IFDP 2021-1314
From Micro to Macro: A Note on the Analysis of Aggregate Productivity Dynamics Using Firm-Level Data

Daniel A. Dias and Carlos Robalo Marques


In the empirical literature, the analysis of aggregate productivity dynamics using firm-level productivity has mostly been based on changes in the mean of log-productivity. This paper shows that there can be substantial quantitative and qualitative differences in the results relative to when the analysis is based on changes in the mean of productivity, and discusses the circumstances under which such differences are likely to happen. We use firm-level data for Portugal for the period 2006-2015 to illustrate the point. When the mean of productivity is used, we estimate that TFP and labor productivity for the whole economy increased by 17.7 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, over this period. But, when the mean of log-productivity is used, we estimate that these two productivity measures declined by 4.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Similarly disparate results are obtained for productivity decompositions regarding the contributions for productivity growth of surviving, entering and exiting firms.

Keywords: Jensen's inequality, productivity decomposition, geometric mean.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/IFDP.2021.1314

IFDP 2021-1313
Back to the Present: Learning about the Euro Area through a Now-casting Model


We build a model for simultaneously now-casting economic conditions in the euro area and its three largest member countries|Germany, France, and Italy. The model formalizes how market participants and policymakers monitor the euro area by incorporating all market moving indicators in real time. We find that area wide and country-specific data provide informative signals to now-cast the economic conditions in the euro area and member countries. The model provides accurate predictions of economic conditions in real time over a period that covers the past three recessions.

This paper was reposted April 2, 2021, with the following changes: In Figure 1, bars decomposing the nowcasted euro-area GDP growth across its main countries have been added, and an associated sentence on page 2 has been revised to reflect this.

Keywords: Now-casting, euro area, dynamic factor models

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/IFDP.2021.1313

IFDP 2021-1312
The Dollar and Corporate Borrowing Costs


We show that U.S. dollar movements affect syndicated loan terms for U.S. borrowers, even for those without trade exposure. We identify the effect of dollar movements using spread and loan amount adjustments during the syndication process. Using this high-frequency, within loan variation, we find that a one standard deviation increase in the dollar index increases spreads by up to 15 basis points and reduces loan amounts and underpricing by up to 2 percent and 7 basis points, respectively. These effects are concentrated in dollar appreciations. Our results suggest that global factors reflected in the dollar affect U.S. borrowing costs.

Keywords: loan pricing, syndicated loans, dollar, institutional investors, risk taking.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/IFDP.2021.1312

IFDP 2021-1311
Dynamic Econometrics in Action: A Biography of David F. Hendry


David Hendry has made–and continues to make–pivotal contributions to the econometrics of empirical economic modeling, economic forecasting, econometrics software, substantive empirical economic model design, and economic policy. This paper reviews his contributions by topic, emphasizing the overlaps between different strands in his research and the importance of real-world problems in motivating that research.

Note: This paper was republished shortly after publication to update the date on the title page.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/IFDP.2021.1311

IFDP 2021-1310
Globalization, Trade Imbalances and Labor Market Adjustment

Rafael Dix-Carneiro, Joao Paulo Pessoa, Ricardo Reyes-Heroles, Sharon Traiberman


We study the role of global trade imbalances in shaping the adjustment dynamics in response to trade shocks. We build and estimate a general equilibrium, multi-country, multi-sector model of trade with two key ingredients: (a) Consumption-saving decisions in each country commanded by representative households, leading to endogenous trade imbalances; (b) labor market frictions across and within sectors, leading to unemployment dynamics and sluggish transitions to shocks. We use the estimated model to study the behavior of labor markets in response to globalization shocks, including shocks to technology, trade costs, and inter-temporal preferences (savings gluts). We find that modeling trade imbalances changes both qualitatively and quantitatively the short- and long-run implications of globalization shocks for labor reallocation and unemployment dynamics. In a series of empirical applications, we study the labor market effects of shocks accrued to the global economy, their implications for the gains from trade, and we revisit the "China Shock" through the lens of our model. We show that the US enjoys a 2.2 percent gain in response to globalization shocks. These gains would have been 73 percent larger in the absence of the global savings glut, but they would have been 40 percent smaller in a balanced-trade world.

Keywords: Globalization, labor markets, trade imbalances

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/IFDP.2021.1310

IFDP 2021-1309
Bought, Sold and Bought Again: The Impact of Complex Value Chains on Export Elasticities

François de Soyres, Erik Frohm, Vanessa Gunnella and Elena Pavlova


Global value chain (GVC) participation affects the relationship between trade volumes and exchange rate movements. Guided by a simple theory, we show that exports react to the exchange rate between the country producing value added contained in exports and the country of final absorption for this value added. Three predictions follow: (i) a higher share of foreign value added in exports reduce the responsiveness of export volumes to exchange rate changes, (ii) a greater share of exports that returns as imports also reduce the responsiveness of export volumes and (iii) a higher share of inputs that are further reexported increase the responsiveness of exports to the trading partner's nominal effective exchange rate. Using a large origin-sector-destination level panel data set covering the period 1995-2009 and around 85% of world GDP, we find strong empirical support for these predictions. We further show that some sectors in some countries can experience a decline in gross exports when their currency depreciates.

Keywords: export elasticities, global value chains, currency unions, exchange rate passthrough

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/IFDP.2021.1309

IFDP 2021-1308
The Financial (In)Stability Real Interest Rate, R**

Ozge Akinci, Gianluca Benigno, Marco Del Negro, and Albert Queralto


We introduce the concept of financial stability real interest rate using a macroeconomic banking model with an occasionally binding financing constraint as in Gertler and Kiyotaki (2010). The financial stability interest rate, r**, is the threshold interest rate that triggers the constraint being binding.

Increasing imbalances in the financial sector measured by an increase in leverage are accom- panied by a lower threshold that could trigger financial instability events. We also construct a theoretical implied financial condition index and show how it is related to the gap between the natural and financial stability interest rates.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/IFDP.2021.1308

IFDP 2021-1307
Optimizing Credit Gaps for Predicting Financial Crises: Modelling Choices and Tradeoffs


Credit gaps are good predictors for financial crises, and banking regulators recommend using them to inform countercyclical capital buffers for banks. Researchers typically create credit gap measures using trend-cycle decomposition methods, which require many modelling choices, such as the method used, and the smoothness of the underlying trend. Other choices hinge on the tradeoffs implicit in how gaps are used as early warning indicators (EWIs) for predicting crises, such as the preference over false positives and false negatives. We evaluate how the performance of credit-gap-based EWIs for predicting crises is influenced by these modelling choices. For the most common trend-cycle decomposition methods used to recover credit gaps, we find that optimally smoothing the trend enhances out-of-sample prediction. We also show that out-of sample performance improves further when we consider a preference for robustness of the credit gap estimates to the arrival of new information, which is important as any EWI should work in real-time. We offer several practical implications.

Keywords: Credit, Credit Gap, Optimization, Predictive Power, Robustness, Trend-cycle decomposition.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/IFDP.2021.1307

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Last Update: January 06, 2021