Creator: Doan, Thomas, Litterman, Robert B., and Sims, Christopher A. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 243 Abstract:
This paper develops a forecasting procedure based on a Bayesian method for estimating vector autoregressions. The procedure is applied to ten macroeconomic variables and is shown to improve out-of-sample forecasts relative to univariate equations. Although cross-variables responses are damped by the prior, considerable interaction among the variables is shown to be captured by the estimates. We provide unconditional forecasts as of 1982:12 and 1963:3* We also describe how a model such as this can be used to make conditional projections and to analyse policy alternatives. As an example, we analyze a Congressional Budget Office forecast made in 1982:12. While no automatic causal interpretations arise from models like ours, they provide a detailed characterization of the dynamic statistical interdependence of a set of economic variables, which may help in evaluating causal hypotheses, without containing any such hypotheses themselves.
Keyword: Forecasting, Macroeconomics, and Bayesian methods Subject (JEL): E27 - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment: Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications and C11 - Bayesian Analysis: General
Creator: Williamson, Stephen D. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 382 Abstract:
A model with private information is constructed that supports conventional arguments for a government monopoly in supplying circulating media of exchange. The model also yields predictions, including rate-of-return dominance of circulating media of exchange, that are consistent with observations from free banking regimes and fiat money regimes. In a laissez faire banking equilibrium, fiat money is not valued, and the resulting allocation is not Pareto optimal. However, if private agents are restricted from issuing circulating notes, there exists an equilibrium with valued fiat money that Pareto dominates the laissez faire equilibrium and is constrained Pareto optimal.
Keyword: Currency, Fiat money, Assymetric information, Monetary economics, Monetary exchange, Private information, Laissez faire banking, Free banking, and Money Subject (JEL): D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design and E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System; Payment Systems
Creator: Levine, David K. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 386 Abstract:
In a monetary model, it is shown that if there is a unique Pareto inefficient barter equilibrium, then a monetary equilibrium exists when traders are sufficiently patient.
Keyword: Money, Monetary equilbria, Inflation, Barter equilibria, and Consumers Subject (JEL): E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System; Payment Systems and D51 - Exchange and Production Economies
Creator: Levine, David K. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 388 Abstract:
Previous authors have argued that the optimal monetary policy is contractionary. If buyers value consumption substantially more than sellers, there is some randomness and informational constraints make asset trading useful, we show that there is an incentive compatible expansionary policy that dominates all incentive compatible contractionary policies.
Keyword: Optimal monetary policy, Contraction, Trade, Private information, Asset trading, and Expansion Subject (JEL): D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design and E52 - Monetary Policy
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 392 Keyword: Discounted repeated game, Repeated game, Game theory, and Aps example Subject (JEL): C73 - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Graham, Stanley L. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 398 Abstract:
This study estimates the effects of allowing bank holding companies (BHCs) to enter several lines of financial business not now permitted. A simulation technique is used to estimate the risk and return of hypothetical financial corporations after merger between a BHC and a large firm in each of these industries: securities, real estate, life insurance, property and casualty insurance, and insurance agencies. The study concludes that a merger between a BHC and a life insurance company may decrease the probability of bankruptcy for the merged firm relative to the BHC alone. This result does not hold true, however, for BHC mergers with firms in the other industries. In particular, BHC mergers with securities or real estate firms are found to increase the probability of bankruptcy.
Keyword: Merger, Bank holding companies, Insurance, Real estate, Bankruptcy, Securities, Risk, and Bank holding company Subject (JEL): G28 - Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation, G32 - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill, and G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
Creator: Chari, V. V. and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 399 Abstract:
In this paper we analyze the constraints imposed by dynamic consistency in a model of optimal taxation. We assume that only distorting taxes are available to finance government consumption. Optimal fiscal policy requires the use of debt to smooth distortions over time. Dynamic consistency requires that governments at each point in time not have an incentive to default on the inherited debt. We consider policy functions which map the history of the economy including the actions of past governments into current decisions. A sustainable plan is a sequence of history-contingent policies which are optimal at each date given that future policies will be selected according to the plan. We show that if agents discount the future sufficiently little and if government consumption fluctuates then optimal sustainable plans yield policies and allocations which are identical to those under full commitment. We contrast our notion of dynamic consistency with other definitions.
Keyword: Economic policy, Debt, and Fiscal policy Subject (JEL): E62 - Fiscal Policy and E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Creator: Glosten, Lawrence R., Jagannathan, Ravi, and Runkle, David Edward Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 505 Abstract:
Earlier researchers have found either no relation or a positive relation between the conditional expected return and the conditional variance of the monthly excess return on stocks when they used the standard GARCH-M model. This is in contrast to the negative relation found when other approaches were used to model conditional variance. We show that the difference in the estimated relation arises because the standard GARCH-M model is misspecified. When the standard model is modified allow for (i) the presence for seasonal patterns in volatility, (ii) positive and negative innovations to returns to having different impacts on conditional volatility, and (iii) nominal interest rates to affect conditional variance, we once again find support for a negative relation. Using the modified GARCH-M model, we also show that there is little evidence to support the traditional view that conditional volatility is highly persistent. Also, positive unanticipated returns result in a downward revision of the conditional volatility whereas negative unanticipated returns result in an upward revision of conditional volatility of a similar magnitude. Hence the time series properties of the monthly excess return on stocks appear to be substantially different from that of the daily excess return on stocks.
Keyword: Stock market, Rate of return, Risk, Asset valuation, Return rate, and Stocks Subject (JEL): G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates and G11 - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 512 Abstract:
We investigate ex-ante efficient contracts in an environment in which implementation is costless. In this environment, standard debt contracts will typically not be optimal. Optimal contracts may involve defaults, even in states in which the borrower is fully able to repay. We then examine the welfare costs of arbitrarily restricting the set of feasible contracts to standard debt contracts. When model parameters are calibrated to realistic values, the welfare loss from exogenously imposing this restriction is extremely small. Thus, if the implementation costs are actually nontrivial (as seems likely), standard debt contracts will be (very close to) optimal.
Keyword: CSV, Optimal contract, CESV, Standard debt contract, Ex ante contract, Costly state verification, Loans, Financial contract, Bankruptcy, Costly ex-post state verification, Contracts, and Debt Subject (JEL): G10 - General Financial Markets: General (includes Measurement and Data) and D86 - Economics of Contract: Theory
Creator: Aiyagari, S. Rao Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 518 Abstract:
This paper is about a useful way of taking account of frictions in asset pricing and macroeconomics. I start by noting that complete frictionless markets models have a number of empirical deficiencies. Then I suggest an alternative class of models with incomplete markets and heterogenous agents which can also accommodate a variety of other frictions. These models are quantitatively attractive and computationally feasible and have the potential to overcome many or all of the empirical deficiencies of complete frictionless markets models. The incomplete markets model can also differ significantly from the complete frictionless markets model on some important policy questions.
Keyword: Macroeconomics, Incomplete markets, Frictionless market model, Asset pricing, and Friction Subject (JEL): G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates and E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical
Creator: Green, Edward J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 509 Abstract:
Thinking regarding the privatization of state industries and enterprises in the former Comecon countries has tended to focus on the efficiency gains that would occur in the privatized sector. Based on the comparatively good performance and the rather rigid configuration of Comecon production institutions, the scope for such productivity gains seems small. Rather, productivity and innovation in the post-Comecon economies are likely to depend greatly on the emergence of new, initially small, entrepreneurial firms. The extent and form of privatization may affect these firms' prospects for success. How the privatized-firm and entrepreneurial sector will interact depends on public-finance considerations as well as on considerations of industrial organization.
Keyword: Soviet bloc, Entrepreneurship, State enterprise, Comecon, Eastern bloc, Privatization, Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, Private enterprise, and Growth Subject (JEL): G38 - Corporate Finance and Governance: Government Policy and Regulation, L16 - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics: Industrial Structure and Structural Change; Industrial Price Indices, and L33 - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprises and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 522 Abstract:
We consider a two country growth model with international capital markets. These markets fund capital investment in both countries, and operate subject to a costly state verification (CSV) problem. Investors in each country require some external finance, but also provide internal finance, which mitigates the CSV problem. When two identical (except for their initial capital stocks) economies are closed, they necessarily converge monotonically to the same steady state output level. Unrestricted international financial trade precludes otherwise identical economies from converging, and poor countries are necessarily net lenders to rich countries. Oscillation in real activity and international capital flows can occur.
Keyword: CSV, Open economy, International lending, Costly state verification, Capital investment, Closed economy, Credit rationing, International capital markets, and Credit Subject (JEL): F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems and O16 - Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953-, Levine, David K., and Romer, Paul Michael, 1955- Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 400 Abstract:
We consider a production economy with a finite number of heterogeneous, infinitely lived consumers. We show that, if the economy is smooth enough, equilibria are locally unique for almost all endowments. We do so by converting the infinite dimensional fixed point problem stated in terms of prices and commodities into a finite dimensional Negishi problem involving individual weights in a social value function. By adding a set of artificial fixed factors to utility and production functions, we can write the equilibrium conditions equating spending and income for each consumer entirely in terms of time zero factor endowments and derivatives of the social value function.
Keyword: Consumer, Equilibrium, and Dynamic model Subject (JEL): C62 - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
Creator: Greenwood, Jeremy, 1953- and Jovanovic, Boyan, 1951- Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 446 Abstract:
A paradigm is presented where both the extent of financial intermediation and the rate of economic growth are endogenously determined. Financial intermediation promotes growth because it allows a higher rate of return to be earned on capital, and growth in turn provides the means to implement costly financial structures. Thus, financial intermediation and economic growth are inextricably linked in accord with the Goldsmith-McKinnon-Shaw view on economic development. The model also generates a development cycle reminiscent of the Kuznets hypothesis. In particular, in the transition from a primitive slow-growing economy to a developed fast-growing one, a nation passes through a stage where the distribution of wealth across the rich and poor widens.
Keyword: Kuznets curve, Rate of return, Income gap, Income distribution, Growth rate, and Financial intermediation Subject (JEL): G00 - Financial Economics: General and O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Creator: Aiyagari, S. Rao and Peled, Dan Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 503 Abstract:
It is often argued that with a positively skewed income distribution (median less than mean) a majority voting over proportional tax rates would result in higher tax rates than those that maximize average welfare, and will accordingly reduce aggregate savings. We reexamine this view in a capital accumulation model, in which distorting redistributive taxes provide insurance against idiosyncratic shocks, and income distributions evolve endogenously. We find small differences of either sign between the tax rates set by a majority voting and a utilitarian government, for reasonable parametric specifications. We show how these differences reflect a greater responsiveness of a utilitarian government to the average need for the insurance provided by the tax-redistribution scheme. These conclusions remain true despite the fact that the model simulations produce positively skewed distributions of total income across agents.
Keyword: Votes, Taxes, and Income distribution Subject (JEL): E62 - Fiscal Policy and D72 - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
Creator: Williamson, Stephen D. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 405 Abstract:
A model is constructed where banks provide access to a communication technology which facilitates trade. Bank liabilities may coexist with alternative means of payment in equilibrium, and there exist regions of the parameter space where banking dominates the payments system and where physical exchange media dominate. The model is consistent with some observations concerning the role of the banking system in economic development, and with characteristics of banking crises. In particular, in early stages of economic development: 1) rapid output growth is accompanied by an increasing share of banking in transactions activity and 2) there are recurrent banking "panics" where reductions in measured aggregate output coincide with increases in the use of alternative means of payment relative to bank liabilities. In later stages of development, growth slackens off, the share of banking in the payments system stabilizes and the economy is less likely to be subject to banking panics.
Keyword: Financial panic, Banks, Banking panics, Communication cost, and Communication technology Subject (JEL): G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages and O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes