Mr. Yasser Abdih, Ms. Li Lin, and Anne-Charlotte Paret
Despite closing output gaps and tightening labor markets, inflation has remained low in the euro area. Based on an augmented Phillips Curve framework, we find that this phenomenon—sometimes attributed to low global inflation—has been primarily caused by a remarkable persistence of inflation, keeping it low despite the reduction in slack. This feature is shown to be specific to the euro area (in comparison with the United States). Monetary policy needs to stay accommodative to help guide inflation back to target.
We study the role of uncertainty shocks in explaining unemployment dynamics, separating out the role of aggregate and sectoral channels. Using S&P500 data from the first quarter of 1957 to third quarter of 2014, we construct separate indices to measure aggregate and sectoral uncertainty and compare their effects on the unemployment rate in a standard macroeconomic vector autoregressive (VAR) model. We find that aggregate uncertainty leads to an immediate increase in unemployment, with the impact dissipating within a year. In contrast, sectoral uncertainty has a long-lived impact on unemployment, with the peak impact occurring after two years. The results are consistent with a view that the impact of aggregate uncertainty occurs through a “wait-and-see” mechanism while increased sectoral uncertainty raises unemployment by requiring greater reallocation across sectors.
This paper quantifies the economic impact of uncertainty shocks in the UK using data that span the recent Great Recession. We find that uncertainty shocks have a significant impact on economic activity in the UK, depressing industrial production and GDP. The peak impact is felt fairly quickly at around 6-12 months after the shock, and becomes statistically negligible after 18 months. Interestingly, the impact of uncertainty shocks on industrial production in the UK is strikingly similar to that of the US both in terms of the shape and magnitude of the response. However, unemployment in the UK is less affected by uncertainty shocks. Finally, we find that uncertainty shocks can account for about a quarter of the decline in industrial production during the Great Recession.
In the United States and a few European countries, inventory behavior is mainly the outcome of demand shocks: a standard buffer-stock model best characterizes these economies. But most European countries are described by a modified buffer-stock model where supply shocks dominate. In contrast to the United States, inventories boost growth with a one-year lag in Europe. Moreover, inventories provide limited information to improve growth forecasts particularly when a modified buffer-stock model characterizes inventory behavior.
This paper investigates the impact of public capital on private sector output by testing and estimating an aggregate production function for the U.S. economy over the postwar period augmented to include the stock of public capital as an additional factor input. We use patent applications to proxy for knowledge/technology stocks and adjust labor hours for changes in human capital or skill. Using Johansen's (1988 and 1991) multivariate cointegration analysis, we find a positive and significant long run effect of public capital, private capital, skilladjusted labor, and technology/ knowledge on private sector output. We find that public capital accounts for about half of the post-1973 productivity slowdown, but only plays a minor role in the partial recovery of labor productivity growth since the mid 1980s. The largest contribution to that (partial) recovery comes from the knowledge stock and human capital.
Germany's export market share increased since 2000, while most industrial countries experienced declines. This study explores four explanations and evaluates their empirical contributions: (i) improved cost competitiveness, (ii) ties to fast growing trading partners, (iii) increased demand for capital goods, and (iv) regionalized production of goods (e.g. offshoring). An export model is estimated covering the period 1993-2005. The dominant factors explaining the increase in market share are trade relationships with fast growing countries and regionalized production in the export sector. Improved cost competitiveness had a comparatively smaller impact. There is no conclusive evidence of increased demand for capital goods.
This paper provides a model on how altruism, "attachment" to the home country, and portfolio diversification may act as potential motives behind workers' remittances. It shows that the level of workers' remittances depends on how great are their degrees of altruism and "attachment" to their home country, and should also depend on interest rate differentials between the home country and the country of residence if portfolio diversification motives are significant in the decision to remit. The model is applied to Morocco using co-integration techniques. The paper then discusses the stability of remittances in Morocco and the policy implications in light of the empirical findings.
This paper reviews a number of different methods that can be used to estimate potential output and the output gap. Measures of potential output and the output gap are useful to help identify the scope for sustainable noninflationary growth and to allow an assessment of the stance of macroeconomic policies. The paper then compares results from some of these methods to the case of Sweden, showing the range of estimates.