Research

Recent Submissions

  • Gulan, Adam; Haavio, Markus; Kilponen, Juha (2019)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 9/2019
    We study macroeconomic consequences of a major trade disruption using the example of the Finnish-Soviet trade collapse in 1991. This is a rare case of a well-identified large trade shock in a developed economy. We find that the shock had a significant effect on Finnish output. While the direct trade channel effect was rather moderate, the shock led to significant tightening of financial conditions. It was therefore endogenously amplified due to the propagation through the domestic financial sector. Even so, the trade collapse was insufficient to generate an all-out economic crisis. It can account for only a part of the Finnish Great Depression (1990 − 1993). The crisis was triggered and prolonged by the meltdown of the overheated financial and banking sectors since 1989. We show that the financial system remained a major independent source of shocks throughout the depression.
  • Granziera, Eleonora; Sekhposyan, Tatevik (2019)
    International Journal of Forecasting
    Online First May 2019.
    The relative performances of forecasting models change over time. This empirical observation raises two questions. First, is the relative performance itself predictable? Second, if so, can it be exploited in order to improve the forecast accuracy? We address these questions by evaluating the predictive abilities of a wide range of economic variables for two key US macroeconomic aggregates, namely industrial production and inflation, relative to simple benchmarks. We find that business cycle indicators, financial conditions, uncertainty and measures of past relative performances are generally useful for explaining the models’ relative forecasting performances. In addition, we conduct a pseudo-real-time forecasting exercise, where we use the information about the conditional performance for model selection and model averaging. The newly proposed strategies deliver sizable improvements over competitive benchmark models and commonly-used combination schemes. The gains are larger when model selection and averaging are based on both financial conditions and past performances measured at the forecast origin date.
  • Tukiainen, Janne; Takalo, Tuomas; Hulkkonen, Topi (2019)
    European Journal of Political Economy June
    We exploit a regression discontinuity design to provide causal evidence of the relative age effect (RAE) on a long-run adult age outcome: Political selection. We find strong evidence of the RAE in politics in Finland. However, the effect is heterogeneous: We find that male candidates born early in the calendar year have a significantly higher probability of getting elected to the parliament but no similar RAE applies to female candidates nor to municipal elections. Moreover, this effect only takes place in the most competitive parliamentary districts and is present only for some parties. We also find that in all the groups where the RAE does not exist, early-born candidates are under-represented suggesting attrition of talent in the candidate placement. Overall, our results show that seemingly artificial cutoffs imposed by the government have persistent consequences even on the selection to the highest positions of power within a society.
  • Ascari, Guido; Bonomolo, Paolo; Lopes, Hedibert F. (2019)
    American Economic Review 5 ; May
    We propose a generalization of the rational expectations framework to allow for temporarily unstable paths. Our approach introduces multiplicative sunspot shocks and it yields drifting parameters and stochastic volatility. Then, we provide an econometric strategy to estimate this generalized model on the data. The methodology allows the data to choose between different possible alternatives: determinacy, indeterminacy, and temporary instability. We apply our methodology to US inflation dynamics in the 1970s through the lens of a simple New Keynesian model. When temporarily unstable paths are allowed, the data unambiguously select them to explain the stagflation period in the 1970s.
  • Schmöller, Michaela (2019)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 8/2019
    I propose a two-sector endogenous growth model with heterogeneous sectoral productivity and sector-specific, nonlinear hiring costs to analyse the link between sectoral resource allocation, low productivity growth and stagnant real wages. My results suggest that an upward shift in the labor supply, triggered for instance by a labor market reform, as among others implemented in Germany in 2003-2005, is beneficial in the long-run as it raises growth of technology, labor productivity and real wages. I show, however, that in the immediate phase following the labor supply shock, labor productivity and real wages stagnate as employment gains are initially disproportionally allocated to low-productivity sectors, limiting the capacity for technology growth and depressing real wages and productivity. I demonstrate that due to the learning-by-doing growth externality in the high-productivity sector the competitive equilibrium is ineffcient as firms fail to internalize the effect of their labor allocation on aggregate growth. Subsidies to high-productivity sector production can alleviate welfare losses along the transition path.