Abstract: This paper proposes a model to jointly explain some of the heterogeneous individual consumption behavior found in the recent empirical literature, such as the existence of a significant size of wealthy hand-to-mouth consumers, and negative marginal propensities to consume associated with housing upgrades. Agents live for a finite horizon, are heterogeneous in initial wealth, and can save in a liquid asset, and in an illiquid housing asset, that also provides housing services. When housing choices are very limited, the model replicates these empirical findings. Moreover, in the presence of unanticipated income shocks and endogenous credit constraints, this richness in marginal propensities to consume has significant implications for aggregate consumption, and helps explain the consumption behavior documented during the Great Recession as well as the consumption responses to recent tax rebates.
Keywords: The Great Recession, housing choices, consumption heterogeneity, wealthy hand-to-mouth consumers
Abstract: In this paper we study the effect of monetary policy shocks on housing rents. Our main finding is that, in contrast to house prices, housing rents increase in response to contractionary monetary policy shocks. We also find that, after a contractionary monetary policy shock, rental vacancies and the homeownership rate decline. This combination of results suggests that monetary policy may affect housing tenure decisions (own versus rent). In addition, we show that, with the exception of the shelter component, all other main components of the consumer price index (CPI) either decline in response to a contractionary monetary policy shock or are not responsive. These findings motivated us to study the statistical properties of alternative measures of inflation that exclude the shelter component. We find that measures of inflation that exclude shelter have most of the statistical properties of the widely used measures of inflation, such as the CPI and the price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE), but have higher standard deviations and react more to monetary policy shocks. Finally, we show that the response of housing rents accounts for a large proportion of the "price puzzle" found in the literature.
Keywords: Monetary policy; Housing rents; Inflation dynamics; "Price puzzle"; Housing tenure.
Abstract: In this paper, we document and explain the distinct behaviors of U.S. downside and upside variance risk premiums (DVP and UVP, respectively) and their international stock return predictability patterns. DVP, the compensation for bearing downside variance risk, is positive, highly correlated with the total variance premium, and countercyclical, whereas UVP is, on average, borderline positive and procyclical with large negative spikes around episodes of market turmoil. We then provide robust evidence that decomposing VP into its downside and upside components significantly improves domestic and international stock return predictability. DVP is a robust predictor at four to six months and exhibits a hump-shaped pattern, whereas UVP performs the best at very short horizons. These stylized facts highlight the importance of acknowledging asymmetry in equity risk premiums. Hence, in the second part of the paper, we rationalize the economic sources of DVP and UVP in an international dynamic asset pricing model featuring asymmetric and time-varying risk aversion and economic uncertainty in a partially integrated world economy. We show that DVP is mostly driven by the upside movements of risk aversion, whereas UVP loads significantly and negatively on downside economic uncertainty. Moreover, we find that DVP (UVP) transmits to international markets mostly through financial integration (real economic integration).
Keywords: Variance risk premium, downside variance risk premium, international stock markets, asymmetric state variables, stock return predictability
Abstract: This paper documents that an appreciation of the U.S. dollar is associated with a reduction in the supply of commercial and industrial loans by U.S. banks. An increase in the broad dollar index by 2.5 points (one standard deviation) reduces U.S. banks' corporate loan originations by 10 percent. This decline is driven by a reduction in the demand for loans on the secondary market where prices fall and liquidity worsens when the dollar appreciates, with stronger effects for riskier loans. Today, the main buyers of U.S. corporate loans--and, hence, suppliers of funding for these loans--are institutional investors, in particular mutual funds, which experience outflows when the dollar appreciates. A shift of traditional financial intermediation to these relatively unregulated entities, which are more sensitive to global developments, has led to the emergence of this new channel through which the dollar affects the U.S. economy, which we term the secondary market channel.
Keywords: Leveraged loan market, commercial and industrial loans, U.S. dollar exchange rate, credit standards, institutional investors
Abstract: This study attempts to evaluate the impact of an increase in banks' funding stress and its transmission to the real economy, taking into account different funding sources banks can rely on. Using aggregate data from eight Euro area financial systems, we find that following a liquidity funding shock, both credit and GDP decline in different amounts and lengths. GDP reverts faster than credit. Furthermore, periphery countries experience a more pronounced fall in deposits and credit growth and the negative effects from the shock last longer than in core countries. Banks' funding seems to play a relevant role as periphery countries rely more on wholesale funding during normal times.
Keywords: Liquidity funding shocks, ECB policy, Euro Area
The Global Factor in Neutral Policy Rates: Some Implications for Exchange Rates, Monetary Policy, and Policy Coordination (PDF)
Abstract: This paper highlights some of the theoretical and practical implications for monetary policy and exchange rates that derive specifically from the presence of a global general equilibrium factor embedded in neutral real policy rates in open economies. Using a standard two country DSGE model, we derive a structural decomposition in which the nominal exchange rate is a function of the expected present value of future neutral real interest rate differentials plus a business cycle factor and a PPP factor. Country specific "r*" shocks in general require optimal monetary policy to pass these through to the policy rate, but such shocks will also have exchange rate implications, with an expected decline in the path of the real neutral policy rate reflected in a depreciation of the nominal exchange rate. We document a novel empirical regularity between the equilibrium error in the VECM representation of the empirical Holston Laubach Williams (2017) four country r* model and the value of the nominal trade weighted dollar. In fact, the correlation between the dollar and the 12 quarter lag of the HLW equilibrium error is estimated to be 0.7. Global shocks to r* under optimal policy require no exchange rate adjustment because passing though r* shocks to policy rates 'does all the work' of maintaining global equilibrium. We also study a richer model with international spill overs so that in theory there can be gains to international policy cooperation. In this richer model we obtain a similar decomposition for the nominal exchange rate, but with the added feature that r* in each country is a function global productivity and business cycle factors even if these factors are themselves independent across countries. We argue that in practice, there could well be significant costs to central bank communication and credibility under a regime of formal policy cooperation, but that gains to policy coordination could be substantial given that r*'s are unobserved but are correlated across countries.
Keywords: Exchange rate, monetary policy, policy coordination
Abstract: We theoretically explore long-run stagnation at the zero lower bound in a representative agent framework. We analytically compare expectations-driven stagnation to a secular stagnation episode and find contrasting policy implications for changes in government spending, supply shocks and neo-Fisherian policies. On the other hand, a minimum wage policy is expansionary and robust to the source of stagnation. Using Bayesian methods, we estimate a DSGE model that can accommodate two competing hypotheses of long-run stagnation in Japan. We document that equilibrium selection under indeterminacy matters in accounting for model fit.
Keywords: Expectations-driven trap, secular stagnation, inflation expectations, zero lower bound