Macroeconomic Analysis and International Finance: Volume 23

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Table of contents

(16 chapters)
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List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Purpose

In this paper we investigate the relationship between loose monetary policy, low inflation, and easy bank credit and house price booms.

Method

Using a panel of 11 OECD countries from 1920 to 2011 we estimate a panel VAR in order to identify loose monetary policy shocks, low inflation shocks, bank credit shocks, and house price shocks.

Findings

We show that during boom periods there is a heightened impact of all three “policy” shocks with the bank credit shock playing an important role. However, when we look at individual house price boom episodes the cause of the price boom is not so clear. The evidence suggests that the house price boom that occurred in the United States during the 1990s and 2000s was not due to easy bank credit.

Research limitations/implications

Shocks from the shadow banking system are not separately identified. These are incorporated into the fourth “catch-all” shock.

Practical implications

Our evidence on housing price booms that expansionary monetary policy is a significant trigger buttresses the case for central banks following stable monetary policies based on well understood and credible rules.

Originality/value of paper

This paper uses historical evidence to evaluate the relative importance of three main causes of house price booms. Our results bring into question the commonly held view that loose bank credit was to blame for the U.S. house price bubble of the later 1990s.

Purpose

We investigate in this paper whether income growth has played any role on inequality in all nine young South American democracies during the 1970–2007 period.

Methodology

Given the nature of our dataset, the methodology is based on dynamic panel time-series analysis.

Findings

The results suggest that income growth has played a progressive role in reducing inequality during the period. Moreover, the results suggest that this negative relationship is stronger in the 1990s and early 2000s, a period in which the continent achieved macroeconomic stabilization, political consolidation, and much improved economic performance. On the contrary, during the 1980s (the so-called “lost decade”), the negative income growth experienced by the continent at the time has hit the poor the hardest (the poor usually are the ones to lose their jobs first in recessions), which has consequently led to an increase in inequality.

Practical implications

All in all, we suggest that consistent growth, and all that it encompasses, is an important equalizer that affects the poorer progressively and it should not be discarded as a plausible option by policy makers interested in a more equal income distribution.

Purpose

To study the determinants and effects of “Operational” exchange rate exposure resulting from the mismatch between cost and revenues of the firms by using data on 500 Indian firms.

Design/methodology/approach

We conduct detailed empirical analysis of the determinants of firm level exposure and their impact using panel regression techniques and conduct several robustness tests to confirm the validity of these results.

Findings

Among other factors, exchange rate volatility appears as a significant determinant of average firm level exposure with the direction of relationship supporting the presence of “Moral Hazard” in firm’s risk-taking behavior. Further large “operational” exposure is associated with significantly lower output growth, profitability, and capital expenditure during episodes of large currency depreciation at the firm level.

Research limitations/implications

This paper leaves several questions to be answered. Further research is called for to explore the nature of distortions in the production process encouraged by exchange rate volatility and their impact on firm level productivity. Looking at the relationship between the use of financial and operational hedges is another fruitful area of future research.

Practical implications

Our results have important implications for policy makers worried about mitigating the impact of exogenous shocks. Implicit and explicit guarantees with regards to the value of exchange rate tend to raise the vulnerability of the economy to exchange rate shocks at same time that they encourage capital expenditures and possibly output growth during “normal” times. Our findings indicate that the policy makers must take into account the incentive effects of their intervention in foreign exchange markets.

Originality/value

Unlike the existing papers in the literature, we use a measure of “operational” currency exposure based on foreign currency revenues and costs of firms. In most of the existing papers the focus is on the mismatch between the currency denomination of assets and liabilities. Little attention has been paid to the currency mismatch between costs and revenues of the firms. Such “operational” mismatches are potentially equally important and deserve attention of policy makers and academics alike.

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an extensive review of the monetary model of exchange rate determination which is the main theoretical framework on analyzing exchange rate behavior over the last 40 years. Furthermore, we test the flexible price monetarist variant and the sticky price Keynesian variant of the monetary model. We conduct our analysis employing a sample of 14 advanced economies using annual data spanning the period 1880–2012.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical background of the paper relies on the monetary model to the exchange rate determination. We provide a thorough econometric analysis using a battery of unit root and cointegration testing techniques. We test the price-flexible monetarist version and the sticky-price version of the model using annual data from 1880 to 2012 for a group of industrialized countries.

Findings

We provide strong evidence of the existence of a nonlinear relationship between exchange rates and fundamentals. Therefore, we model the time-varying nature of this relationship by allowing for Markov regime switches for the exchange rate regimes. Modeling exchange rates within this context can be motivated by the fact that the change in regime should be considered as a random event and not predictable. These results show that linearity is rejected in favor of an MS-VECM specification which forms statistically an adequate representation of the data. Two regimes are implied by the model; the one of the estimated regimes describes the monetary model whereas the other matches in most cases the constant coefficient model with wrong signs. Furthermore it is shown that depending on the nominal exchange rate regime in operation, the adjustment to the long run implied by the monetary model of the exchange rate determination came either from the exchange rate or from the monetary fundamentals. Moreover, based on a Regime Classification Measure, we showed that our chosen Markov-switching specification performed well in distinguishing between the two regimes for all cases. Finally, it is shown that fundamentals are not only significant within each regime but are also significant for the switches between the two regimes.

Practical implications

The results are of interest to practitioners and policy makers since understanding the evolution and determination of exchange rates is of crucial importance. Furthermore, our results are linked to forecasting performance of exchange rate models.

Originality/value

The present analysis extends previous analyses on exchange rate determination and it provides further support in favor of the monetary model as a long-run framework to understand the evolution of exchange rates.

Purpose

This paper seeks to explain the serial persistence as well as the substantial number of zeros characterizing global bilateral investment holdings. We explore the different sources of serial persistence in the data (unobserved country pair effects, genuine state dependence, and transitory shocks) and examine the crucial factors affecting the decision to invest in a host country.

Methodology

Based on a gravity setup, we consider investment behavior at the extensive (participation) margin and employ dynamic first-order Markov probit models, controlling for unobserved cross-sectional heterogeneity and serial correlation in the transitory error component, in order to explore the sources of persistence. Within this modeling framework we explore the importance of institutional quality of the host country in attracting foreign investment.

Findings

The data support that the strong persistence is driven by true state dependence, implying that past investment experiences strongly impact on the trajectory of future investment holdings. Institutional quality appears to play a significant role to attract foreign investment.

Research implications

The empirical findings suggest that due to the existence of genuine state dependence, inward-investment stimulating policy measures could have a more pronounced effect since they are likely to induce a permanent change to the future trajectory of inward investment.

Originality

Both the substantial number of zeros and the salient persistence characterizing bilateral investment holdings decision have been previously overlooked in the literature. A study modeling jointly the levels and the selection mechanism could prove a fruitful direction for future research.

Purpose

The aim of this study is to examine whether China’s exchange rate follows an equilibrium process and consequently to answer the question of whether or not China’s international competitiveness fluctuates in consistency with equilibrium.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical background of the paper relies on the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) hypothesis, while the econometric methodology is mainly based on a nonlinear two-regime Threshold Autoregressive (TAR) unit root test.

Findings

The main finding is that China’s price competitiveness was not constantly following a disequilibrium process. The two-regime threshold model shows that PPP equilibrium was confirmed in periods of relatively high – compared to the estimated threshold – rate of real yuan appreciation. Moreover, it is implied that the fixed exchange rate regime cannot ensure external balance since it can neither establish equilibrium in the foreign exchange market, nor confirm that China’s international competitiveness adjustment follows an equilibrium process.

Practical implications

The results do not imply that China acts as a currency manipulator. However, a main policy implication of the paper is that China should continue appreciating the yuan to establish external balance.

Originality/value

This paper is the first which accounts for a nonlinear two-regime process toward a threshold, which is defined to be the rate of change in China’s international competitiveness. Consequently, the paper draws attention to the role of China’s international competiveness in accepting the PPP hypothesis.

Purpose

In the present paper we assess the impact of the Eurozone’s economic policies on specific South-Eastern European countries, namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovenia, and Turkey.

Design/methodology/approach

Since the countries under investigation are connected to the European Union (EU) or the Eurozone and the economic interdependence among them is evolving, we carried out our analysis using the VECMX* framework.

Findings

Our results indicate that the transition economies in our sample react in a similar manner to changes in international macroeconomic policies. Cyprus and Greece react also in a similar way, but these responses are very small in magnitude. Finally, Turkey behaves in a different way, probably due to the inflationary pressures in its economy. In general, there is evidence of linkages and interdependence among the EU or Eurozone members of the region.

Research limitations/implications

We did not construct a full structural model proposed by economic theory, but instead we estimated a reduced-form model. Data limitation is one reason. The other reason is that our sample countries are extremely heterogeneous. Also, for most of the sample countries there is an acute problem of structural uncertainty of their economies yet.

Practical implications

The way that the economies under investigation react to changes in international macroeconomic policies, may influence the Eurozone policy makers regarding the implemented monetary policy.

Originality/value

To our knowledge, the above methodology is implemented for the first time in the sample countries and provides a detailed investigation regarding their economic policies and the effects of the Eurozone policies.

Purpose

This paper examines the predictive content of financial variables above and beyond past GDP growth in a small open economy in the Eurozone. We aim to clarify potential differences in forecasting economic activity during periods of steady growth and economic turbulence.

Design/methodology/approach

The out-of-sample forecasting analysis is conducted recursively for two different time periods: the steady growth period from 2004:1 to 2007:4 and the financial crisis period from 2008:1 to 2011:2.

Findings

Our results from Finland suggest that the proper choice of forecasting variables relates to general economic conditions. During steady economic growth, the preferable financial indicator is the short-term interest rate combined with past growth. However, during economic turbulence, the traditional term spread and stock returns are more important in forecasting GDP growth.

Research limitations/implications

The results highlight the importance of long-term interest rates in determining the level of the term spread when the central bank implements a zero interest rate policy. Moreover, during economic turbulence, stock markets are able to signal the expected effects of unconventional monetary policy on GDP growth.

Purpose

The aim of this study is to understand the determinants of relationship between banks and nonfinancial corporations within Poland (which are considered relationship banking from this point onward).

Design/methodology/approach

The main sources of data used in the study are the large credit database (credit register of the National Bank of Poland (NBP)) and other aggregated data, including data from the Warsaw Stock Exchange and the NBP. Econometric panel logit methods have been used to test how different factors affect bank–firm relationships. Three main groups of factors have been investigated: the characteristics of the firm (i.e., size, ownership type, and R&D activity); the characteristics of the financial sector (i.e., competition in the banking sector); and macroeconomic conditions.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that Polish firms readily establish single-bank relationships, and firms with the highest quality of credit portfolios borrow often from multiple creditors. All conducted estimations demonstrated that the relationship between financing from a single bank and from foreign capital had a positive sign. Also, a decrease in concentration in the banking sector, which may be identified with an increase in competition, supports the establishment of relationship banking.

Research limitations/implications

The study was performed using the data from large exposure database collected for supervisory purposes. Exposures (credits, derivatives, etc.) larger than 500 thousand PLN (approx. 120 thousand EUR) were only considered. Future research on bank–firm relationships should focus on the influence of financing costs, maintaining relationships when the borrower is in a difficult financial position, and other unique features of banks using the strategy of relationship financing.

Practical implications

The understanding of the characteristics of bank–firm relationships can help to improve banking practice and supervisory policy in Poland.

Originality/value

This study makes a noticeable contribution to the understanding of the banking sector and its relationships with nonfinancial corporations in Poland. It is the first empirical study on such a large sample of panel data from Polish banking sector and industries, too.

DOI
10.1108/S1571-0386201423
Publication date
2014-04-26
Book series
International Symposia in Economic Theory and Econometrics
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78350-755-9
eISBN
978-1-78350-756-6
Book series ISSN
1571-0386