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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Juselius, Mikael; Tarashev, Nikola (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 18/2020
    Extending a standard credit-risk model illustrates that a single factor can drive both expected losses and the extent to which they may be exceeded in extreme scenarios, ie “unexpected losses.” This leads us to develop a framework for forecasting these losses jointly. In an application to quarterly US data on loan charge-offs from 1985 to 2019, we find that financial-cycle indicators – notably, the debt service ratio and credit-to-GDP gap – deliver reliable real-time forecasts, signalling turning points up to three years in advance. Provisions and capital that reflect such forecasts would help reduce the procyclicality of banks’ loss-absorbing resources.
  • D'Acunto, Francesco; Hoang, Daniel; Paloviita, Maritta; Weber, Michael (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 17/2020
    Communication targeting households and firms has become a stand-alone policy tool of many central banks. But which forms of communication, if any, can reach ordinary people and manage their economic expectations effectively? In a large-scale randomized control trial, we show that communication manages expectations when it focuses on policy targets and objectives rather than on the instruments designed to reach such objectives. It is especially the least sophisticated demographic groups, whom central banks typically struggle to reach, who react more to target-based communication. When exposed to target-based communication, these groups are also more likely to believe that policies will benefit households and the economy. Target-based communication enhances policy effectiveness and contributes to strengthen the public’s trust in central banks, which is crucial to ensure the effectiveness of their policies.
  • Laine, Olli-Matti (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 16/2020
    This paper estimates the effect of monetary policy on the term structure of stock market risk premia. Stock market risk premia are solved using analysts’ dividend forecasts and dividend future prices. Although risk-free rates have decreased after the global financial crisis, the results indicate that the expected long-term average stock market return has remained quite stable at around 9 percent. This implies that the average stock market risk premium has increased since the financial crisis. The prices of dividend futures suggest that the rise is related to changes in the term structure of risk premia. The effect of monetary policy on risk premia is analysed using VAR models and local projection methods. According to the results, monetary policy easing raises the average risk premium. The effect is driven by a rise in long-horizon risk premia.
  • Magnus, Blomkvist; Korkeamäki, Timo; Takalo, Tuomas (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 15/2020
    We propose a rationale for why firms often return to the equity market shortly after their initial public offering (IPO). We argue that hard to value firms conduct smaller IPOs, and that they return to the equity market conditional on positive valuation signal from the stock market. Thus, information asymmetry is not a necessary condition for staged financing. We find strong support for these arguments in a sample of 2,143 U.S. IPOs between 1981-2014. Hard to value firms conduct smaller IPOs, and upon positive post-IPO returns, they tend to return to the equity market quickly, following the IPO.
  • König-Kersting, Christian; Trautmann, Stefan T.; Vlahu, Razvan (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 14/2020
    We study the impact of disclosure about bank fundamentals on depositors’ behavior in the presence (and absence) of economic linkages between financial institutions. Using a controlled laboratory environment, we identify under which conditions disclosure is conducive to bank stability. We find that bank deposits are sensitive to perceived bank performance. While banks with strong fundamentals benefit from more precise disclosure, an opposing effect is present for solvent banks with weaker fundamentals. Depositors take information about economic linkages into account and correctly identify when disclosure about one institution conveys meaningful information for others. Our findings highlight both the costs and benefits of bank transparency and suggest that disclosure is not always stability enhancing.
  • Angelini, Giovanni; Caggiano, Giovanni; Castelnuovo, Efrem; Fanelli, Luca (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 13/2020
    How large are government spending and tax multipliers? The fiscal proxy-SVAR literature provides heterogeneous estimates, depending on which proxies - fiscal or non-fiscal - are used to identify fiscal shocks. We reconcile the existing estimates via flexible vector autoregressive model that allows to achieve identification in presence of a number of structural shocks larger than that of the available instruments. Our two main findings are the following. First, the estimate of the tax multiplier is sensitive to the assumption of orthogonality between total factor productivity (non-fiscal proxy) and tax shocks. If this correlation is assumed to be zero, the tax multiplier is found to be around one. If such correlation is nonzero, as supported by our empirical evidence, we find a tax multiplier three times as large. Second, we find the spending multiplier to be robustly larger than one across different models that feature different sets of instruments. Our results are robust to the joint employment of different fiscal and non-fiscal instruments.
  • Paloviita, Maritta; Haavio, Markus; Jalasjoki, Pirkka; Kilponen, Juha; Vänni, Ilona (2020)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 12/2020
    Also in VoxEU 28.7.2020 https://voxeu.org/article/reading-between-lines-ecbs-introductory-statements
    We apply textual analysis to extract the tone (sentiment) from the introductory statements to the ECB’s press conferences regarding economic outlook. By combining this information with Eurosystem/ECB staff macroeconomic projections, we are able to directly estimate the Governing Council’s loss function. Our analysis suggests that prior to the new monetary policy strategy announced in July 2021, the de facto inflation aim of the ECB may have been considerably below 2%. We also find evidence that the loss function has been asymmetric, which would mean that the ECB has been more averse to inflation above 2% than below 2%. The ECB’s new definition of price stability implies a symmetric loss function with a bliss point at 2.0%. Hence our results indicate that the new strategy will bring about a clear change in the Governing Council’s policy preferences.
  • 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%.