1,741 Works

Exact Non-Parametric Tests for a Random Walk with Unknown Drift under Conditional Heteroscedasticity

Richard Luger
This paper proposes a class of linear signed rank statistics to test for a random walk with unknown drift in the presence of arbitrary forms of conditional heteroscedasticity. The class considered includes analogues of the well-known sign and Wilcoxon test statistics. The exactness of the proposed tests rests only on the assumption that the errors are symmetrically distributed. No other assumptions, such as normality or even the existence of moments, are required. Simulations confirm the...

Price Level Targeting in a Small Open Economy with Financial Frictions: Welfare Analysis

Ali Dib, Caterina Mendicino & Yahong Zhang
How important are the benefits of low price-level uncertainty? This paper explores the desirability of price-level path targeting in an estimated DSGE model fit to Canadian data. The policy implications are based on social welfare evaluations. Compared to the historical inflation targeting rule, an optimal price level targeting regime substantially reduces the welfare cost of business cycle fluctuations in terms of steady state consumption. The optimal price-level targeting rule performs also better than the optimal...

The Role of Credit in International Business Cycles

TengTeng Xu
This paper examines the role of bank credit in modeling and forecasting business cycle fluctuations, and investigates the international transmission of US credit shocks, using a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) framework and associated country-specific error correction models. The paper constructs and compiles a dataset on bank credit for 33 advanced and emerging market economies from 1979Q1 to 2009Q4. The empirical results suggest that the incorporation of credit provides significant improvement in modeling and forecasting output...

When Lower Risk Increases Profit: Competition and Control of a Central Counterparty

Jean-Sébastien Fontaine, Héctor Pérez Saiz & Joshua Slive
We model the behavior of dealers in Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivatives markets where a small number of dealers trade with a continuum of heterogeneous clients (hedgers). Imperfect competition and (endogenous) default induce a familiar trade-off between competition and risk. Increasing the number of dealers servicing the market decreases the price paid by hedgers but lowers revenue for dealers, increasing the probability of a default. Restricting entry maximizes welfare when dealers’ efficiency is high relative to their...

Commodities and Monetary Policy: Implications for Inflation and Price Level Targeting

Don Coletti, René Lalonde, Paul Masson, Dirk Muir & Stephen Snudden
We examine the relative ability of simple inflation targeting (IT) and price level targeting (PLT) monetary policy rules to minimize both inflation variability and business cycle fluctuations in Canada for shocks that have important consequences for global commodity prices. We find that commodities can play a key role in affecting the relative merits of the alternative monetary policy frameworks. In particular, large real adjustment costs in energy supply and demand induce highly persistent cost-push pressures...

Combining Canadian Interest-Rate Forecasts

David Bolder & Yuliya Romanyuk
Model risk is a constant danger for financial economists using interest-rate forecasts for the purposes of monetary policy analysis, portfolio allocations, or risk-management decisions. Use of multiple models does not necessarily solve the problem as it greatly increases the work required and still leaves the question "which model forecast should one use?" Simply put, structural shifts or regime changes (not to mention possible model misspecifications) make it difficult for any single model to capture all...

Predetermined Prices and the Persistent Effects of Money on Output

Michael B. Devereux & James Yetman
This paper illustrates a model of predetermined pricing, where firms set a fixed schedule of nominal prices at the time of price readjustment, based on the work of Fischer (1977). This type of price-setting specification cannot produce any excess persistence in a fixed-duration model of staggered prices, but we show that with a probabilistic model of price adjustment, as in Calvo (1983), a predetermined pricing specification can produce excess persistence. Moreover, in response to a...

Why Do Central Banks Smooth Interest Rates?

Gabriel Srour
It is commonly observed that central banks respond gradually to economic shocks, moving the interest rate in small discrete steps in the same direction over an extended period of time. This paper examines the empirical evidence regarding central banks' smoothing of interest rates, paying particular attention to the case of Canada. It then reviews the alternative explanations of the stylized facts that have recently emerged in the literature.

How Far Can Forecasting Models Forecast? Forecast Content Horizons for Some Important Macroeconomic Variables

John W. Galbraith & Greg Tkacz
For stationary transformations of variables, there exists a maximum horizon beyond which forecasts can provide no more information about the variable than is present in the unconditional mean. Meteorological forecasts, typically excepting only experimental or exploratory situations, are not reported beyond this horizon; by contrast, little generally accepted information about such maximum horizons is available for economic variables. The authors estimate such content horizons for a variety of economic variables, and compare these with the...

Financial Market Imperfection, Overinvestment, and Speculative Precaution

Christian Calmès
The author uses panel data to assess the sensitivity of investment to cash flow in non-financial firms, taking into account the role their financial health plays in investment decisions. Firms are categorized using a method called the Z-score, a contemporaneous indicator of financial stress that is inversely related to firms' probability of financial failure. Based on this method, empirical evidence suggests that firms that have the greatest sensitivity of investment to cash flow display the...

Evaluating Alternative Measures of the Real Effective Exchange Rate

Robert Lafrance, Patrick Osakwe & St-Amant Pierre
This paper discusses the merits and shortcomings of alternative price indices used in constructing real effective exchange rate indices and examines the effects of different weighting schemes. It also compares selected measures of the real effective exchange rate in terms of their ability to explain movements in Canadian net exports and real output. The paper argues that, although different weighting schemes may at times provide useful and complementary information, the choice of a weighting scheme...

Explaining and Forecasting Inflation in Emerging Markets: The Case of Mexico

Jeannine Bailliu, Daniel Garcés, Mark Kruger & Miguel Messmacher
The authors apply existing inflation models that have worked well in industrialized countries to Mexico, an emerging market that has recently moved to adopt an inflation-targeting framework for monetary policy. They compare the performance of these models with a mark-up model that has been used extensively to analyze inflation in Mexico. The authors focus on three models that have some theoretical foundations and that can therefore help explain the causes of inflation as well as...

Résultats empiriques multi-pays relatifs à l'impact des cibles d'inflation sur la crédibilité de la politique monétaire

St-Amant Pierre & David Tessier
Over the last few years, many countries have adopted inflation targets. The objective of this paper is to report some empirical results that bear on the link between the adoption of inflation targets and the behaviour of the main macroeconomic variables. After a discussion of some recent articles analyzing international experience, some simple statistical tests are presented for determining the link between the adoption of inflation targets, the credibility of monetary policy, and the behaviour...

Finance Constraints and Inventory Investment: Empirical Tests with Panel Data

Rose Cunningham
The author empirically tests two aspects of the interaction between financial variables and inventory investment: negative cash flow and finance constraints due to asymmetric information. This is one of the first studies of inventory investment and finance constraints using Canadian data. A sample of Canadian manufacturing firms over the period 1992Q2–1999Q4 is split into subsamples based on age, bond rating, and size to reflect expected differences in degrees of asymmetric information problems. The findings are...

Prévision et analyse de la production manufacturière au Canada : comparaison de modèles linéaires et non linéaires

Frédérick Demers
In this paper, the author describes reduced-form linear and non-linear econometric models developed to forecast and analyze quarterly data on output growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector from 1981 to 2003. Empirical evidence reported in the paper suggests that economic activity in the United States and the real exchange rate are the main factors that influence output in the manufacturing sector in Canada. Although the real exchange rate has a significant impact, the response of...

Price-Level Targeting and Inflation Expectations: Experimental Evidence

Robert Amano, Engle-Warnick Jim & Malik Shukayev
In this paper, we use an economics decision-making experiment to test a key assumption underpinning the efficacy of price-level targeting relative to inflation targeting for business cycle stabilization and mitigating the effects of the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. In particular, we attempt to infer whether experimental participants understand the stationary nature of the price level under price-level targeting by observing their inflation forecasting behaviour in a laboratory setting. This is an important...

Short-Term Forecasting of the Japanese Economy Using Factor Models

Claudia Godbout & Marco J. Lombardi
While the usefulness of factor models has been acknowledged over recent years, little attention has been devoted to the forecasting power of these models for the Japanese economy. In this paper, we aim at assessing the relative performance of factor models over different samples, including the recent financial crisis. To do so, we construct factor models to forecast Japanese GDP and its subcomponents, using 38 data series (including daily, monthly and quarterly variables) over the...

Aggregate and Welfare Effects of Redistribution of Wealth Under Inflation and Price-Level Targeting

Cesaire Meh, José-Víctor Ríos-Rull & Yaz Terajima
Since the work of Doepke and Schneider (2006a) and Meh and Terajima (2008), we know that inflation causes major redistribution of wealth – between households and the government, between nationals and foreigners, and between households within the same country. Two types of monetary policy, inflation targeting (IT) and price level targeting (PT), have very different implications for the price level path subsequent to a price-level shock, and consequently, have different redistributional properties which is what...

Market Structure and the Diffusion of E-Commerce: Evidence from the Retail Banking Industry

Jason Allen, Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde
This paper studies the role that market structure plays in affecting the diffusion of electronic banking. Electronic banking (and electronic commerce more generally) reduces the cost of performing many types of transactions for firms. The full benefits for firms from adoption, however, only accrue once consumers begin to perform a significant share of their transactions online. Since there are learning costs to adopting the new technology firms may try to encourage consumers to go online...

Are Bygones not Bygones? Modeling Price Level Targeting with an Escape Clause and Lessons from the Gold Standard

Paul Masson & Malik Shukayev
Like the gold standard, price level targeting (PT) involves not letting past deviations of inflation be bygones; both regimes return the price level (or price of gold) to its target. The experience of suspension of the gold standard in World War I, resumption in the 1920s (for some countries at a different parity), and final abandonment is reviewed. It suggests that PT would likely operate with an escape clause that allowed rebasing of the price...

Optimal Taxation in Asset Markets with Adverse Selection

Mohammad Davoodalhosseini
"Consider markets for assets traded over the counter such as mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds. Sellers in these markets may have more information on the value of their assets and their liquidity needs than buyers do. Also, sellers and buyers must search for trade partners, which is time-consuming and costly. During the 2007–09 financial crisis, activity in some of these markets declined to close to zero, and governments and central banks undertook various policies to...

Identifying Consumer-Welfare Changes when Online Search Platforms Change Their List of Search Results

Ryan Martin
"Online shoppers are guided by search platforms: consumers type a search phrase into the platform’s query box, and the platform chooses how products appear in response. While search platforms may choose responses that help consumers find products more efficiently, they may also have incentives to mislead consumers. For example, search platforms may organize responses to favor their own products over third-party products that better suit consumer needs. This paper uses a search-platform experiment to determine...

Dynamic Competition in Negotiated Price Markets

Jason Allen & Shaoteng Li
"In many credit markets, prices are negotiated repeatedly. The final mortgage rate, for example, is rarely the posted price, but something that borrowers and lenders have bargained over. If borrowers are not satisfied with the rates their lenders propose, they need to search for and negotiate better offers. Borrowers often find it costly and inconvenient to switch lenders. The search and switching costs give incumbent lenders a clear advantage, allowing them to charge relatively high...

On Causal Networks of Financial Firms: Structural Identification via Non-parametric Heteroskedasticity

Ruben Hipp
Various business interactions of banks create a network of hidden relationships, which cannot be directly inferred from the correlation of bank stock returns. Without causality, it remains unclear how policy interventions change the network. Thus, this paper aims to find the causal network as anticipated by investors.

Monetary Policy Independence and the Strength of the Global Financial Cycle

Christian Friedrich, Pierre Guérin & Danilo Leiva-Leon
We propose a new strength measure of the global financial cycle by estimating a regime-switching factor model on cross-border equity flows for 61 countries. We then assess how the strength of the global financial cycle affects monetary policy independence, which is defined as the response of central banks' policy interest rates to exogenous changes in inflation.

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