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  • Caggiano, Giovanni; Castelnuovo, Efrem (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 1/2021
    We estimate a novel measure of global financial uncertainty (GFU) with a dynamic factor framework that jointly models global, regional, and country-specific factors. We quantify the impact of GFU shocks on global output with a VAR analysis that achieves self-identifcation via a combination of narrative, sign, ratio, and correlation restrictions. We find that the world output loss that materialized during the great recession would have been 13% lower in absence of GFU shocks. We also unveil the existence of a global finance uncertainty multiplier: the more global financial conditions deteriorate after GFU shocks, the larger the world output contraction is.
  • Järvenpää, Maija; Paavola, Aleksi (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 2/2021
    An asset is money-like if investors have no incentives to acquire costly private information on the underlying collateral. However, privately provided money-like assets—like prime money market fund (MMF) shares—are prone to runs if investors suddenly start to question the value of the collateral. Therefore, for risky assets, lack of money-likeness is a necessary condition for lack of run incentives. But is it a sufficient one? This paper studies the effect of the U.S. money market fund reform of 2014–2016 on investor monitoring, money-likeness and stability of institutional prime MMFs. Using the number of distinct IP addresses accessing MMFs’ regulatory reports as a proxy for investor monitoring, we find that the reform increased monitoring and thus decreased money-likeness of institutional prime funds. However, we also show that after the reform, institutional prime funds that are more likely to impose the newly introduced redemption restrictions are more monitored, suggesting that investors may monitor in order to avoid being hit by the restrictions. Overall, our results indicate that increased monitoring, or decreased money-likeness, has not made institutional prime MMFs run-free, and it may have actually created a new source of fragility for MMFs.
  • Moreno, Diego; Takalo, Tuomas (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 3/2021
    We study the optimal precision of public information disclosures about banks assets quality. In our model the precision of information affects banks' cost of raising funding and asset profile riskiness. In an imperfectly competitive banking sector, banks'stability and social surplus are non-monotonic functions of precision: an intermediate precision (or low-to-intermediate precision if banks contract their repayment promises on public information) maximizes stability, and also yields the maximum surplus when the social cost of bank failure c is large. When c is small and the banks' asset risk taking is not too sensitive to changes in the precision, the maximum surplus (and maximum risk) are reached at maximal precision. In a perfectly competitive banking sector in which banks' asset risk taking is not too sensitive to the precision of information, the maximum surplus (and maximum risk) are reached at maximal precision, while maximum stability is reached at minimal precision.
  • Ambrocio, Gene (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 4/2021
    I study the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on business confidence in 11 Euro area countries and its consequent impact on economic activity. To obtain causal effects, I instrument business confidence with domestic household confidence as well as average household confidence in neighboring countries. I find evidence suggesting that the confidence and expectations channel was an important component to the economic transmission of Covid-19. A one standard deviation drop in business confidence leads to between 5-6 and 9 percent fall in economic activity in the industrial and wholesale and retail trade sectors respectively. These results highlight the importance of managing confidence and expectations in crises episodes.
  • Haavio, Markus; Laine, Olli-Matti (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 5/2021
    We analyze the economic performance of different monetary policy strategies, or rules, in a low interest rate environment, using simulations with a DSGE model which has been estimated for the euro area. We study how often the effective lower bound of interest rates (ELB) is likely to bind, and how much forgone monetary policy accommodation this entails. Macroeconomic outcomes are measured by the mean levels and the volatility of output (gaps), unemployment and inflation. We present three sets of results. First, the macroeconomic costs of the ELB are likely to grow in a non-linear manner if the monetary policy space (the difference between the normal, or average, level of nominal interest rates and the ELB) shrinks. Second, a point inflation target appears to outperform a target range. Third, the (relative) performance of low-for-long (L4L) monetary policy rules depends on the size of the monetary policy space. The L4L rules tend to perform well, if the monetary space is small, but if the space is larger these rules, while stabilizing inflation, may lead to more volatility in the real economy than flexible inflation targeting.
  • Honkapohja, Seppo; McClung, Nigel (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 6/2021
    This paper considers the performance of average inflation targeting (AIT) policy in a New Keynesian model with adaptive learning agents. Our analysis raises concerns regarding robustness of AIT when agents have imperfect knowledge. In particular, the target steady state can be locally unstable under learning if details about the policy are not publicly available. Near the low steady state with interest rates at the zero lower bound, AIT does not necessarily outperform a standard inflation targeting policy. Policymakers can improve outcomes under AIT by (i) targeting a discounted average of inflation, or (ii) communicating the data window for the target.
  • Granziera, Eleonora; Jalasjoki, Pirkka; Paloviita, Maritta (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 7/2021
    We test for bias and efficiency of the ECB inflation forecasts using a confidential dataset of ECB macroeconomic quarterly projections. We investigate whether the properties of the forecasts depend on the level of inflation, by distinguishing whether the inflation observed by the ECB at the time of forecasting is above or below the target. The forecasts are unbiased and efficient on average, however there is evidence of state dependence. In particular, the ECB tends to overpredict (underpredict) inflation at intermediate forecast horizons when inflation is below (above) target. The magnitude of the bias is larger when inflation is above the target. These results hold even after accounting for errors in the external assumptions. We also find evidence of inefficiency, in the form of underreaction to news, but only when inflation is above the target. Our findings bear important implications for the ECB forecasting process and ultimately for its communication strategy.
  • Martins, Manuel M. F.; Verona, Fabio (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 8/2021
    Policymakers and researchers see inflation characterized by cyclical fluctuations driven by changes in resource utilization and temporary shocks, around a trend influenced by inflation expectations. We study the in-sample inflation dynamics and forecast inflation out-of-sample by analyzing a New Keynesian Phillips Curve (NKPC) in the frequency domain. In-sample, while inflation expectations dominate medium-to-long-run cycles, energy prices dominate short cycles and business-to-medium cycles once expectations became anchored. While statistically significant, unemployment is not economically relevant for any cycle. Out-of-sample, forecasts from a low-frequency NKPC significantly outperform several benchmark models. The long-run component of unemployment is key for such remarkable forecasting performance.
  • Kilponen, Juha; Vilmunen, Jouko; Vähämaa, Oskari (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 9/2021
    Macroeconomic models typically assume additively separable preferences where consumption enters the utility function in a logarithmic form. This restriction implies that consumption growth is highly sensitive to movements in real interest rates, which in turn implies an unrealistically steep demand curve and intertemporal trade-off. We re-estimate the stylized New Keynesian Model with US data using King-Plosser-Rebelo (1988) preferences with and without habits and show that the equilibrium real interest rate elasticity of output is in the range of 0.05 − 0.20 in the US. Such low real interest rate elasticity is better in line with the empirical consumption Euler equation literature and implies relatively weak transmission of monetary policy to output and inflation.
  • Stanisławska, Ewa; Paloviita, Maritta (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 10/2021
    Using the ECB Consumer Expectations Survey, this paper investigates how consumers revise medium-term inflation expectations. We provide robust evidence of their adjustment to the current economic developments. In particular, consumers adjust medium-term inflation views in response to changes in short-term inflation expectations and, to a lesser degree, to changes in perceptions of current inflation. We find that the strong adverse Covid-19 pandemic shock contributed to an increase in consumer inflation expectations. We show that consumers who declare high trust in the ECB adjust their medium-term inflation expectations to a lesser degree than consumers with low trust. Our results increase understanding of expectations formation, which is an important issue for medium-term oriented monetary policy.
  • Eusepi, Stefano; Gibbs, Chris; Preston, Bruce (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 11/2021
    We study zero interest-rate policy in response to a large negative demand shock when long-run expectations can fall over time. Because falling expectations make monetary policy less effective by raising real interest rates, the optimal forward guidance policy makes large front-loaded promises to stabilize expectations. Policy is too stimulatory in the event of transitory shocks, but provides insurance against persistent shocks. The optimal policy is well-approximated by a constant calendar-based forward guidance, independent of the shock’s realised persistence. The insurance property distinguishes our paper from other bounded rationality papers that solve the forward guidance puzzle and generates important quantitative differences.
  • D’Acunto, Francesco; Hoang, Daniel; Paloviita, Maritta; Weber, Michael (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 12/2021
    Many consumers below the top of the distribution of a representative population by cognitive abilities barely react to monetary and fiscal policies that aim to stimulate consumption and borrowing, even when they are financially unconstrained and despite substantial debt capacity. Differences in income, formal education levels, economic expectations, and a large set of registry-based demographics do not explain these facts. Heterogeneous cognitive abilities thus act as human frictions in the transmission of economic policies that operate through the household sector and might imply redistribution from low- to high-cognitive ability agents. We conclude by discussing how our findings inform the microfoundation of behavioral macroeconomic theory.
  • Andreasen, Martin M.; Caggiano, Giovanni; Castelnuovo, Efrem; Pellegrino, Giovanni (2021)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 13/2021
    This paper uses a nonlinear vector autoregression and a non-recursive identification strategy to show that an equal-sized uncertainty shock generates a larger contraction in real activity when growth is low (as in recessions) than when growth is high (as in expansions). An estimated New Keynesian model with recursive preferences and approximated to third order around its risky steady state replicates these state-dependent responses. The key mechanism behind this result is that firms display a stronger upward nominal pricing bias in recessions than in expansions, because recessions imply higher inflation volatility and higher marginal utility of consumption than expansions.
  • Hamano, Masashige; Pappadà, Francesco (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 1/2020
    This paper revisits the case for exible vs. fixed exchange rate regime in a two-country model with firm heterogeneity and nominal wage rigidity under incomplete financial markets. Dampening nominal exchange rate fluctuations simultaneously stabilizes the firm turnover in the export market. When firms are homogeneous and low productive, the fixed exchange rate regime dominates the flexible one because it reduces the fluctuations in labor demand arising from entry and exit of exporters following a demand shock. We also show that an alternative regulation policy in the export market does not rule out the possible adoption of a managed floating regime.
  • Faria, Gonçalo; Verona, Fabio (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 2/2020
    We assess the benefits of using frequency-domain information for active portfolio management. To do so, we forecast the bond risk premium and equity risk premium using a methodology that isolates frequencies (of the predictors) with the highest predictive power. The resulting forecasts are more accurate than those of traditional forecasting methods for both asset classes. When used in the context of active portfolio management, the forecasts based on frequency-domain information lead to better portfolio performances than when using the original time series of the predictors. It produces higher information ratio (0.57 vs 0.45), higher CER gains (1.12% vs 0.81%), and lower maximum drawdown (19.1% vs 19.6%).
  • Kortela, Tomi; Nelimarkka, Jaakko (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 3/2020
    Since the Great Recession, the main evolution in monetary policy has been its attempts to affect the medium and the long-term interest rates with instruments other than the policy rate. Consequently, measuring the stance of monetary policy by a single interest rate becomes problematic. This study explores the macroeconomic effects of conventional and unconventional policy measures in the euro area in a unified framework. We identify simultaneously three monetary policy shocks that influence different parts of the yield curve. These shocks reflect various aspects of actions and communications of the European Central Bank in conventional and unconventional monetary policy periods. According to the results, conventional interest rate policy, forward guidance and quantitative easing have asymmetric output and price responses.
  • Martins, Manuel M. F.; Verona, Fabio (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 4/2020
    We show that the New Keynesian Phillips Curve (NKPC) outperforms standard benchmarks in forecasting U.S. inflation once frequency-domain information is taken into account. We do so by decomposing the time series (of inflation and its predictors) into several frequency bands and forecasting separately each frequency component of inflation. The largest statistically significant forecasting gains are achieved with a model that forecasts the lowest frequency component of inflation (corresponding to cycles longer than 16 years) flexibly using information from all frequency components of the NKPC inflation predictors. Its performance is particularly good in the returning to recovery from the Great Recession.
  • Nurmi, Satu; Vanhala, Juuso; Virén, Matti (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 8/2020
    We analyze the demographics of zombie firms and durations of zombie spells as well as their determinants, including an application on public subsidies using firm level population panel data from Finland. Firm-level analysis of firm demographics reveals that zombie-firms, as commonly defined in the literature, are often not truly distressed firms but rather companies with temporarily low revenues relative to interest payments. More importantly, we find that roughly a third of these firms are in fact growing companies and two thirds recover from the zombie status to become healthy firms. We also show that the increase of zombie firms over the past 15 years has mainly been driven by cyclical factors, as opposed to a secular trend. In our policy application on government subsidies to firms, estimation results strongly suggest that subsidy-receiving firms are less likely to die, regardless of the type of subsidy. However, with regard to recovery there is heterogeneity in the effects depending on the type of firm and the type of subsidy received. Thus, we do not find a robust positive association of subsidies with zombie recovery.
  • Silvo, Aino; Verona, Fabio (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 9/2020
    In this paper we present Aino 3.0, the latest vintage of the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model used at the Bank of Finland for policy analysis. Aino 3.0 is a small-open economy DSGE model at the intersection of the recent literatures on so-called TANK (“Two-Agent New Keynesian”) and MONK (“Mortgages in New Keynesian”) models. It aims at capturing the most relevant macro-financial linkages in the Finnish economy and provides a rich laboratory for the analysis of various macroeconomic and macroprudential policies. We show how the availability of a durable consumption good (housing), on the one hand, and the presence of credit-constrained households, on the other hand, affect the transmission of key macroeconomic and financial shocks. We also illustrate how these new transmission channels affect model dynamics compared to the previous model vintage (the Aino 2.0 model of Kilponen et al., 2016).
  • Caggiano, Giovanni; Castelnuovo, Efrem; Kima, Richard (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 11/2020
    We estimate a three-variate VAR using proxies of global financial uncertainty, the global financial cycle, and world industrial production to simulate the effects of the jump in financial uncertainty observed in correspondence of the Covid-19 outbreak. We predict the cumulative loss in world output one year after the uncertainty shock due to Covid-19 to be about 14%.