IFDP 1995-532
Aggregate Productivity and the Productivity of Aggregates

Susanto Basu and John G. Fernald


Explanations of procyclical productivity play a key role in a variety of business-cycle models. Most of these models, however, explain this procyclicaIity within a representative-firm paradigm. This procedure is misleading. We decompose aggregate productivity changes into several terms, each of which has an economic interpretation. However, many of these tenus measure composition effects such as reallocations of inputs across productive units. We apply this decomposition to U.S. data by aggregating from roughly the two-digit level to the private economy. We find that the compositional terms are significantly procyclicaI. Controlling for these terms virtually eliminates the evidence for increasing returns to scale, and implies that input growth is uncorrelated with technology change.

IFDP 1995-531
A Century of Trade Elasticities for Canada, Japan, and the United States

Jaime Marquez


Virtually all that is known about the behavior of imports rests on studies estimating income and price elasticities with postwar data. But anyone examining the evolution of trade over the last century cannot avoid asking whether the postwar period provides enough information to characterize that behavior. Indeed, the literature ignoring that past offers a large range of elasticity estimates suggesting that the role of income and prices in determining imports is not known with any precision. This paper offers the first analysis ofthat role using data since 1890 for Canada, Japan, and the United States. Estimating the elasticities of the most popular model in the literature with 1890-1992 data, I find that income and prices do not affect imports whereas the opposite conclusion arises with postwar data. The difference in results stems from changes in the composition of expenditures between domestic and foreign products. As an alternative, I consider several models consistent with both optimization and the time-series properties ofthe data. These models predict substantial secular changes in income and price elasticities and confirm the importance of optimization for characterizing the behavior of imports.

IFDP 1995-530
Modelling Inflation in Australia

Gordon de Brouwer and Neil R. Ericsson


This paper develops an empirically constant, data-coherent, error cor­rection model for inflation in Australia. The level of consumer prices is a mark-up over domestic and import costs, with adjustments for dynamics and relative aggregate demand. We address issues of cointegration, general to specific modelling, dynamic specification, model evaluation and test­ing' parameter constancy, and exogeneity. We also test this model against existing models of Australian prices: this model encompasses (but is not encompassed by) the existing models.

IFDP 1995-529
Hyperinflation and Stabilisation: Cagan Revisited

Marcus Miller and Lei Zhang


In this paper Cagan's analysis of hyperinflations is adapted to look at sit­uations where the deficits to be financed by money creation are large and variable, but fiscal stabilisation is expected--features found in some of the republics of the Former Soviet Union soon after independence. The impact of various stabilisation policies on real balances and inflation expectations is studied, assuming expectations are rational and deficits follow a geometric Brownian motion until the stabilisation takes place. For a modified form of Cagan's demand function we are able to obtain explicit solutions using Ito's Lemma; these are calibrated to give numerical estimates of the effects of expected fiscal stabilisation.

IFDP 1995-528
On the Inverse of the Covariance Matrix in Portfolio Analysis

Guy V.G. Stevens


The goal of this study is the derivation and application of a direct characterization of the inverse of the covariance matrix central to portfolio analysis. As argued below, such a specification of the inverse, in terms of a few primitive constructs, helps clarify the determinants of such key concepts as (1) the optimal holding of a given risky asset, (2) the slope of the risk-return efficiency locus faced by the individual investor, and (3) the pricing of risky assets in the Capital Asset Pricing Model. The two building blocks of the inverse turn out to be the non-diversifiable part of each asset's variance and the multiple regression and correlation coefficients obtained by regressing each asset's excess expected return on the set of excess expected returns of all other assets.

IFDP 1995-527
International Comparisons of the Levels of Unit Labor Costs in Manufacturing

Peter Hooper and Elizabeth Vrankovich


Comparing absolute levels of unit labor costs across countries entails translating labor compensation rates and productivity measured in national currencies into a common currency (e.g., U.S. dollars). Compensation rates are translated using market exchange rates and productivity is translated using relative output price levels. This paper focuses on the estimation of relative output price levels. Two approaches have been used, one based on relative unit values and the other on expenditure PPPs. We use primarily the latter approach and extend earlier work in this area by adjusting expenditure PPPs for biases introduced by indirect taxes, distribution margins, and trade prices. We compute for each of the G-7 industrial countries unit labor cost levels in U.S. dollars for total manufacturing and for various subsectors of manufacturing. Our estimates suggest that in 1995, U.S. unit labor costs were substantially below those in Japan and Germany, somewhat below those in France and the United Kingdom, and very similar to those in Canada and Italy. The cross-country differences we find are somewhat larger than--albeit qualitatively similar to--those obtained using the unit value approach.

IFDP 1995-526
Uncertainty, Instrument Choice, and the Uniqueness of Nash Equilibrium: Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Examples

Dale W. Henderson and Ning S. Zhu


This paper contains two examples of static, symmetric, positive-sum games with two strategic players and a play by nature: (1) a microeconomic game between duopolists with joint costs facing uncertain demands for differentiated goods and (2) a macroeconomic game between two countries' with inflation-bias preferences confronting uncertain demands for moneys. In both examples, each player can choose either of two variables as an instrument, and reaction functions are linear in the chosen instruments. With no uncertainty, there are four (Nash) equilibria, one for each possible instrument pair, because each player is indifferent between instruments given the instrument choice and instrument value of the other player. With uncertainty in the form of an additive disturbance, there are fewer equilibria because each player is not indifferent between instruments. These results are in accordance with the logic of Poole (1970) and Weitzman (1974) as explained by Klemperer and Meyer (1986) using examples of differentiated duopoly games with independent costs. In their main example with linear reaction functions, there is always a unique equilibrium. In contrast, in each of our examples with uncertainty, there is a unique equilibrium for some parameter values, but there are two equilibria for others. It is somewhat surprising that in both the Klmperer and Meyer example and our examples with unique equilibria, for some parameter values with the smallest amount of uncertainty the symmetric instrument pair chosen in the unique equilibrium is the one that yields the lower payoff with no uncertainty.

IFDP 1995-525
Targeting Inflation in the 1990s: Recent Challenges

Richard T. Freeman and Jonathan L. Willis


This paper provides an evaluation of the effectiveness of inflation targeting in four industrial countries --New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Sweden --focussing on the recent period of economic recovery. Evidence drawn from fmancial market data suggests that credibility of their inflation targeting regimes on balance has deteriorated during the past year and a half, as reflected mainly in sizeable increases in medium-and long-term interest rates. Even after accounting for spillovers from increases in real rates globally (which appear to have been important) and cyclical effects, recent increases in long-term interest rates appear to be incompatible with the possibility that market expectations for inflation have remained on track with official objectives. The deterioration of credibility during this period, however, is considerably less than is implied by changes in nominal interest rates alone and varies considerably across targeting countries. Other evidence suggests that, although inflation targets have not had any detectable effect in altering the time-series characteristics of nominal interest rates (and, by implication, of inflation­expectations formation), there is mixed evidence that inflation targets may have helped stabilize inflation expectations and possibly lowered the inflation-risk premium in some countries.

IFDP 1995-524
Economic Development and Intergenerational Economic Mobility

Murat F. Iyigun


This paper examines theoretically how economic growth affects intergenera­tional economic mobility. In the model developed in this paper, education is provided to the individuals free of cost, and admission to schools is competitive. The quantity of educational services available in any period depends on the total output of the economy in the same period. Individuals differ from each other in two respects. First, their innate mental abilities are determined by a stochastic process, and, second, their parents have different education levels. Individuals are admitted to schools based on their potential. An individual's potential is a function of her innate mental ability and her parent's education level.

In this model, economic growth increases intergenerational economic mobility if and only if the effect of having an educated parent on an individual's poten­tial is not large. Moreover, if the effect of having an educated parent is not large, then there exists a unique steady state equilibrium and all economies will progress toward increased mobility. The model also shows that economic growth reduces the income difference between educated and uneducated labor if and only if the effect of having an educated parent on an individual's potential is not large. And, although population growth reduces intergenerational economic mobility, techno­logical progress increases it.

IFDP 1995-523
Human Capital Accumulation, Fertility and Growth: A Re-Analysis

Murat F. Iyigun


This paper develops an economic growth model with endogenous fertility. In doing so, it provides a new explanation for the relation between fertility, economic development and human capital accumulation. The model emphasizes the role returns on human capital play in economic development through individuals' al­location of time between acquiring human capital and production and rearing of children. In the model, production and rearing children are time intensive and accumulating human capital requires time and has a cost. Individuals' stock of human capital depends positively on the time allocated to education and on their parents' stock of human capital. Moreover, increases in the parents' stock of hu­man capital raises the rate of return on human capital investment. As a result, individuals choose to allocate more time to education and less to producing and rearing children as their parents' stock of human capital increases. The model also demonstrates that individuals' choices on fertility and education may lead to multiple equilibria. Specifically, even if individuals' utility depends relatively more on their own consumption rather than on the number of children that they have, countries that have a low enough initial stock of human capital converge to a development trap with large families, little human capital and low output per capita.

IFDP 1995-522
Excess Returns and Risk at the Long End of the Treasury Market: An Egarch-M Approach

Allan D. Brunner and David P. Simon


This paper models weekly excess returns of 10-year Treasury notes and long-term Treasury bonds from 1968 through 1993 using an exponential generalized autoregressive conditional hetroskedasticity in mean (EGARCH-M) approach. The results indicate the presence of conditional hetroskedasticity and a strong tendency for the ex-ante volatility of excess returns to increase more following negative excess return innovations compared to positive innovations of equal magnitude. In addition, increases in ex-ante volatility are associated in some subperiods with rising excess returns on longer-term instruments, although the slope of the yield curve and lagged excess returns generally remain significant predictors of excess returns.

IFDP 1995-521
The Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Mexico

Martina Copelman and Alejandro M. Werner


An important question in macroeconomics has been how the transmission mechanism of monetary policy works. In particular, the question of whether there exists a credit channel for the transmission of monetary policy has been one of the central themes in the discussion of the effectiveness of monetary policy. If this channel exists, then shocks to credit markets, particularly to bank loans, can have real effects. This paper presents new evidence on the credit hypothesis for the case of Mexico after 1984. We present a simple variant of the open economy IS-LM model which includes a credit channel. The model has the following empirical implications which are absent from models which do not include a credit channel. We show that changes in the expectations of devaluation, the desired cash/deposit ratio, and measures of financial deregulation, will have real effects because they change the quantity of credit available in the economy. We explore these implications of the model through standard VAR techniques and find that the evidence strongly supports the credit view. We find that the impact on economic activity of credit and nominal depreciation rate shocks is very significant.

IFDP 1995-520
When is Monetary Policy Effective?

John Ammer and Allan D. Brunner


In this paper, we investigate a number of issues that have not been completely addressed in previous studies regarding the possible asymmetric effects of monetary policy. Overall, we interpret our results as weak evidence in favor of sticky-wage and sticky-price theories and strong evidence against credit-rationing theories. First, we find that models that allow for asymmetries with respect to contractionary/expansionary monetary policy fit the data better than models that allow for asymmetries associated with the state of the business cycle. Second, we find that contractionary monetary policy shocks have a much larger effect on output than expansionary policy shocks, although this result is somewhat sensitive to the econometric specification. Finally, we find that monetary policy shocks that occur during economic expansions appear to have about the same effect as shocks that occur during recessions; this result is robust to various econometric specifications.

IFDP 1995-519
Central Bank Independence, Inflation and Growth in Transition Economies

Prakash Loungani and Nathan Sheets


In this paper, we document two empirical relationships that have emerged as the former communist countries have taken steps to transform their economies from command systems to market-based systems. First, increased central bank independence has tended to improve inflation performance. Second, high inflation has adversely affected real activity. More specifically, in the first section of this paper, we develop indices of central bank independence (CBI) for twelve transition economies and examine the relationship between CBI and inflation performance across these countries. Statistical evidence suggests that the transition economies with more independent central banks have achieved lower inflation than their counterparts. The second section of this paper studies the relationship between inflation and growth in twenty-six transition economies. We present econometric evidence indicating that reducing inflation helps stabilize economic activity, following the sharp output declines that occur during the initial stages of transition. The paper conc1udes that establishing an independent central bank is a concrete institutional reform that may reduce inflation and thus facilitate economic growth.

IFDP 1995-518
Alternative Approaches to Real Exchange Rates and Real Interest Rates: Three Up and Three Down

Hali J. Edison and William R. Melick


This paper examines the relationship between real exchange rates and real interest rates using three different approaches across four currencies and two horizons with 20 years of data. Each approach gives some encouragement that this relationship might hold, but each approach also encounters problems establishing the form or usefulness of the relationship. On balance, this paper contributes to the literature by finding more encouraging results than in earlier studies, but it still remains to be demonstrated that the real exchange rate-real interest rate relationship is the linchpin to explaining exchange rate movements.

IFDP 1995-517
Product Market Competition and the Impact of Price Uncertainty on Investment: Some Evidence From U.S. Manufacturing Industries

Vivek Ghosal and Prakash Loungani


This paper examines the relationship between real exchange rates and real interest rates using three different approaches across four currencies and two horizons with 20 years of data. Each approach gives some encouragement that this relationship might hold, but each approach also encounters problems establishing the form or usefulness of the relationship. On balance, this paper contributes to the literature by finding more encouraging results than in earlier studies, but it still remains to be demonstrated that the real exchange rate-real interest rate relationship is the linchpin to explaining exchange rate movements.

IFDP 1995-516
Block Distributed Methods for Solving Multi-Country Econometric Models

Jon Faust and Ralph Tryon


This paper examines variations on a baseline Fair-Taylor algorithm used to solve multi-country, rational expectations models. One notable feature of these variations is the ability to exploit small-scale distributed processing using a network of workstations or PCs. Using four processors to solve MX-4 (152 endogenous variables), the largest speedup factor relative to Fair-Taylor is 59; for RE-7 (978 endogenous variables) the maximum speedup factor is 12.

IFDP 1995-515
Supply-Side Sources of Inflation: Evidence From OECD Countries

Prakash Loungani and Phillip Swagel


We evaluate the merits of the "supply-side" view under which inflation results from sectoral shocks, and compare it with the "classical" view in which inflation results from aggregate factors such as variations in money growth. Using a panel VAR methodology applied to data for 13 GECD countries, we find support for a multi-shock view of inflation: supply-side shocks are statistically significant determinants of inflation, even after taking into account aggregate demand factors. While oil prices are the dominant supply-side influence, other measures such as the skewness of relative price changes are important as well. At short horizons, an innovation to skewness leads to an increase in inflation of 0.5 percentage points. As suggested by the classical view, money growth plays an increasingly important role as the time horizon lengthens.

IFDP 1995-514
Capital Flight from the Countries in Transition: Some Theory and Empirical Evidence

Nathan Sheets


The first portion of this paper develops a simple framework that decomposes home demand for a domestic risky asset into a portfolio diversification incentive, a relative risk incentive, and a relative return incentive. It shows that capital flight may be caused by factors that increase the relative riskiness of the home asset or by structural distortions (such as financial sector inefficiency), which reduce the relative return of the domestic asset. The second portion of the paper provides empirical estimates of capital flight from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Russia for the 1988-93 period. The analysis concludes that the implementation of "shock therapy" reform programs has been accompanied by substantial capital flight. This has apparently occurred because such reform programs have initially generated increased economic and political uncertainty: prices have jumped toward world levels, property rights have been redistributed, and new institutions have been established. As these reform programs have progressed, however, the quantity of capital flight has declined. Hungary's experience is significantly different from that of the other three countries. Hungary pursued gradual reform and never experienced significant capital flight.

IFDP 1995-513
Bank Lending and Economic Activity in Japan: Did "Financial Factors" Contribute to the Recent Downturn?

Allan D. Brunner and Steven B. Kamin


In this paper, we examine the role of "financial factors" in Japan and attempt to gauge their recent impact on the Japanese economy. First, we find that proxies for financial factors enter significantly in behavioral equations for loan standards, loan demand and aggregate demand, although these proxies explain only a small amount of the variation in those variables. Second, there is some, albeit inconclusive, evidence that balance-sheet problems of households and firms contributed to Japan's recent recession. We find that exogenous declines in equity prices contributed significantly to the decline in loans and economic activity, although part of this influence appears to be operating through traditional wealth effects. In addition, loan demand shocks, which could reflect balance-sheet problems not captured by our model, account for much of the remainder of the shortfall in loans and some of the shortfall in economic activity. Finally, we also find some evidence that an exogenous contraction in loan supply, a "credit crunch," may have lowered output by a small degree, but only in the early phases of the recession.

IFDP 1995-512
Evidence of Nominal Wage Rigidity From a Panel of U.S. Manufacturing Industries

Vivek Ghosal and Prakash Loungani


Using annual data for 450 manufacturing industries over the period 1958 to 1989, we establish the following stylized facts on the response of industry nominal wage growth to aggregate and industry influences:

1. We find support for the canonical wage contracts model outlined in Blanchard and Fischer (1989). The elasticity of response of nominal wage growth to expected inflation is 0.7. The dasticity of nominal wage growth with respect to changes in unexpected inflation is 0.1.

2. These elasticity estimates are robust to splitting the sample along various dimensions: level of unionization, durability of the product, and industry contract length. The elasticity of nominal wage growth to expected inflation ranges from 0.6 to 0.8; the elasticity with respect to unexpected inflation is between 0.1 and 0.2.

3. We find support for the multi-sector wage indexation models of Duca and VanHoose (199] ) and others. The profit-sharing elasticity (the response of industry wage growth to industry profit growth) is positive, as hypothesized in these models. The instrumental variable estimates of the profit-sharing elasticity range from 0.1 to 0.3.

IFDP 1995-511
Do Taxes Matter for Long-Run Growth?: Harberger's Superneutrality Conjecture

Enrique G. Mendoza, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferreti, and Patrick Asea


Harberger's supemeutrality conjecture contends that, although in theory the mix of direct and indirect taxes affects investment and growth, in practice growth effects of taxation are negligible. This paper provides evidence in support of this view by testing the predictions of endogenous growth models driven by human capital accumulation. Theoretical analysis highlights implications of different taxes for growth and investment in these models. The empirical work is based on cross-country regressions and numerical simulations, using a new methodology for estimating aggregate effective tax rates. Results show significant investment effects from income and consumption taxes that are consistent with small growth effects. The results are robust to the introduction of other growth determinants.

IFDP 1995-510
Options, Sunspots, and the Creation of Uncertainty

David Bowman and Jon Faust


We present a model in which the addition of an option market leads to sunspot equilibria in an economy which has no sunspot equilibrium before the market is introduced. This phenomenon occurs because the payoff of an option contract is contingent upon market prices, and while prices are taken as exogenous by individuals within the economy they are endogenous to the economy as a whole. Our results provide robust counterexamples to the two most prevalent views of options markets in finance. Following Ross [1976], it is often assumed that the addition of option contracts to an incomplete markets economy can help complete markets. We demonstrate that the addition of option markets can instead increase the number of events which agents need to insure against. Following Black-Scholes [1973], it is often assumed that the economy is such that options are redundant. We demonstrate equilibria in which an added option market is not redundant even when markets were complete before its introduction.

IFDP 1995-509
Hysteresis in a Simple Model of Currency Substitution

Martin Uribe


A simple model of currency substitution is developed in which the private cost of performing transactions in the foreign currency depends upon the aggregate degree of dollarization. This feature generates multiple steady states and hysteresis in an otherwise standard cash-in-advance model of a small open economy. In particular, a temporary increase in the rate of inflation can drive the economy to a dollarized equilibrium in which the velocity of circulation of domestic currency is permanently higher.

IFDP 1995-508
Import Prices and the Competing Goods Effect

Phillip Swagel


I use disaggregated U.S. data from 1978 to 1988 to examine the impact of changes in the prices of imported manufactured goods on corresponding domestic prices--the "competing goods effect." I use an econometric specification which allows for product differentiation between domestic and imported goods, and provides measures of exchange rate pass-through and economies of scale.

I find that the impact of import prices on domestic prices varies substantially by industry, with statistically significant effects in nine of nineteen two-digit SIC manufacturing categoric:s. However, even where the effects are statistically significant, they are typically small in economic terms. On the whole, I do not find support for the anecdotal evidence that firms in US manufacturing industries take advantage of the reduced competitive discipline of higher ilnport prices. Because import prices are not a substantial determinant of domestic prices in the U.S., this implies that the consequent danger of imported inflation is small.

IFDP 1995-507
Supply-Side Economics in a Global Economy

Enrique G. Mendoza and Linda L. Tesar


Recent quantitative studies predict large welfare gains from reducing tax distortions in a closed economy, despite costly transitional dynamics to more efficient tax systems. This paper examines transitional dynamics and gains of tax reforms for countries in a global economy, and provides numerical solutions for international tax competition games. Tax reforms in a global economy cause cross-country externalities through capital flows in response to consumption-smoothing and debt-servicing effects, with taxes on world payments affecting the distribution of welfare gains. Within the class of time-invariant tax rates, the gains of replacing income taxes with consumption taxes are large and, in the absence of taxes on foreign assets, the monopoly distortion separating cooperative and noncooperative equilibria is negligible. The analysis starts from a benchmark reflecting current G-7 fiscal policies, and considers the effects of tax reforms on real exchange rates and interest differentials. Tax-distorted equilibrium dynamics are computed using a modified version of the King-Plosser-Rebelo algorithm augmented with shooting routines.

IFDP 1995-506
The Lucas Critique in Practice: Theory Without Measurement

Neil R. Ericsson and John S. Irons


This paper investigates the empirical relevance of the Lucas critique. A database is constructed of all articles in the Social Science Citation Index that cite Lucas (1976). Those articles are characterized by the nature of the article, the context in which Lucas (1976) is cited, and the evidence presented on the Lucas critique. Virtually no evidence exists that empirically substantiates the Lucas critique. Empirical refutation of the Lucas critique by using tests of super exogeneity is illustrated with U.K. money demand. Numerous other studies similarly refute the Lucas critique for various empirical macro-economic relations.

IFDP 1995-505
Real Exchange Rate Targeting and Macroeconomic Instability

Martin Uribe


This paper introduces a real exchange rate rule of the type analyzed by Dornbusch (1982) in an optimizing, two-sector, monetary model of a small open economy. By this rule the government increases the devaluation rate when the real exchange rate is below its long-run level and reduces it when the real exchange rate is above its long-run level. I show that the mere existence of such a rule can give room for extrinsic uncertainty to have real effects, that is, it can generate economic fluctuations due to self-fulfilling expectations. I also analyze the stabilizing role of these PPP rules when fluctuations are driven by shocks to fundamentals. I show that the volatility of real variables decreases with tighter rules when shocks to the supply of home goods or to the real rate of return are the main source of uncertainty, and increases when fluctuations are mainly due to shocks to the supply of traded goods. In all cases, PPP rules increase the volatility of nominal variables. Finally, PPP rules help stabilize both real and nominal variables when fluctuations originate from random but persistent deviations from the PPP rule itself.

IFDP 1995-504
Inferences From Parametric and Non-Parametric Covariance Matrix Estimation Procedures

Wouter J. Den Haan and Andrew T. Levin


We propose a parametric spectral estimation procedure for contructing heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation consistent (HAC) covariance matrices. We establish the consistency of this procedure under very general conditions similar to those considered in previous research. We also perform Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate the performance of this procedure in drawing reliable inferences from linear regression estimates. These simulations indicate that the parametric estimator matches, and in some cases greatly exceeds, the performance of the prewhitened kernel estimator proposed by Andrews and Monahan (1992). These simulations also illustrate the inherent limitations of non-parametric HAC covariance matrix estimation procedures, and highlight the advantages of explicitly modeling the temporal properties of the error terms.

IFDP 1995-503
Exchange-Rate Based Inflation Stabilization: The Initial Real Effects of Credible Plans

Martin Uribe


This paper presents a dynamic general equilibrium model of a small, open, monetary economy in order to analyze the short-run effects of credible stabilization plans that fix the nominal exchange rate in a regime of free convertibility. In this model inflation acts as a tax on domestic market transactions. In particular, it generates a wedge between the rate of return on investment in domestic capital and the rate of return on investment in foreign assets. The model stresses the importance of adjustment costs (including gestation lags) in explaining the precise character of the initial dynamics. The main stylized facts of this type of programs namely an initial phase characterized by several months of real exchange rate appreciation, trade balance deterioration and expansion in aggregate demand and production, followed by a deflationary slowdown in real activity, are replicated without resorting to credibility problems, sticky prices, adaptive expectations, or gradual disinflation schemes. Finally, the model is calibrated using long-run relations from the Argentinean economy, and its quantitative predictions are compared to the initial effects of that country's Convertibility Plan of April 1991.

IFDP 1995-502
Strategic Returns to International Diversification: An Application to the Equity Markets of Europe, Japan, and North America

John Ammer and Jianping Mei


We undertake a decomposition of the risk factor loadings of fifteen national stock market returns from 1972 to 1990, using a variant of the Campbell-Shiller (1988) linearization. We find considerable variation among countries in the relative importance of a cash flow component and a discount rate component in determining the beta with the world equity index return and with other risk factors. Also, the international heterogeneity we find in factor loadings suggests that a global portfolio allows substantial hedging opportunities, presumably deriving from differences in underlying economic structure.

IFDP 1995-501
Real Exchange Rate Movements in High Inflation Countries

John H. Rogers and Ping Wang


We empirically assess the sources of fluctuations in the real exchange rates of four high inflation countries, for which monetary shocks are generally believed to be predominant. In a benchmark model we identify fiscal, monetary, and output shocks based on a general-equilibrium optimizing model. We then estimate two alternative extensions. In the first, we decompose the output shock into supply and demand disturbances; in the second, the monetary shock is further decomposed into money supply and nominal exchange rate disturbances. Monetary shocks are found to be generally significant. Real shocks, especially those associated with government policy restrictions on the flow of currency, income from foreign investments, capital, and/or goods, are uniformly more influential however. The paper suggests that analyses of real exchange rates in high inflation economies using models emphasizing monetary shocks and sticky prices could be improved by not negtecting real shocks.

IFDP 1995-500
Political Competition, Causal Relationships Between Taxes and Spending, and Their Influence on Government Size: Evidence From State-Level Data

Diane Lim Rogers and John H. Rogers


Theories of fiscal illusion and political competition have different implications for (i) the causal relationships between taxes and spending, and (ii) government size. These are tested using data from u.s. states from 1950 to 1990. We find evidence that greater political competition generally encourages bigger government, the Democratic Party is associated with bigger government, and state governments which "tax first, spend later" are more likely to be large. Other factors related to the fiscal illusion and political competition theories also appear to be important determinants of government size.

IFDP 1995-499
International Stock Price Spillovers and Market Liberalization: Evidence From Korea, Japan, and the United States

Sang W. Kim and John H. Rogers


In August 1991 the Korean government announced that the stock exchange would undergo a significant liberalization in January 1992, by allowing foreigners to directly own shares in Korean stocks. This paper examines the repercussions on the relationship between the stock markets of Korea, Japan, and the United States. We estimate GARCH models to quantify the importance of "volatility spillovers" from Japan and the U.S. on the mean and variance of Korean returns. Such spillovers have increased since the announced opening, with most of the effect on the opening prices of the Korean stock market.

IFDP 1995-498
How Wide is the Border?

Charles Engel and John H. Rogers


Failures of the law of one price explain much of the variation in real C.P.I. exchange rates. We use C.P.I. data for U.S. cities and Canadian cities for 14 categories of consumer prices to examine the nature of the deviations from the law of one price. The distance between cities explains a significant amount of the variation in the prices of similar goods in different cities. But, the variation of the price is much higher for two cities located in different countries than for two equidistant cities in the same country. By our most conservative measure, crossing the border adds as much to the volatility of prices as adding 2500 miles between cities.

IFDP 1995-497
Constrained Suboptimality in Economies With Limited Communication


Economies with limited communication contain an externality which typically makes them Pareto inefficient, even taking into account the communication con­straints agents face. In a two period model it is shown that an open and dense set of economies with limited communication are constrained Pareto suboptimal. Thus equilibria of economies with voluntary unemployment, search, or other types of limits on communication are unlikely to be Pareto optimal, even in the absence of moral hazard, adverse selection, or search externalities.

IFDP 1995-496
Saving-Investment Associations and Capital Mobility on the Evidence from Japanese Regional Data

Robert Dekle


We will examine the size of the Feldstein and Horioka (1980) "saving-retention coefficient" in a setting of near perfect capital mobility, Japanese regions. We first find that on total regional saving and investment rate data, inclusive of regional government saving and investment, the estimate of the coefficient is negative. This negative relationship in the total rates across Japanese regions appears to arise from the strong negative association in the government saving and investment rates.

Second, on private regional investment and saving rate data, the "saving-retention coefficient" is insignificantly different from zero. This is evidence consistent with the Feldstein and Horioka hypothesis that in a financially integrated economy, the coefficient will be close to zero.

Finally, we find that countries and regions differ in their saving and investment rate responses to demographics. This different response to demographics may be partly behind the divergence in the "saving-retention coefficient" reported in this paper and those found in cross-country regressions.

IFDP 1995-495
Convertibility Risk, Default Risk, and the Mexdollar Anomaly


In Rogers (l992a,b) I put forth the convertibility risk hypothesis in order to explain the anomalous n~gative relationship between the expected rate of Mexican peso depreciation and the ratio of Mexdollars to peso denominated demand deposits. Recently, Gruben and Welch (1994) examine the effect of deteriorating bank loan quality on the variables I consider. Using a cointegration framework, the authors find (i) a negative relationship between non-performing loans and the dollarization ratio and (ii) the conventional positive relationship between expected peso depreciation and dollarization. The first result suggests an additional factor influencing money demand in Mexico. The second result is evidence against my convertibility risk hypothesis. Further analysis indicates that there is some evidence in favor of Gruben and Welch's first result, but that the preponderance of evidence runs counter to their second result.

IFDP 1995-494
Government Budget Deficits and Trade Deficits: Are Present Value Constraints Satisfied in Long-Term Data?


We undertake tests of whether long term data from the U.S. and U.K. are consistent with the intertemporal government budget constraint and the intertemporal external borrowing constraint being satisfied in expected value terms, both individually and simultaneously. An historical perspective is appropriate for focusing on whether the present value constraints (PVCs) continue to hold in the face of unusual events, such as the outbreak of wars, that cause a structural break in the short-run dynamic behavior of the variables. This provides a very strong test of whether intertemporal budget constraints are satisfied. Our main results are: (i) the PVCs hold over the whole sample period; and (ii) the data are also consistent with the hypothesis that the PVCs continue to hold following events which cause a structural break in the short-run dynamics.

IFDP 1995-493
Real Shocks and Real Exchange Rates in Really Long-Term Data


There is little consensus concerning the sources of fluctuations in real exchange rates. In this paper I assess the nature of the shocks that drive the real U.S. dollar-U.K. pound exchange rate, analyzing 130 years of data. I first show that wars, which are examples of a (transitory) real shock, are significant. I next use an alternative empirical approach, in which I identify various types of real and nominal shocks. I find that output shocks and monetary shocks account for approximately the same percentage of the variance of the real exchange rate over short horizons. The monetary shock is decomposed into monetary base and money multiplier shocks and the output shock is decomposed into supply and demand shocks. Essentially all of the effect of the combined output shock is due to the demand shock. The effect of the monetary shock is accounted for by both money multiplier shocks and monetary base shocks in roughly equal amounts. Thus, the paper suggests that the contributions of real and monetary shocks are roughly equal overall, while shedding light on the nature of those shocks.

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Last Update: February 19, 2021