International R&D Spillovers and Asset Prices
We study the international propagation of long-run risk in the context of a general equilibrium model with endogenous growth. Innovation and international diffusion of technologies are the channels at the core of our mechanism. A calibrated version of the model matches several asset pricing and macroeconomic quantity moments, alleviating some of the puzzles highlighted in the international macro-finance literature. Our model predicts that country-pairs that share more R&D have less volatile exchange rates and more correlated stock market returns. Using data from a sample of 19 developed countries, we provide suggestive empirical evidence in favor of our model?s predictions.
AUTHORS: Gavazzoni, Federico ; Santacreu, Ana Maria
Nominal Exchange Rate Determinacy Under the Threat of Currency Counterfeiting
We study the endogenous choice to accept fiat objects as media of exchange and their implications for nominal exchange rate determination. We consider a two-country environment with two currencies which can be used to settle any transactions. However, currencies can be counterfeited at a fixed cost and the decision to counterfeit is private information. This induces equilibrium liquidity constraints on the currencies in circulation. We show that the threat of counterfeiting can pin down the nominal exchange rate even when the currencies are perfect substitutes, thus breaking the Kareken-Wallace indeterminacy result. When the two currencies are not perfect substitutes, an international currency can exist whereby one country has two currencies circulating while the other country uses only one. We also find that with appropriate fiscal policies we can enlarge the set of monetary equilibria with determinate nominal exchange rates. Finally, we show that the threat of counterfeiting can also help determine nominal exchange rates in a variety of different trading environments.
AUTHORS: Gomis-Porqueras, Pedro; Kam, Timothy; Waller, Christopher J.
Trade in Commodities and Business Cycle Volatility
This paper studies the role of differences in the patterns of production and international trade on the business cycle volatility of emerging and developed economies. We study a multi-sector small open economy in which firms produce and trade commodities and manufactures. We estimate the model to match key cross-sectional and time-series differences across countries. Emerging economies run trade surpluses in commodities and trade deficits in manufactures, while sectoral trade flows are balanced in developed economies. We find that these differences amplify the response of emerging economies to commodity price fluctuations. We show evidence consistent with this mechanism using cross-country data.
AUTHORS: Kohn, David; Leibovici, Fernando; Tretvoll, Hakon
Financial Frictions and Export Dynamics in Large Devaluations
We study the role of financial frictions and balance-sheet effects in accounting for the dynamics of aggregate exports in large devaluations. We investigate a small open economy with heterogeneous firms and endogenous export decisions in which firms face financing constraints and debt can be denominated in foreign units. Despite the negative impact of these channels on capital accumulation and output at the firm-level, we find that they only explain a modest fraction of the gradual increase of exports observed in these episodes. Exports increase since financially-constrained exporters are able to reallocate sales across markets. We show analytically the role of this mechanism on exports adjustment and document its importance using plant-level data.
AUTHORS: Kohn, David; Leibovici, Fernando; Szkup, Michal
The Interaction and Sequencing of Policy Reforms
In what order should a developing country adopt policy reforms? Do some policies complement each other? Do others substitute for each other? To address these questions, we develop a two-country dynamic general equilibrium model with entry and exit of firms that are monopolistic competitors. Distortions in the model include barriers to entry of firms, barriers to international trade, and barriers to contract enforcement. We find that a reform that reduces one of these distortions has different effects depending on the other distortions present. In particular, reforms to trade barriers and barriers to the entry of new firms are substitutable, as are reforms to contract enforcement and trade barriers. In contrast, reforms to contract enforcement and the barriers to entry are complementary. Finally, the optimal sequencing of reforms requires reforming trade barriers before contract enforcement.
AUTHORS: Asturias, Jose; Hur, Sewon; Kehoe, Timothy J.; Ruhl, Kim J.
Monetary Policy Divergence and Net Capital Flows: Accounting for Endogenous Policy Responses
This paper measures the effect of monetary tightening in key advanced economies on net capital flows around the world. Measuring this effect is complicated by the fact that the domestic monetary policies of affected economies respond endogenously to the foreign tightening shock. Using a structural VAR framework with quarterly panel data we estimate the impulse responses of domestic policy variables and net capital flows to a foreign monetary tightening shock. We find that the endogenous response of domestic monetary policy depends on each economy's capital account openness and exchange rate regime. We use a method to compute counterfactual impulse responses for net capital outflows under the assumption that the domestic policy rate does not respond to foreign monetary tightening. Our results suggests that failing to account for the endogenous response of domestic monetary policy biases down the estimated elasticity of net capital flows to foreign interest rates by as much as one-third for countries with open capital accounts.
AUTHORS: Zlate, Andrei; Davis, Scott
Tariff passthrough at the border and at the store: evidence from US trade policy
We use micro data collected at the border and at retailers to characterize the effects brought by recent changes in US trade policy ? particularly the tariffs placed on imports from China ? on importers, consumers, and exporters. We start by documenting that the tariffs were almost fully passed through to the total prices paid by importers, suggesting that the tariffs? incidence has fallen largely on the United States. Since we estimate the response of prices to exchange rates to be far more muted, the recent depreciation of the Chinese renminbi is unlikely to alter this conclusion. Next, using product-level data from several large multinational retailers, we demonstrate that the impact of the tariffs on retail prices is more mixed. Some affected product categories have seen sharp price increases, but the difference between affected and unaffected products is generally quite modest, suggesting that retail margins have fallen. These retailers? imports increased after the initial announcement of possible tariffs, but before their full implementation, so the intermediate passthrough of tariffs to their prices may not persist. Finally, in contrast to the case of foreign exporters facing US tariffs, we show that US exporters lowered their prices on goods subjected to foreign retaliatory tariffs compared to exports of non-targeted goods.
AUTHORS: Neiman, Brent; Tang, Jenny; Cavallo, Alberto; Gopinath, Gita
Redistributive Fiscal Policies and Business Cycles in Emerging Economies
Government expenditures are pro-cyclical in emerging markets and counter-cyclical in developed economies. We show this pattern is driven by differences in social transfers. Transfers are more counter-cyclical and comprise a larger portion of spending in developed economies compared to emerging. In contrast, government expenditures on goods and services are quite similar across the two. In a small open economy model, we find disparate social transfer policies can account for more than a half of the excess volatility of consumption relative to output in emerging economies. We analyze how differences in tax policy and the nature of underlying inequality amplify or mitigate this result.
AUTHORS: Rothert, Jacek; Michaud, Amanda M.
Trends and cycles in China's macroeconomy
We make four contributions in this paper. First, we provide a core of macroeconomic time series usable for systematic research on China. Second, we document, through various empirical methods, the robust findings about striking patterns of trend and cycle. Third, we build a theoretical model that accounts for these facts. Fourth, the model's mechanism and assumptions are corroborated by institutional details, disaggregated data, and banking time series, all of which are distinctive Chinese characteristics. We argue that preferential credit policy for promoting heavy industries accounts for the unusual cyclical patterns as well as the post-1990s economic transition featured by the persistently rising investment rate, the declining labor income share, and a growing foreign surplus. The departure of our theoretical model from standard ones offers a constructive framework for studying China's modern macroeconomy.
AUTHORS: Chang, Chun; Chen, Kaiji; Waggoner, Daniel F.; Zha, Tao
Bubble thy neighbor: portfolio effects and externalities from capital controls
We use changes in Brazil?s tax on capital inflows from 2006 to 2011 to test for direct portfolio effects and externalities from capital controls on investor portfolios. The analysis is structured based on information from investor interviews. We find that an increase in Brazil?s tax on foreign investment in bonds causes investors to significantly decrease their portfolio allocations to Brazil in both bonds and equities. Investors simultaneously increase allocations to other countries that have substantial exposure to China and decrease allocations to countries viewed as more likely to use capital controls. Much of the effect of capital controls on portfolio flows appears to occur through signalling ?i.e. changes in investor expectations about future policies? rather than the direct cost of the controls. This evidence of significant externalities from capital controls suggests that any assessment of controls should consider their effects on portfolio flows to other countries.
AUTHORS: Forbes, Kristin J.; Kostka, Thomas; Fratzscher, Marcel; Straub, Roland