Working Papers

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July 7, 2023

Raising Rates with a Large Balance Sheet: The Eurosystem’s Net Income and its Fiscal Implications

Description: The Eurosystem, having purposefully expanded its footprint in recent years, confronts a period of loss-making as rising policy rates lift the remuneration of bank reserves while assets churn more slowly. This paper projects the net income of the Eurosystem and its “top-five” national central banks over a ten-year horizon, finding that losses, while large, will be temporary and recoupable. The policy conclusions are fourfold. First, the temporary and recoupable nature of the loss-making obviates any need for capital contributions or indemnities from the state, instead allowing losses to be offset against future net income. Second, it must nonetheless be communicated that fiscal impacts will be material, with annual taxes and transfers of 0.1−0.2 percent of GDP giving way to potentially long interruptions in some cases. Third, more-conservative profit distribution policies in the future steady state could help mitigate the on-off pattern of dividends. Finally and most vitally, loss-making must remain orthogonal to monetary policy decision-making, as indeed it is at the ECB. Ultimately, credibility will rest on performance in delivering on the price stability mandate.

July 5, 2023

Taxing Cryptocurrencies

Description: Policymakers are struggling to accommodate cryptocurrencies within tax systems not designed to handle them; this paper reviews the issues that arise. The greatest challenges are for implementation: crypto’s quasi-anonymity is an inherent obstacle to third-party reporting. Design problems arise from cryptocurrencies’ dual nature as investment assets and means of payment: more straightforward is a compelling case for corrective taxation of carbon-intensive mining. Ownership is highly concentrated at the top, but many crypto investors have only moderate incomes. The capital gains tax revenue at stake worldwide may be in the tens of billions of dollars, but the more profound risks may ultimately be for VAT/sales taxes.

June 30, 2023

Is High Debt Constraining Monetary Policy? Evidence from Inflation Expectations

Description: This paper examines whether high government debt levels pose a challenge to containing inflation. It does so by assessing the impact of government debt surprises on inflation expectations in advanced- and emerging market economies. It finds that debt surprises raise long-term inflation expectations in emerging market economies in a persistent way, but not in advanced economies. The effects are stronger when initial debt levels are already high, when inflation levels are initially high, and when debt dollarization is significant. By contrast, debt surprises have only modest effects in economies with inflation targeting regimes. Increased debt levels may complicate the fight against inflation in emerging market economies with high and dollarized debt levels, and weaker monetary policy frameworks.

June 30, 2023

The Impact of Climate Policy on Oil and Gas Investment: Evidence from Firm-Level Data

Description: Using a text-based firm-level measure of climate policy exposure, we show that climate policies have led to a global decline of 6.5 percent in investment among publicly traded oil and gas companies between 2015 and 2019, with European companies experiencing the most significant impact. Similarly, climate policy uncertainty has also had a negative impact. Results support the Neoclassical investment model, which predicts a pre-emptive cut in investment in reaction to downward shifts in prospective demand, in contrast with the “green paradox” that predicts an increase in current investment to shift production toward the present.

June 30, 2023

Unpleasant Surprises? Elections and Tax News Shocks

Description: Unanticipated changes in tax policy are likely to have different macroeconomic effects compared to anticipated changes due to several mechanisms, including fiscal foresight and policy uncertainty. It is therefore important to understand what drives such policy surprises. We explore the nature of unanticipated tax policy changes by focusing on a political economy determinant of those events, namely the timing of elections. Using monthly data for 22 advanced economies and emerging markets over the period 1990-2018, we show that implementation lags tend to be significantly longer for tax policy change announcements that are made during the pre-election periods, thereby leading to a lower likelihood of “tax news shocks”. We also find that implementation lags become much shorter for tax policy changes that are announced in the aftermath of elections, generating more frequent tax news shocks. This pattern remains similar for different tax measures or types of taxes. The findings are robust to a number of checks, including alternative definitions of tax news shocks, or to controlling for various economic and institutional factors.

June 30, 2023

The Macroeconomic Returns of Investment in Resilience to Natural Disasters under Climate Change: A DSGE Approach

Description: This paper presents a Markov switching dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model designed to evaluate the macroeconomic return of adaptation investment to natural disasters (NDs) and the impact of climate change. While the model follows the existing literature in assuming that NDs destroy a share of the public and private capital stocks and a government that can invest in adaptation at an additional cost, it adds several features that are key to the analysis, both in the near (transition) and long (steady state) terms. Those include incomplete markets, financial frictions with collateral constraints, foreign remittances, full menu of tax and government spending instruments, and endogenous climate risk premium. The model is calibrated to the case of Dominica. It finds that NDs have large and persistent negative effects on output and public finances. It also shows that adaptation investment has large returns in terms of private investment, employment, output and tax revenue in the long term, especially under climate change.

June 30, 2023

A Note of Caution on the Relation Between Money Growth and Inflation

Description: We assess the bivariate relation between money growth and inflation in the euro area and the United States using hybrid time-varying parameter Bayesian VAR models. Model selection based on marginal likelihoods suggests that the relation is statistically unstable across time in both regions. The effect of money growth on inflation weakened notably after the 1980s before strengthening after 2020. There is evidence that this time variation is related to the pace of price changes, as we find that the maximum impact of money growth on inflation is increasing in the trend level of inflation. These results caution against asserting a simple, time-invariant relationship when modeling the joint dynamics of monetary aggregates and consumer prices.

June 30, 2023

Migration, Search and Skill Heterogeneity

Description: Cross-border migration can act as an important adjustment mechanism to country-specific shocks. Yet, depending on who moves, it can have unintended consequences for business cycle stability. This paper argues that the skill composition of migration plays a critical role. When migration flows become more concentrated in skilled labor an important trade-off arises. On the one hand, migration releases unemployment pressures for the origin countries. On the other hand, it generates negative compositional effects (the so-called “brain drain” effects) and skill imbalances, which reduce supply capacity in origin countries. This paper analyses quantitatively the impact of cyclical migration in an open-economy Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model with endogenous migration flows, trade linkages, search and matching frictions, and skill heterogeneity. I apply this framework to the case of the Greek emigration wave following the European Debt Crisis. What I find is that emigration flows implied strong negative effects for capital formation, leading to more than a 15 percentage point drop in investment. Rather than stabilizing the Greek business cycle, labor mobility led to a deeper and more protracted recession.

June 30, 2023

An Estimated DSGE Model for Integrated Policy Analysis

Description: We estimate a New Keynesian small open economy model which allows for foreign exchange (FX) market frictions and a potential role for FX interventions for a large set of emerging market economies (EMEs) and some inflation targeting (IT) advanced economy (AE) countries serving as a control group. Next, we use the estimated model to examine the empirical support for the view that interest rate policy may not be sufficient to stabilize output and inflation following capital outflow shocks, and the extent to which FX interventions (FXI) can improve policy tradeoffs. Our results reveal significant structural differences between AEs and EMEs—in particular FX market depth—leading to different transmission of capital outflow shocks which justifies occasional use of FXI in some EMEs in certain situations. Our analysis also highlights the critical importance of accounting for the endogeneity of FXI behavior when assessing FX market depth and policy tradeoffs associated with volatile capital flows in past episodes.

June 30, 2023

Rising Child Poverty in Europe: Mitigating the Scarring from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Description: Child poverty increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 alone, the number of children suffering from poverty in the EU increased by 19 percent, or close to 1 million. Left unaddressed, this would not only affect individuals’ life prospects and well-being but also have long-term economic implications. This paper argues that, to limit this potential scarring effect of the pandemic, policies should be deployed to reduce rapidly the number of children affected by poverty and mitigate the long-term impact of poverty. Reducing the number of children affected by poverty can be achieved by (i) labor policies and reforms that increase parental work and the labor income of poor parents and (ii) fiscal spending on family and children that can have a powerful and immediate impact. These policies need to be complemented by public investment in education and childcare, health, and housing to mitigate the long-term impact of child poverty.

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