Domestic banks engage in costly intermediation of deposits from households and loans to entrepreneurs. Government capital account policy consists of taxes on outflows and inflows. Given policy, a temporary decline in the world interest rate leads to a surge in inflows, benefiting ...
Liquidity traps, capital flows
Motivated by debates surrounding international capital flows during the Great Recession, we conduct a positive and normative analysis of capital flows when a region of the global economy experiences a liquidity trap. Capital flows reduce inefficient output fluctuations in this region by inducing exchange rate movements that reallocate expenditure toward the goods it produces. Restricting capital mobility hampers such an adjustment. From a global perspective, constrained efficiency entails subsidizing capital flows to address an aggregate demand externality associated with exchange rate ...