IFDP 1991-419
A Primer on the Japanese Banking System

Allen B. Frankel and Paul B. Morgan


This paper examines the effects of the liberalization of the Japanese financial system in the past twenty years. The changes are viewed in terms of their current and potential future impact on the Japanese banking industry. The purpose of this paper is to provide a discussion of the situation facing the banking system during the present transition period between the highly segmented and regulated financial system of the post-war high growth period, and the liberalized, financially deregulated environment toward which the Japanese regulatory authorities aspire.

IFDP 1991-418
Did the Debt Crisis Cause the Investment Crisis?

Andrew M. Warner


There is now a large literature which attributes the investment decline in heavily indebted developing countries to the effects of the international debt crisis which began in 1982. However, these theories have not been tested against the alternative that declining terms of trade and high world real interest rates in the early 1980s directly caused the investment declines. This paper is based on the idea that if the debt theories are true, then forecasts of investment in the 1980s which do not use debt variables should not perform very well. This paper points out that such forecasts perform surprisingly well, and in many cases go against the predictions of the debt theories, casting doubt on the validity of the debt theories.

IFDP 1991-417
External Adjustment in Selected Developing Countries in the 1990s

William L. Helkie and David H. Howard


An analytic and accounting framework is presented for examining the evolution of the external positions of eight developing countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Korea, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and Venezuela. The framework is used to analyze the historical paths of external debts in these countries. Then, under fairly conventional baseline specifications, and assuming that no other relevant factors change significantly, projections for the debt-export ratios in these eight developing countries are generated, using the analytic framework and a simple simulation model. The baseline projections indicate cases in which external adjustment might be warranted. Through the simulation of some alternative scenarios, the analysis then suggests ways and means of effecting the necessary adjustments, including a rough idea of what magnitudes might be involved.

IFDP 1991-416
Did the Debt Crisis or the Oil Price Decline Cause Mexico's Investment Collapse?

Andrew M. Warner


This paper proposes a simple investment model that permits a test of the relative importance of Mexico's terms of trade decline, the reversal in net capital inflows, and the debt overhang, in explaining Mexico's investment decline in the early 1980's. The paper uses previously unexploited sectoral investment data between 1981 and 1985 to estimate the quantitative importance of these explanations. The data indicate that the main microeconomic mechanism driving the investment decline was the rise in the relative price of investment goods and further that the deterioration in Mexico's international terms of trade explains most of the increase in this relative price. Our preferred estimate is that about two-thirds of the investment decline was attributable to the terms of trade decline, while the termination of capital inflows explains the remaining third. The paper finds little evidence in favor of other debt crisis effects such as the debt-overhang effect or several other more subtle effects that have been proposed in the literature.

IFDP 1991-415
Cointegration, Exogeneity, and Policy Analysis: An Overview


This overview describes the concepts of cointegration and exogeneity, focusing on analytical structure, statistical inference, and implications for policy analysis. Examples help clarify the concepts. The remainder of the overview summarizes the articles in a special issue of the Journal of Policy Modeling entitled Cointegration, Exogeneity, and Policy Analysis.

Keywords: Cointegration, conditional models, error-correction models, exogeneity, parameter constancy, policy analysis, predictive accuracy

IFDP 1991-414
The Usefulness of P* Measures for Japan and Germany

Linda S. Kole and Michael P. Leahy


This paper develops measures of long-run equilibrium price levels (P*) for Japan and Germany following the approach used for the United States by Hallman, Porter, and Small [1991]. Under this approach, P* is detemined by potential output, equilibrium velocity, and the amount of money in the economy. Constructing P* for these foreign countries is more complicated than in the U.S. case because the velocities of the broad monetary aggregates (M2+CDs in Japan and M3 in Germany) exhibit clear downward trends in contrast to the relatively flat trend of U.S. M2 velocity. We utilize dynamic specifications of money demand to construct measures of equilibrium velocity and P for Japan and Germany. We then assess the explanatory power of deviations of actual prices from P* in predicting the amount of inflationary potential in the Japanese and German economies. In general, we find that the P* approach is useful in the analysis of German inflation, but that it is less promising for Japan than it has been for the United States.

IFDP 1991-413
Comments on the Evaluation of Policy Models

Clive W.J. Granger and Melinda Deutsch


This paper examines the evaluation of models claimed to be relevant for policy making purposes. A number of tests are proposed to determine the usefulness of such models in the policy making process. These tests are applied to three empirical examples.

IFDP 1991-412
Parameter Constancy, Mean Square Forecast Errors, and Measuring Forecast Perfomance: An Exposition, Extensions, and Illustration


Parameter constancy and a model's mean square forecast error are two commonly used measures of forecast performance. By explicit consideration of the information sets involved, this paper clarifies the roles that each plays in analyzing a model's forecast accuracy. Both criteria are necessary for "good" forecast performance, but neither (nor both) is sufficient. Further, these criteria fit into a general taxonomy of model evaluation statistics, and the information set corresponding to a model's mean square forecast error leads to a new test statistic, forecast-model encompassing. Two models of U.K. money demand illustrate the various measures of forecast accuracy.

IFDP 1991-411
Explaining the Volume of Intraindustry Trade: Are Increasing Returns Necessary?

Donald Davis


The recent theoretical literature has suggested that increasing returns to scale are necessary to account for the volume of intraindustry trade among developed economies. The present paper shows that such trade can arise quite naturally in a setting with constant returns to scale.

An example is developed with "perfectly-intraindustry goods," in which countries with identical endowments and arbitrarily small technical differences nonetheless trade substantial amounts of goods of identical factor intensity. This is extended to a case with factor price equalization, fully determinate trade and the possibility of substantial intraindustry trade. Finally, we develop the simplest possible model that can give a unified account of interindustry and intraindustry trade, while allowing a straightforward comparison with standard Heckscher-Ohlin results. A striking feature of the last example is that intraindustry trade attains a maximum at a point where countries have identical factor endowment ratios.

Increasing returns, in short, are not necessary to explain intraindustry trade.

IFDP 1991-410
How Pervasive is the Product Cycle? The Empirical Dynamics of American and Japanese Trade Flows

Joseph E. Gagnon and Andrew K. Rose


This paper looks for dynamic patterns in international trade flows using multilateral American and Japanese data disaggregated to the four-digit SITC level. Little evidence is found of product-cycle dynamics between 1962 and 1988; rather, goods that begin the sample in surplus (deficit) tend to remain in surplus (deficit) throughout the sample.

IFDP 1991-409
Anticipations of Foreign Exchange Volatility and Bid-Ask Spreads

Shang-Jin Wei


The paper studies the effect of the market's perceived exchange rate volatility on bid-ask spreads. The anticipated volatility is extracted from currency options data. An increase in the perceived volatility is found to widen bid-ask spreads. The direction of the effect is consistent with an option model of the spread, but the magnitude is smaller. An increase in trading volume of spot exchange rates also widens the spread. The omission of the trading volume, however, does not bias the estimate of the effect of the volatility on the spreads. Although the spread-volatility relations implied by the option model of the spread is close to linear, some form of nonlinearity can still be detected from the data.

IFDP 1991-408
A Re-Assessment of the Relationship between Real Exchange Rates and Real Interest Rates: 1974-1990

Hali J. Edison and B. Dianne Pauls


The general view of the economics profession is that we can not explain exchange rate movements. However, some researchers still contend that the relationship between real interest rates and the real exchange rate is a useful framework for thinking about exchange rate movements. This paper asks whether there is such a systematic relationship and whether it is revealed by the data. In our attempt to find such a relationship we investigate whether the empirical results are conditional on: (1) the time period selected, (2) the choice of interest rate, (3) the measure of expected inflation, and (4) the choice of exchange rate. The results show that exchange rates and interest rates, both nominal and real are nonstationary; however, they are not cointegrated with each other. On the other hand, the dynamic models indicate that there might be a long-run relationship between these variables, but cannot corroborate this. Consequently, the final conclusion is that the empirical results do not confirm the relationship and this result is robust across exchange rates, time periods, interest rates, and inflation measures.

IFDP 1991-407
Argentina's Experience with Parallel Exchange Markets: 1981-1990


This paper surveys the development and operation of the parallel exchange market in Argentina during the 1980s, and evaluates its impact upon macroeconomic performance and policy. The historical evolution of Argentina's exchange market policies is reviewed in order to understand the government's motives for imposing exchange controls. The parallel exchange market engendered by these controls is then analyzed, and econometric methods are used to evaluate the behavior of the parallel exchange rate and its impact upon the balance of payments.

The main conclusion of the paper is that exchange controls were never effective enough in Argentina to allow the authorities to set the commercial exchange rate independently of the parallel market rate. Attempts to set the commercial exchange rate at too appreciated a level consistently prompted widespread evasion of exchange controls that undermined the government's international reserve position. Econometric evidence supports the hypothesis that important components of the balance of payments were negatively correlated with the parallel market premium during the 1980s. The evidence also confirms that the parallel market premium was influential in the determination of the commercial exchange rate.

IFDP 1991-406
PC-GIVE and David Hendry's Econometric Methodology

Neil R. Ericsson, Julia Campos, and Hong-Anh Tran


This paper summarizes David Hendry's empirical econometric methodology, unifying discussions in many of his and his co-authors' papers. Then, we describe how Hendry's suite of computer programs PC-GIVE helps users implement that methodology. Finally, we illustrate that methodology and the programs with three empirical examples: post­war narrow money demand in the United Kingdom, nominal income determination in the United Kingdom from Friedman and Schwartz (1982), and consumers' expenditure in Venezuela. These examples help clarify the methodology's central concepts, which include cointegration, error-correction, general-to-simple modeling, dynamic specification, model evaluation and testing, parameter constancy, and exogeneity.

Keywords: Cointegration, conditional models, dynamic specification, encompassing, error-correction models, exogeneity, general-to-simple modeling, Hendry, model evaluation, parameter constancy, sequential reduction, testing

IFDP 1991-405
EMS Interest Rate Differentials and Fiscal Policy: A Model with An Empirical Application to Italy

R. Sean Craig


This paper develops a model showing how EMS interest rate differentials are influenced by fiscal policy. For countries like Italy, with large budget deficits, the commitment to a stable EMS exchange rate can entail costly fiscal adjustment. If the government believes these costs to be excessive, it may choose to adopt a more inflationary monetary policy and realign periodically. It is this possibility that the policy of targeting the stable exchange rate will be abandoned in favor of one with periodic EMS realignments that contributes to the interest differential.

Estimation of the model indicates that fiscal variables explain part of the Italian-German interest differential, and co-integration tests reveal that this relationship holds over the long-run. These results imply that the Italian-German interest differential is likely to persist in the second stage of European Monetary Union (EMU) if Italy fails to reduce its budget deficit, providing support for the view that fiscal convergence is a necessary element of EMU.

IFDP 1991-404
The Statistical Discrepancy in the U. S. International Transactions Accounts: Sources and Suggested Remedies

Lois E. Stekler


The statistical discrepancy in the U.S. international transactions accounts has tended to be both large and positive over the last decade and a half. In 1990 the statistical discrepancy rose by $45 billion to a record $64 billion and brought the cumulative discrepancy since 1960 to almost $250 billion. The size and persistence of this discrepancy has called into question the accuracy of the data on the U.S. current and capital accounts.

This paper attempts to find clues to the sources of the statistical discrepancy by 1) reviewing past history, 2) examining the data sources for each major component of the U.S. international transactions accounts, and 3) using regression analysis. The paper concludes with a list of recommendations for data improvements.

While inadequacies are evident in the data for a wide variety of international transactions, both current and capital account, the search for sources of the big increase in the discrepancy between 1989 and 1990 probably can be narrowed largely to the capital account. It seems unlikely that net exports of goods, services, or investment income increased by an additional $45 billion in 1990. On the capital account side, increases in foreign holdings of U.S. currency probably played a significant role, but the bulk of the increase in the statistical discrepancy in 1990 remains a mystery.

IFDP 1991-403
In Search of the Liquidity Effect

Eric M. Leeper and David B. Gordon


A short-run negative relationship between monetary aggregates and interest rates--the "liquidity effect"--is central to popular, political, and academic discussions of monetary policy. This paper searches for this empirical relationship. We use monthly U.S. data since 1954 to ask if the characterization of the liquidity effect is sensitive to: (i) changes in sample period; (ii) conditioning the correlations on additional variables; (iii) assuming money growth is exogenous, and (iv) treating monetary changes as anticipated or unanticipated.

The correlations change significantly with each of the four variations. We conclude that a successful search for the liquidity effect requires careful identification of private and policy behavior.

IFDP 1991-402
Exchange Rate Rules in Support of Disinflation Programs in Developing Countries


This paper analyzes how exchange rate policies can best support the sustainability of disinflation programs. Freezing the nominal exchange rate frequently has been recommended as a means of suppressing inertial inflation and accelerating the disinflation process. However, because any resultant real exchange rate appreciation often must be corrected through a subsequent devaluation, targeting the nominal exchange rate may merely postpone inflation rather than eliminate it once-and-for-all. This paper argues that because excessive inflation during any particular period may jeopardize the stabilization program, exchange rate policies should be designed to smooth inflation across all phases of the disinflation experience. Toward that end, an initial devaluation followed by partial indexation of the exchange rate to domestic prices may be useful. The paper then considers how inconsistencies between an exchange rate rule and balance-of-payments viability may lead to "reserves crises". Depending upon the credibility of the government's commitment to stabilization, the devaluation prompted by a reserves crisis could trigger additional inflation sufficient to cause the failure of the disinflation program. These considerations underscore the importance of policies that prevent excessive appreciation of the real exchange rate during the disinflation process.

IFDP 1991-401
The Adequacy of U. S. Direct Investment Data

Lois E. Stekler and Guy V. G. Stevens


New questions dealing with the growth of foreign direct investment in the United States have prompted this reassessment of the adequacy of U.S. data on direct investment--data on both foreign direct investment in the United States and U.S. direct investment abroad. We have examined the adequacy of the existing data system for answering important questions in a number of areas--some of them new, but others of longstanding interest: the coverage and accuracy of the data, and the public's accessibility to them; the measurement of the U.S. investment position and servicing burden; the interaction between direct investment and the trade balance; the impact of direct investment operations on a country's economic welfare; and the explanation and forecasting of direct investment flows and activities. A series of conclusions and recommendations is collected in the last section of the paper.

IFDP 1991-400
Determining Foreign Exchange Risk and Bank Capital Requirements

Michael P. Leahy


This paper examines three alternative measures of exchange rate risk that could be used to develop a risk-based capital requirement for banks with foreign-exchange exposure. One measure, the standard deviation of the portfolio, is constructed under the assumption that exchange rate changes are distributed normally. While this measure is widely used in a variety of financial applications, it is subject to the criticism that it fails to capture well the behavior of exchange rate changes in the tails of their density function. A second possible measure is developed that combines the standard deviation and a method used by the Bank of England to assess foreign exchange exposure. This measure fails to represent the tail behavior and correlation patterns of exchange rates. The third measure uses nonparametric methods to determine capital requirements. The third measure does not suffer from the deficiencies of the other two: it allows for a rich pattern of exchange rate correlations and for non-normal characteristics in the tails of the density function.

Because of the generality of the nonparametric method, it is used to quantitatively assess the deficiencies of the other two measures. In a sample of simulated portfolios of marks, yen, and sterling, it is shown that the standard deviation measure is likely to yield capital requirements that are too small relative to the nonparametric measure. The second measure behaves on average like the standard deviation measure but the capital requirement is more erratic: it generates too much capital for some portfolios and too little capital for others in larger proportions than the standard deviation measure.

IFDP 1991-399
Precautionary Money Balances with Aggregate Uncertainty

Wilbur John Coleman II


This paper studies the dependence of velocity on stochastic monetary growth in a model where households demand money for both its transactions and precautionary services. The setup consists of a cash-in-advance economy in which individual uncertainty leads households to value money for its insurance against adverse endowment shocks. With stochastic monetary growth the distribution of money balances across households does not settle down to a time invariant distribution, so one aim of this paper is to model this distribution as an endogenous state variable.

IFDP 1991-398
Using External Sustainability to Forecast the Dollar


The sizable run-up in U.S. external debt over the 1980s has prompted many to ask whether continued current account deficits of the magnitude witnessed can be sustained. In several recent papers, different authors have concluded that a given path of the dollar is unsustainable. The conclusion drawn in these earlier papers does not allow for the substantial uncertainty that surrounds this issue, however. There is uncertainty about the estimated model of the U.S. current account that is used to generate the net demand for foreign assets for a given path of the dollar, about the preferences of foreign investors for U.S. assets, and about the mechanics of exchange rate determination that yields a particular path for the dollar.

In this paper, we develop a way to explicitly address these sources of uncertainty. We find that for any given assumption about foreign preferences or the willingness of foreigners to supply net capital, there is a range of sustainable exchange rates. Moreover, that range of sustainable exchange rates varies considerably with changes in the assumption about foreign preferences. Using our framework, we can recast the earlier studies in terms of the likelihood that particular levels of the dollar would be consistent with sustainability.

IFDP 1991-397
Terms of Trade, The Trade Balance, and Stability: The Role of Savings Behavior

Michael Gavin


In conventional models of the open economy, the impact on the trade balance of a change in the terms of trade depends upon whether the Marshall-Lerner condition on demand elasticities is satisfied. This paper shows that, in a model which incorporates rational savings behavior, the link between the Marshall-Lerner condition and stability may survive intact or may be severed, depending upon the precise formulation of savings behavior.

IFDP 1991-396
The Econometrics of Elasticities or the Elasticity of Econometrics: An Empirical Analysis of the Behavior of U.S. Imports

Jaime Marquez


Fifty years of econometric modeling of U.S. import demand assumes that trade elasticities are autonomous parameters, that both cross-price effects and simultaneity biases are absent, and that expenditures on domestic and foreign goods can be studied independently of each other. To relax these assumptions, the paper assembles a simultaneous model explaining bilateral U.S. import volumes and prices. Spending behaves according to the Rotterdam model which, by design, embodies all of the properties of utility maximization and does not treat trade elasticities as autonomous parameters. Pricing behaves according to the pricing-to-market hypothesis which recognizes exporters' incentives to discriminate across export markets. Parameter estimation relies on the Full Information Maximum Likelihood (FIML) approach and uses bilateral price data for 1965-1987. According to the evidence, treating trade elasticities as autonomous parameters and ignoring the statistical implications of simultaneity and optimization impart significant biases to the structural estimates and undermine our effectiveness in addressing questions relevant to economic interactions among nations.

IFDP 1991-395
Expected and Predicted Realignments: The FF/DM Exchange Rate During the EMS

Andrew K. Rose and Lars E. O. Svensson


An empirical model of time-varying realignment risk in an exchange rate target zone is developed. Expected rates of devaluation are estimated as the difference between interest rate differentials and estimated expected rates of depreciation within the exchange rate band, using French Franc/Deutsche Mark data during the European Monetary System. The behavior of estimated expected rates of depreciation accord well with the theoretical model of Bertola-Svensson (1990). We are also able to predict actual realignments with some success.

IFDP 1991-394
Market Segmentation and 1992: Toward a Theory of Trade in Financial Services

John D. Montgomery


The effect of the unification of the European banking market on the efficiency of the allocation of capital across Europe depends on the economic forces behind banking structure. Such forces are not well understood. The paper discusses a conceptual framework for analyzing financial services (especially bank loans and deposits), in which a key distinction is between services offered across borders and those services where location of the intermediary matters. Empirical evidence from Italy is examined that suggests that banking markets are geographically fragmented, possibly because of natural, as opposed to regulatory, barriers to capital mobility. In the light of this conceptual framework and the empirical results, the likely effect of European integration on real capital mobility and efficiency of banking markets is discussed.

Back to Top
Last Update: March 05, 2021