Creator: Ayres, João, Garcia, Márcio Gomes Pinto, Guillen, Diogo, and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 575 Abstract:
Brazil has had a long period of high inflation. It peaked around 100 percent per year in 1964, decreased until the first oil shock (1973), but accelerated again afterward, reaching levels above 100 percent on average between 1980 and 1994. This last period coincided with severe balance of payments problems and economic stagnation that followed the external debt crisis in the early 1980s. We show that the high-inflation period (1960-1994) was characterized by a combination of fiscal deficits, passive monetary policy, and constraints on debt financing. The transition to the low-inflation period (1995-2016) was characterized by improvements in all of these features, but it did not lead to significant improvements in economic growth. In addition, we document a strong positive correlation between inflation rates and seigniorage revenues, although inflation rates are relatively high for modest levels of seigniorage revenues. Finally, we discuss the role of the weak institutional framework surrounding the fiscal and monetary authorities and the role of monetary passiveness and inflation indexation in accounting for the unique features of inflation dynamics in Brazil.
Keyword: Stabilization plans, Brazil's stagnation, Brazil's hyperinflation, Debt accounting, and Fiscal deficit Subject (JEL): H62 - National Deficit; Surplus, H63 - National Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt, E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System; Payment Systems, and E63 - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
Creator: Arellano, Cristina, Bai, Yan, and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 466 Abstract:
The U.S. Great Recession featured a large decline in output and labor, tighter financial conditions, and a large increase in firm growth dispersion. We build a model in which increased volatility at the firm level generates a downturn and worsened credit conditions. The key idea is that hiring inputs is risky because financial frictions limit firms' ability to insure against shocks. An increase in volatility induces firms to reduce their inputs to reduce such risk. Out model can generate most of the decline in output and labor in the Great Recession and the observed increase in firms' interest rate spreads.
Keyword: Uncertainty shocks, Credit crunch, Great Recession, Firm credit spreads, Firm heterogeneity, Labor wedge, and Credit constraints Subject (JEL): E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, D52 - Incomplete Markets, E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, and D53 - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium: Financial Markets
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J., Midrigan, Virgiliu, and Pastorino, Elena Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 566 Abstract:
Modern business cycle theory focuses on the study of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models that generate aggregate fluctuations similar to those experienced by actual economies. We discuss how this theory has evolved from its roots in the early real business cycle models of the late 1970s through the turmoil of the Great Recession four decades later. We document the strikingly different pattern of comovements of macro aggregates during the Great Recession compared to other postwar recessions, especially the 1982 recession. We then show how two versions of the latest generation of real business cycle models can account, respectively, for the aggregate and the cross-regional fluctuations observed in the Great Recession in the United States.
Keyword: New Keynesian models, Financial frictions, and External validation Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, E52 - Monetary Policy, and E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J. and Pastorino, Elena Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 543 Abstract:
Before the advent of sophisticated international financial markets, a widely accepted belief was that within a monetary union, a union-wide authority orchestrating fiscal transfers between countries is necessary to provide adequate insurance against country-specific economic fluctuations. A natural question is then: Do sophisticated international financial markets obviate the need for such an active union-wide authority? We argue that they do. Specifically, we show that in a benchmark economy with no international financial markets, an activist union-wide authority is necessary to achieve desirable outcomes. With sophisticated financial markets, however, such an authority is unnecessary if its only goal is to provide cross-country insurance. Since restricting the set of policy instruments available to member countries does not create a fiscal externality across them, this result holds in a wide variety of settings. Finally, we establish that an activist union-wide authority concerned just with providing insurance across member countries is optimal only when individual countries are either unable or unwilling to pursue desirable policies
Keyword: Fiscal externalities, Cross-country externalities, International transfers, Optimal currency area, Cross-country transfers, International financial markets, and Cross-country insurance Subject (JEL): G28 - Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation, F33 - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions, F38 - International Financial Policy: Financial Transactions Tax; Capital Controls, F42 - International Policy Coordination and Transmission, E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination, G33 - Bankruptcy; Liquidation, E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General, G15 - International Financial Markets, and F35 - Foreign Aid
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J., Midrigan, Virgiliu, and Pastorino, Elena Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 536 Abstract:
During the Great Recession, regions of the United States that experienced the largest declines in household debt also experienced the largest drops in consumption, employment, and wages. Employment declines were larger in the nontradable sector and for firms that were facing the worst credit conditions. Motivated by these findings, we develop a search and matching model with credit frictions that affect both consumers and firms. In the model, tighter debt constraints raise the cost of investing in new job vacancies and thus reduce worker job finding rates and employment. Two key features of our model, on-the-job human capital accumulation and consumer-side credit frictions, are critical to generating sizable drops in employment. On-the-job human capital accumulation makes the flows of benefits from posting vacancies long-lived and so greatly amplifies the sensitivity of such investments to credit frictions. Consumer-side credit frictions further magnify these effects by leading wages to fall only modestly. We show that the model reproduces well the salient cross-regional features of the U.S. data during the Great Recession.
Keyword: Employment, Debt constraints, Search and matching, and Human capital Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, J64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search, J21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure, and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Brinca, Pedro, Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 531 Abstract:
We elaborate on the business cycle accounting method proposed by Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan (2007), clear up some misconceptions about the method, and then apply it to compare the Great Recession across OECD countries as well as to the recessions of the 1980s in these countries. We have four main findings. First, with the notable exception of the United States, Spain, Ireland, and Iceland, the Great Recession was driven primarily by the efficiency wedge. Second, in the Great Recession, the labor wedge plays a dominant role only in the United States, and the investment wedge plays a dominant role in Spain, Ireland, and Iceland. Third, in the recessions of the 1980s, the labor wedge played a dominant role only in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and New Zealand. Finally, overall in the Great Recession the efficiency wedge played a more important role and the investment wedge played a less important role than they did in the recessions of the 1980s.
Keyword: 1982 recession, Business cycle accounting, and Great Recession Subject (JEL): G28 - Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation, E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination, G33 - Bankruptcy; Liquidation, and E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General
Creator: Chari, V. V. and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 481 Abstract:
We develop a model in which, in order to provide managerial incentives, it is optimal to have costly bankruptcy. If benevolent governments can commit to their policies, it is optimal not to interfere with private contracts. Such policies are time inconsistent in the sense that, without commitment, governments have incentives to bail out firms by buying up the debt of distressed firms and renegotiating their contracts with managers. From an ex ante perspective, however, such bailouts are costly because they worsen incentives and thereby reduce welfare. We show that regulation in the form of limits on the debt-to-value ratio of firms mitigates the time-inconsistency problem by eliminating the incentives of governments to undertake bailouts. In terms of the cyclical properties of regulation, we show that regulation should be tightest in aggregate states in which resources lost to bankruptcy in the equilibrium without a government are largest.
Keyword: Prudential regulation and Financial regulation Subject (JEL): G28 - Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation, E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination, G33 - Bankruptcy; Liquidation, and E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J. and Midrigan, Virgiliu Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 413 Abstract:
Recent studies say prices change about every four months. Economists have interpreted this high frequency as evidence against the importance of sticky prices for the real effects of monetary policy. Theory implies that this interpretation is correct if most price changes are regular, but not if most are temporary, as in the data. Temporary changes have a striking feature: after such a change, the nominal price tends to return exactly to its preexisting level. We study versions of Calvo and menu cost models that replicate this feature. Both models predict that the degree of aggregate price stickiness is determined mostly by the frequency of regular price changes, not by the combined frequency of temporary and regular price changes. Since regular prices are sticky in the data, the models predict a substantial degree of aggregate price stickiness even though micro prices change frequently. In particular, the aggregate price level in our models is as sticky as in standard models in which micro prices change about once a year. In this sense, prices are sticky after all.
Keyword: Sticky prices, Menu costs, and Sales Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data), and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Atkeson, Andrew, Chari, V. V., and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 419 Abstract:
In standard approaches to monetary policy, interest rate rules often lead to indeterminacy. Sophisticated policies, which depend on the history of private actions and can differ on and off the equilibrium path, can eliminate indeterminacy and uniquely implement any desired competitive equilibrium. Two types of sophisticated policies illustrate our approach. Both use interest rates as the policy instrument along the equilibrium path. But when agents deviate from that path, the regime switches, in one example to money; in the other, to a hybrid rule. Both lead to unique implementation, while pure interest rate rules do not. We argue that adherence to the Taylor principle is neither necessary nor sufficient for unique implementation with pure interest rate rules but is sufficient with hybrid rules. Our results are robust to imperfect information and may provide a rationale for empirical work on monetary policy rules and determinacy.
Subject (JEL): E50 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: General, E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination, E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General, E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies, and E52 - Monetary Policy