Container Trade and the U.S. Recovery
Since the 1970s, exports and imports of manufactured goods have been the engine of international trade and much of that trade relies on container shipping. This paper introduces a new monthly index of the volume of container trade to and from North America. Incorporating this index into a structural macroeconomic VAR model facilitates the identification of shocks to domestic U.S. demand as well as foreign demand for U.S. manufactured goods. We show that, unlike in the Great Recession, the primary determinant of the U.S. economic contraction in early 2020 was a sharp drop in domestic demand. ...
The Impact of Global Uncertainty on the Global Economy, and Large Developed and Developing Economies
Global uncertainty shocks are associated with a sharp decline in global inflation, global growth and in the global interest rate. Over 1981 to 2014 global financial uncertainty forecasts 18.26% and 14.95% of the variation in global growth and global inflation respectively. Global uncertainty shocks have more protracted, statistically significant and substantial effects on global growth, inflation and interest rate than U.S. uncertainty shocks. U.S. uncertainty lags global uncertainty by one month. When controlling for domestic uncertainty, the decline in output following a rise in global ...
U.S. monetary policy and emerging market economies
Remarks at the Roundtable Discussion in Honor of Terrence Checki: Three Decades of Crises: What Have We Learned?, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City
A threshold model of the US current account
What drives US current account imbalances? Is there solid evidence that the behavior of the current account is different during deficits and surpluses or that the size of the imbalance matters? Is there a threshold relationship between the US current account and its main drivers? We estimate a threshold model to answer these questions using the instrumental variable estimation proposed by Caner and Hansen (2004). Rather than concluding that the size or the sign of (previous) external imbalances matters, we find that time is the most important threshold variable. One regime exists before and ...
Globalization, market structure and inflation dynamics
The decline in the sensitivity of inflation to domestic slack observed in developed countries since the mid 1980?s has been often attributed to globalization. However, this intuition has so far not been formalized. I develop a general equilibrium setup in which the sensitivity of inflation to marginal cost decreases when international trade costs fall. In order to do so, I add three ingredients to an otherwise standard two-country new-Keynesian model. Strategic interactions generate a time varying desired markup; endogenous entry and heterogeneous productivity engender a self-selection of the ...
On the Heterogeneous Welfare Gains and Losses from Trade
How are the gains and losses from trade distributed across individuals within a country? First, we document that tradable goods constitute a larger fraction of expenditures for poor households. Second, we build a trade model with nonhomothetic preferences?to generate the documented relationship between tradable expenditure shares, income, and wealth?and uninsurable earnings risk?to generate heterogeneity in income and wealth. Third, we use the calibrated model to quantify the differential welfare gains and losses from trade along the income and wealth distribution. In a numerical exercise, we ...
Can Lessons from the Great Recession Guide Policy Responses to the Pandemic-Driven Economic Crisis?
In a 1948 speech to the British House of Commons, Winston Churchill warned, "Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it." As the U.S. economy struggles to reopen safely and recover, what are the lessons from the Great Recession that might help guide how policymakers respond to the pandemic-driven economic crisis?1 What should we expect over the coming months and years as the nation struggles to restore its economy, which before the pandemic had finally achieved historically low unemployment levels? In June 2020, there is much that we do not know or would even attempt to ...
The Globalisation of Inflation: the Growing Importance of Global Value Chains
Greater international economic interconnectedness over recent decades has been changing inflation dynamics. This paper presents evidence that the expansion of global value chains (GVCs), ie cross-border trade in intermediate goods and services, is an important channel through which global economic slack influences domestic inflation. In particular, we document the extent to which the growth in GVCs explains the established empirical correlation between global economic slack and national inflation rates, both across countries and over time. Accounting for the role of GVCs, we also find that ...
Trilemma, not dilemma: financial globalisation and Monetary policy effectiveness
We investigate whether the classic Mundell-Flemming "trilemma" has morphed into a "dilemma" due to financial globalisation. According to the dilemma hypothesis, global financial cycles determine domestic financial conditions regardless of an economy's exchange rate regime and monetary policy autonomy is possible only if capital mobility is restricted. We find that global financial cycles indeed reduce domestic monetary policy effectiveness in more financially integrated economies. However, we also find that another salient feature of financial globalisation has the opposite effect and ...
Mind the Gap!—A Monetarist View of the Open-Economy Phillips Curve
In many countries, inflation has become less responsive to domestic factors and more responsive to global factors over the past decades. We introduce money and credit into the workhorse open-economy New Keynesian model. With this framework, we show that: (i) an efficient forecast of domestic inflation is based solely on domestic and foreign slack, and (ii) global liquidity (global money as well as global credit) is tied to global slack in equilibrium. Then, motivated by the theory, we evaluate empirically the performance of open-economy Phillips-curve-based forecasts constructed using global ...