Publications

Working Papers

The objective of the Working Papers series is to disseminate original research studies on economics and finance, which since 2003 have been reviewed on an anonymous basis. Through their publication, the Banco de España hopes to contribute to the economic analysis and knowledge of the Spanish economy and its international context.

The opinions and analyses published in the Working Papers series are the responsibility of the authors and are not necessarily shared by the Banco de España or the Eurosystem.

All documents published in this collection are available in electronic format. If they are not directly available through this website, copies can be requested from the Publications Unit.

All documents are available in PDF format PDF File. Opens in a new window

  • 0639 Francisco Alonso, Santiago Forte and José Manuel Marqués Implied default barrier in credit default swap premia (1 MB)

    This paper applies the methodology developed by Forte and Peña (2006) to extract the implied default point in the premium on credit default swaps (CDS). As well as considering a more extensive international sample of corporations (96 US, European and Japanese companies) and a longer time interval (2001 2004), we make two significant contributions to the original methodology. First, we calibrate bankruptcy costs, allowing for the adjustment of the mean recovery rate of each sector to its historical average. Second, and drawing on the sample of default point indicators for each company year obtained, we propose an econometric model for these indicators that excludes any reference to the credit derivatives market. With this model it is thus possible to estimate the default barrier resorting solely to the equity market. Compared with other alternatives for setting the default point in the absence of CDS (such as the optimal default point for shareholders, the default point in the Moody's KMV model or the face value of the debt), the out of sample use of the econometric model significantly improves the capacity of the structural model proposed by Forte and Peña (2006) to differentiate between companies with an investment grade rating (CDS less than 150 bp) and those with a non investment grade rating.

    The Spanish original of this publication has the same number.

  • 0638 José Manuel Campa y Ángel Gavilán Current accounts in the Euro area: an intertemporal approach (1 MB)

    This paper uses an intertemporal model of the current account to evaluate the fluctuations in current account balances experienced by Euro area countries over the last three decades. In the model current account balances are used to smooth consumption and they are driven by expectations about future income and relative prices. This simple model is not rejected for six (Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain) of the ten Euro area countries examined, although the model tends to underestimate their current account volatility. The analysis also shows that the relative contributions to current account balances of future output and relative prices differ across countries. Expectations of future growth increased in all Southern European countries at the creation of the Euro but they had considerably diverged by 2005. While in Portugal these expectations are now below its historical mean, in Spain they are at a historical high.

  • 0637 Anton Nakov Optimal and Simple Monetary Policy Rules with Zero Floor on the Nominal Interest Rate (1 MB)

    Recent treatments of the issue of a zero floor on nominal interest rates have been subject to some important methodological limitations. These include the assumption of perfect foresight or the introduction of the zero lower bound as an initial condition or a constraint on the variance of the interest rate, rather than an occasionally binding non-negativity constraint. This paper addresses these issues offering a global solution to a standard dynamic stochastic sticky price model with an explicit occasionally binding non-negativity constraint on the nominal interest rate. It turns out that the dynamics and sometimes the unconditional means of the nominal rate, inflation and the output gap are strongly affected by uncertainty in the presence of the zero lower bound. Commitment to the optimal rule reduces unconditional welfare losses to around one-tenth of those achievable under discretionary policy, while constant price level targeting delivers losses which are only 60% larger than under the optimal rule. Even though the unconditional performance of simple instrument rules is almost unaffected by the presence of the zero lower bound, conditional on a strong deflationary shock simple instrument rules perform substantially worse than the optimal policy.

    Published in: International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(2) (2008)

  • 0636 Aitor Erce Domínguez Using standstills to manage sovereign debt crises (737 KB)

    This paper presents a model analyzing the potential for an International Court with powers to declare standstills to mitigate the coordination problem inherent to roll-overs in sovereign debt markets. It is shown that, regardless of the quality of the information handled by such an Institution, the scale of the coordination problem is reduced since its mere existence forces investors to focus on the Court's course of action rather than on other investors' beliefs. Furthermore, the model shows that, in order to avoid moral hazard, the right of recourse to the Court should be made conditional.

  • 0635 José Manuel Campa, José M. González-Mínguez y María Sebastiá-Barriel Non-linear adjustment of import prices in the European Union (1 MB)

    This paper focuses on the non linear adjustment of import prices in national currency to shocks in exchange rates and foreign prices measured in the exporters' currency of products originating outside the euro area and imported into European Union countries (EU 15). The paper looks at three different types of non linearities: (a) non proportional adjustment (the size of the adjustment grows more than proportionally with the size of the misalignments), (b) asymmetric adjustment to cost increasing and cost decreasing shocks, and (c) the existence of thresholds in the size of misalignments below which no adjustment takes place. There is evidence of more than proportional adjustment towards long run equilibrium in manufacturing industries. In these industries, the adjustment is faster the further away current import prices are from their implied long run equilibrium. In contrast, a proportional linear adjustment cannot be rejected for some other imports (especially within agricultural and commodity imports). There is also strong evidence of asymmetry in the adjustment to long run equilibrium. Deviations from long run equilibrium due to exchange rate appreciations of the home currency result in a faster adjustment than those caused by a home currency depreciation. Finally, we also find that adjustment takes place in the industries in our sample only when deviations are above certain thresholds, and that these thresholds tend to be somewhat smaller for manufacturing industries than for commodities.

  • 0634 Ricardo Gimeno y Juan M. Nave Genetic algorithm estimation of interest rate term structure (896 KB)

    The term structure of interest rates is an instrument that gives us the necessary information for valuing deterministic financial cash flows, measuring the economic market expectations and testing the effectiveness of monetary policy decisions. However, it is not directly observable and needs to be measured by smoothing data obtained from asset prices through statistical techniques. Adjusting parsimonious functional forms - as proposed by Nelson and Siegel (1987) and Svensson (1994) - is the most popular technique. This method is based on bond yields to maturity and the high degree of non linearity of the functions to be optimised make it very sensitive to the initial values employed. In this context, this paper proposes the use of genetic algorithms to find these values and reduce the risk of false convergence, showing that stable time series parameters are obtained without the need to impose any kind of restrictions.

    Publicado en: Computational Statistics and Data Analysis. Vol. 53(6), pp. 2236-2250Opens in a new window

  • 0633 Rubén Segura-Cayuela Inefficient policies, inefficient institutions and trade (792 KB)

    Despite the general belief among economists on the growth-enhancing role of international trade and significant trade opening over the past 25 years, the growth performance of many developing economies, especially of those in Latin America and Africa, has been disappointing. While this poor growth performance has many potential causes, in this paper I argue that part of the reason may be related to the interaction between weak institutions and trade. In particular, I construct a model in which trade opening in societies with weak institutions (in particular autocratic and elite-controlled political systems) may lead to worse economic policies. The reason is that general equilibrium price effects of taxation and expropriation in closed economies also hurt the elites, and this puts a natural barrier against inefficient policies. Trade openness removes this barrier and enables groups with political power to exercise this power in more inefficient ways.

  • 0632 James Costain and Marcel Jansen Employment fluctuations with downward wage rigidity: the role of moral hazard (694 KB)

    This paper considers a dynamic matching model with imperfectly observable worker effort. In equilibrium, the wage distribution is truncated from below by a no-shirking condition. This downward wage rigidity induces the same type of inefficient churning and "contractual fragility" as in Ramey and Watson (1997). Nonetheless, the surprising lesson of our analysis is that workers' shirking motive reduces the cyclical fluctuations in job destruction, because firms are forced to terminate some marginal jobs in booms which they cannot commit to maintain in recessions. This time-inconsistency problem casts doubt upon the importance of inefficient churning as an explanation of observed employment fluctuations. On the other hand, the no-shirking condition implies that firms' share of surplus is procyclical, which can amplify fluctuations in job creation. Thus, our model is consistent with recent evidence that job creation is more important than job destruction in driving labor market fluctuations. Furthermore, unlike most models with endogenous job destruction, we obtain a robust Beveridge curve.

    Published in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics 112 (4), pp. 782-811, December 2010

  • 0631 Javier Andrés, Pablo Burriel y Ángel Estrada Bemod: a DSGE model for the Spanish economy and the rest of the euro area (1 MB)

    In this paper we present the theoretical foundations and the simulation results obtained with a new dynamic general equilibrium model developed at the Banco de España for the Spanish economy and the rest of Euro area. The model is designed to help in simulating the effect of alternative shocks on the main aggregate variables. The main contributions of this work from a theoretical perspective are the modelling of a monetary union composed of two regions, the inclusion of housing as a durable good with its own sector of production and the degree and detail of the disaggregation considered for each country in the model, which replicates the Quarterly National Accounts. On the empirical side, the main contribution is the detailed calibration of the most important ratios of the Spanish and rest of the Euro area economies.

  • 0630 Francisco Alonso, Roberto Blanco y Gonzalo Rubio Option-implied preferences adjustments, density forecasts, and the equity risk premium (1 MB)

    The main objective of this paper is to analyse the value of information contained in prices of options on the IBEX 35 index at the Spanish Stock Exchange Market. The forward looking information is extracted using implied risk-neutral density functions estimated by a mixture of two lognormals and several alternative risk adjustments: the power, exponential and habit inspired based stochastic discount factors. Moreover, by allowing additional flexibility in the shape of the stochastic discount factor, two other ad hoc time varying risk aversion adjustments are also employed. Our results show that, between October 1996 and March 2000, we can reject the hypothesis that the risk neutral densities provide accurate predictions of the distributions of future realisations of the IBEX 35 index at four and eight week horizons. When forecasting through risk adjusted densities the performance of this period is statistically improved and we no longer reject that hypothesis. Somehow surprisingly, all risk adjusted densities generate similar forecasting statistics. Finally, from October 1996 to December 2004, the ex ante risk premium perceived by investors and that are embedded in option prices is between 12 and 18 percent higher than the premium required to compensate the same investors for the realised volatility in stock market returns.

  • 0629 Luis J. Álvarez and Ignacio Hernando Competition and price adjustment in the euro area (915 KB)

    This paper explores the role of a number of factors in explaining the heterogeneity in the degree of price stickiness across industries, on the basis of the information provided by surveys on pricing behavior conducted in nine euro area countries. The main focus is placed on the influence of competition on the degree of price flexibility. Our results suggest that the price setting strategies of the most competitive firms give them a greater capacity to react to shocks and make, in practice, for greater flexibility in their prices. The direct influence of market competition on price flexibility is corroborated by a cross-country cross-industry econometric analysis based on the information provided by surveys. This analysis also shows that the cost structure and demand conditions help to explain the degree of price flexibility. Finally, it suggests that countries in which product market regulation is more relevant are characterized by less price flexibility.

    Published in: Pricing Decisions in the Euro Area: How Firms Set Prices and Why, Oxford University Press (2007) (Book)

  • 0628 Nuno Martins and Ernesto Villanueva Does limited access to mortgage debt explain why young adults live with their parents? (1 MB)

    Young adults leave their parents' home at a higher rate in Northern Europe and the United States than in Southern Europe, with broad implications on labor mobility, intergenerational sharing of resources and on fertility. This paper assesses if differences in household structure can be traced back to restricted access to credit for the young. To study the causal impact of getting a loan on the probability of "leaving the nest", we exploit two reforms of a Portuguese program that subsidized interest rate on mortgages signed by low- and medium- income young adults. Using a unique dataset that merges a Labor Force Survey with administrative debt records, we estimate that getting a mortgage loan increases the rate of leaving home by between 31 and 54 percentage points. We combine those estimates with an European household panel to document that if our preferred estimates held for all countries, differential use of credit markets would explain between 16% and 20% of the North-South differences in home leaving.

    Published in: Journal of the European Economic Association Volume 7, Issue 5, pp. 974–1010 (September 2009)

  • 0627 Josep M. Vilarrubia Neighborhood effects in economic growth (1 MB)

    One of the most striking features of the world economy is that wealthy countries are clustered together. This paper theoretically and empirically explains a mechanism for this clustering by extending the Acemoglu and Ventura model so that it takes real geography into account. Countries close to fast growing economies experience faster growth in aggregate demand for their exports, stimulating faster domestic growth. As a result, a poor country that is surrounded by other poor countries finds it more difficult to grow because its terms of trade shift against it. When this model is estimated on data for 1965 to 1985, we find statistically and economically significant effects. If the typical European country were located in Africa, these terms of trade effects would have lowered its growth rate by almost 1 percentage point per year. The results strongly suggest that it is very difficult to raise income in poor countries without dealing with regional problems.

  • 0626 Cristina Barceló A Q-model of labour demand (1 MB)

    This paper studies the labour demand using a Q model in which labour and capital entail adjustment costs. The estimates are based on an unbalanced panel of Spanish firms over the period 1989-96. The corresponding Q variable for labour is significant in explaining hiring rates. Its estimated coefficient varies across sectors in a way that suggests that the use of temporary labour is more widespread in those economic sectors that incur smaller costs of adjusting labour factor due to the specific characteristics of their technology and economic activity. Interaction effects between investment and labour demands are also observed in their adjustment costs.

    Published in: Investigaciones Económicas (2007)

  • 0625 Juan F. Jimeno, Esther Moral y Lorena Saiz Structural breaks in labor productivity growth: the United States vs. the European Union (1 MB)

    There is a stark contrast between the recent evolution of labor productivity (and TFP) in the US and EU countries. In the US it accelerated around the mid-1990s and there is evidence of reversion to a high-growth regime. In some EU countries, while employment-population ratios started to rise after a period of stagnant employment, labor productivity (and TFP) decelerated.
    In this paper we apply univariate and multivariate methods, that have been used to detect structural breaks in productivity growth in the US economy, to EU data to confirm the existence of a significant permanent shift to lower productivity growth in some European countries around the mid-1990s. We find a structural break in mean labour productivity growth in the US around the mid-1990s (towards higher growth), in Continental Europe around the early 1990s (towards lower growth) and no evidence of structural breaks in the UK.

  • 0624 Ignacio Hernando and María J. Nieto Is the internet delivery channel changing banks' performance? The case of Spanish banks (989 KB)

    In spite of the conspicuous use of the Internet as a delivery channel, there is a relative dearth of empirical studies that provide a quantitative analysis of the impact of the Internet on banks´ financial performance. This paper attempts to fill this gap by identifying and estimating the impact of the adoption of a transactional web site on financial performance using a sample of 72 commercial banks operating in Spain over the period 1994-2002. The impact on banks´ performance of transactional web adoption takes time to appear. The adoption of the Internet as a delivery channel involves a gradual reduction in overhead expenses (particularly, staff, marketing and IT). This effect is statistically significant after one and a half years after adoption. The cost reduction translates into an improvement in banks´ profitability, which becomes significant after one and a half years in terms of ROA and after three years in terms of ROE. The paper also concludes that the Internet is being used as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, physical branches.

    Published in: Journal of Banking and Finance (2007)

  • 0623 Juan Ayuso y Jorge Martínez Assessing banking competition: an application to the Spanish market for (quality-changing) deposits (904 KB)

    Taking the Spanish market for deposits as a case study we show the importance of properly controlling for the quality of the services provided when assessing the degree of banking competition. While a simple approach based on estimating the price elasticity of the residual supply of deposit funds faced by banks does not reveal any increase in competition, such an increase is clear when the interest rate on deposits is "corrected" according to the behaviour of variables that proxy the quality of the different services embedded in a bank deposit.

  • 0622 Sonia Ruano-Pardo y Vicente Salas-Fumás Morosidad de la deuda empresarial bancaria en España, 1992-2003 (1 MB)

    El trabajo analiza los determinantes de la ratio de morosidad en la deuda bancaria empresarial en España durante el período 1992-2003, estudiando los factores que explican la entrada y salida de las empresas en la situación de mora en el pago de la deuda bancaria, y los factores que explican el volumen relativo de deuda en mora en las empresas morosas. La base de datos utilizada combina información a nivel de empresa no financiera procedente de dos fuentes: SABI-INFORMA y Central de Información de Riesgos del Banco de España. La metodología aplicada se sustenta en la estimación de modelos de selección de Heckman. Los resultados obtenidos indican que la tendencia positiva observada en la evolución de la morosidad agregada de la deuda bancaria a lo largo del período estudiado obedece sobre todo a una evolución decreciente de la ratio de morosidad de las empresas morosas mientras continúan en este estado. En cambio, la contribución a la morosidad agregada de la entrada y la salida de empresas de la situación de mora es relativamente estable en el tiempo.

  • 0621 Enrique Alberola y Rodrigo César Salvado Banks, remittances and financial deepening in receiving countries. A model (1 MB)

    A remarkable fact of the mushrooming remittances market is the absence of commercial banks as relevant players. Furthermore, remittances have been identified as a potential catalyst for the financial deepening of receiving countries through higher access to banking services by migrants' families. Building upon these features, this paper sets up a two-period financial model of remittances without uncertainty. The formulation acknowledges, on the one hand, the altruism component of remittances sent by migrants to their families and, on the other hand, the dominant position of Money Transfer Operators (MTO's) due to migrants' mistrust to banks, which hinders the access of banks to the market. Altruism compounded with a non-competitive market allows MTO's to set excessively high remittance fees and to attain monopolistic rents. The model shows that banks can challenge this position thanks to their role as providers of remunerated saving and credit, which enables them to overcome the competitive disadvantage derived by migrants' mistrust. Notwithstanding this, the main positive impact of banks' entry is attained through higher competition, not through the provision of financial services. All in all, the entry of banks reduces the fees and increases the level of remittances, allows an optimal consumption smoothing and improves the welfare of migrants and their families, although it also increases the volatility of remittances.

  • 0620 Aitor Lacuesta Emigration and human capital: who leaves, who comes back and what difference does it make? (1 MB)

    This paper studies the loss of human capital that emigration generates in the country of origin. To that end I estimate the human capital distribution of emigrants had they not migrated. Unlike previous studies, I take into account the selection of migrants in terms of unobserved characteristics that affect their productivity. Wages in Mexico of those migrants who come back home after being abroad for some time will be crucial to learn something about the selection of non-returning migrants in terms of unobserved productivity. To test whether returning migrants' wages contain any useful information, I follow two steps. First, I use the model of Borjas and Bratsberg (1986) to show that, regardless of the cause for coming back, the distribution of abilities of non-returning migrants is more similar to the distribution of temporary migrants than to that of non-migrants. Moreover, I test some implications of the model in the data. Second, I show that returning migrants' wages reflect their pre-emigration productivity and are not affected by possible human capital gains derived from the decision to emigrate. Taking into account all this evidence, I use returning migrants' wages in Mexico upon return to estimate the distribution of human capital of non-returning migrants had they not migrated. I show that emigrants come form the middle part of the distribution of human capital in the origin country. I find evidence that taking unobserved human capital factors into account is relevant for the dispersion of the estimated distribution as well as for each of its quantiles. Moreover, it does not greatly affect the aggregate mean of human capital.

    Publicado en: “A Revision of the Self-Selection of Migrants Using Returning Migrants’ Earnings”, Annals of Economics and Statistics 97/98, January/June:235-259

  • 0619 Federico Ravenna Vector autoregressions and reduced form representations of DSGE models (1 MB)

    Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models are often tested against empirical VARs or estimated by minimizing the distance between the model's and the VAR impulse response functions. These methodologies require that the data-generating process consistent with the DSGE theoretical model has a VAR representation. This paper discusses the assumptions needed for a finite-order VAR(p) representation of any subset of a DSGE model variables to exist. When a VAR(p) is only an approximation to the true VAR, the paper shows that the truncated VAR(p) may return largely incorrect estimates of the impulse response function. The results do not hinge on an incorrect identification strategy or on small sample bias. But the bias introduced by truncation can lead to bias in the identification of the structural shocks. Identification strategies that are equivalent in the true VAR representation perform differently in the approximating VAR.

    Published in: Journal of Monetary Economics (2007)

  • 0618 Sergio Puente Dynamic stability in repeated games (979 KB)

    A concept of dynamic stability in infinitely repeated games with discounting is presented. For this purpose, one modification of the available theory is needed: we need to relax the assumption that the game starts in a given period. Under this new framework, we propose stable strategies such that a folk theorem with an additional stability requirement still holds. Under these strategies, convergence to the long run outcome is achieved in a finite number of periods, no matter what actions or deviations have been played in the past. Hence, we suggest a way in which a player can build up his reputation after a deviation.

  • 0617 Javier Díaz-Cassou, Alicia García-Herrero y Luis Molina What kind of capital flows does the IMF catalyze and when? (1 MB)

    Using empirical analysis, complemented with case studies, this paper studies under which circumstances IMF programs manage to catalyze private capital flows into the countries concerned. While we found no catalysis in general, the situation differs very much depending on the type of capital flow and the program’s objective. On the first, the Fund seems to be doing a better job at attracting FDI than shorter-term flows, particularly cross-border bank lending. On the second, programs oriented towards crisis prevention or with longer-term objectives, also perform better in terms of catalysis. In turn, programs oriented towards crisis resolution actually discourage private capital flows. This worrisome finding, given the importance of crisis resolution for the Fund, is mitigated for FDI inflows in the case studies analysed. Finally, all case studies point to the role of conditionality –as opposed to signalling and liquidity– as the strongest channel through which IMF catalyzes private flows.

  • 0616 K. C. Fung, Alicia García-Herrero, Hitomi Iizaka and Alan Siu Hard or soft? Institutional reforms and infrastructure spending as determinants of foreign direct investment in China (556 KB)

    In this paper, we examine empirically whether hard infrastructure, in the form of more highways and railroads, or soft infrastructure, in the form of more market oriented institutions through deeper reform, lead to more foreign direct investment (FDI) in China. We use data of outward FDI from the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea to various regions of China from 1990 to 2002. We control for the standard determinants of FDI, namely regional market size, wage rates, human capital and tax policies. We add indices of hard and soft infrastructure and find that soft infrastructure, in the form of more market oriented institutions through deeper structural reform, consistently outperforms hard infrastructure as a determinant of FDI.

    Published in: Japan Economic Review (2005)

  • 0615 Mario Izquierdo y Aitor Lacuesta Wage inequality in Spain: recent developments (1 MB)

    This paper analyses wage inequality in Spain from 1995 to 2002. Inequality has decreased slightly in this period although the fall has not been constant over the whole distribution. We use non parametric techniques to distinguish the effect on inequality of changes in the composition of the labour force and changes in relative returns. We focus mainly on three factors that have varied substantially between 1995 and 2002: female participation, educational attainment and changes in the tenure level. On one hand, changes in the composition of the labour force would have increased inequality had the structure of wages not changed in relation to the 1995 level. Changes in education and especially tenure would have been responsible for most of the higher dispersion. On the other, changes in relative returns between 1995 and 2002 are predominant and are responsible for the lower dispersion observed in the latter year. Changes in the returns to education and age are important factors underlying this decrease in inequality.

    Publicado en: Journal of Population Economics, v. 25 n 2 pp 511-543 (2011)

  • 0614 Daniel Pérez, Vicente Salas y Jesús Saurina Earnings and capital management in alternative loan loss provision regulatory regimes (1 MB)

    The paper sets an accounting and behavioral framework from which we derive a reduced form equation to test income smoothing and capital management practices through loan loss provisions (PLL) by Spanish banks. Spain offers a unique environment to perform those tests because there are very detailed rules to set aside loan loss provisions and they are not counted as regulatory capital. Using panel data econometric techniques, we find evidence of income smoothing through PLL but not of capital management. The paper draws some lessons for accounting rule setters and banking regulators regarding the current changes in the accounting framework (introduction of IFRS/IAS in Europe) as well as the new capital framework (Basel II). In particular, a very detailed set of rules to set aside loan loss provisions does not prevent managers from decreasing earnings volatility, similarly to what happens in a more principles oriented accounting framework.

  • 0613 Ángel Gavilán Wage inequality, segregation by skill and the price of capital in an assignment model (1 MB)

    Some pieces of empirical evidence suggest that in the U.S., over the last few decades, (i) wage inequality between-plants has risen much more than wage inequality within-plants and (ii) there has been an increase in the segregation of workers by skill into separate plants. This paper presents a frictionless assignment model in which these two features can be explained simultaneously as the result of the decline in the relative price of capital. Additional implications of the model regarding the skill premium and the dispersion in labor productivity across plants are also consistent with the empirical evidence.

  • 0612 Gabriel Jiménez, Vicente Salas y Jesús Saurina Credit market competition, collateral and firms' finance (998 KB)

    This paper investigates the relationship between credit market competition and the availability of bank credit for firms of unobserved credit quality when firms pledge collateral to secure the loans. Loan data from the Spanish Credit Register shows that the average credit quality of borrowers that get loans in a provincial market decreases with market concentration (which is shown to be positively correlated with market power) and with the availability of collateral, although the marginal effect of each variable decreases for higher values of the other. We also find that credit lines' interest rates increase with the availability of collateral, but the increase is lower for banks operating in more concentrated credit markets.Therefore market power in credit markets and collateral appear as substitutes to increase the availability of bank finance under asymmetric information.

  • 0611 Enrique Alberola and José Manuel Montero Debt sustainability and procyclical fical policies in Latin America (1 MB)

    The computation of structural primary balances for the nine main Latin American countries and their comparison of their changes with their cyclical position during the period 1981 2004 confirms that fiscal policy is procyclical in the region. From this evidence, the paper shows strong evidence that the fiscal behaviour is closely linked to the financial vulnerability position of the economies and in particular to the perception on the sustainability of debt. The current threshold balance, defined as the primary balance which would render the debt stable under the existing economic and financial conditions, is used as our gauge for measuring debt sustainability at each point in time. The empirical analysis reveals that the fiscal stance tightens when the debt sustainability perceptions worsen, and that this effect is stronger the less sustainable debt is perceived. The results are robust to different specifications and estimation methods.

    Published in: Economía, Journal of the Latin American and Caribbean Association - 7( 1) pp. 157-193, FALL 2006Opens in a new window

  • 0610 Óscar J. Arce y J. David López-Salido House Prices, Rents, and Interest Rates under Collateral Constraints (1 MB)

    We develop an OLG model aimed at explaining the joint determination of housing prices, rents, and interest rates, in an environment featuring a positive home ownership bias and individual borrowing limits that generate a mismatch between desired and available funds to finance housing purchases. Individual heterogeneity on this mismatch gives rise to three different types of households: renters, landlords (i.e. buy-to-let investors, who provide the stock of houses for rent) and home buyers who do not participate in the rental market. We investigate the conditions under which two alternative stationary equilibria may coexist: (i) a low valuation equilibrium (LVE) in which landlords do not exhaust their borrowing limits; and (ii) a high valuation one (HVE) where every household is financially constrained at the time of purchasing its housing stock. In a HVE (relative to the LVE) the volume of buy-to-let investment, the price-to-rent ratio and the housing price are higher while the interest rate is lower. Due to binding borrowing constraints, in a HVE further reductions in the interest rate only bear a positive networth effect through a reduction of the cost of repaying outstanding mortgaged debt, which fuels future availability of funds, thus sustaining the higher demand for credit. More generally, coexistence of both types of equilibria provides a rationale for the existence of speculative paths from a LVE to a HVE.

  • 0609 Juan Ayuso and Fernando Restoy House prices and rents in Spain: does the discount factor matter? (1.008 KB)

    We estimate alternative price to rent ratios in the Spanish housing market by considering different stochastic discount factors in present value models similar to those used in the financial literature but where the higher rigidity that characterises this market is taken into account. We identify three robust across model regularities: i) the increase in the price to rent ratio since the late nineties helped at first to restore equilibrium, ii) further increases in house prices raised the ratio between 24% and 32% above equilibrium by 2004, although iii) at that time the ratio was only around 2% above its short term adjustment path towards a (new) long run equilibrium.

    Published in: Journal of Housing (2007)

  • 0608 Paloma López-García and Sergio Puente Business demography in Spain: determinants of firm survival (1 MB)

    The impact of entry upon market performance depends not only on the number of entries and their size, but also on how long do the firms last. Consequently, there are an increasing number of papers, most of them focused on the United States and restricted to the manufacturing sector, aimed at analysing the post entry performance of firms. Unfortunately, there is not much about this important topic in Spain due to the lack of appropriate longitudinal micro data on firms. The current paper aims to fill this gap by means of a new database covering all sectors of the business economy constructed at the Bank of Spain. We study the determinants of new firm survival using non parametric and parametric procedures especially designed to analyse duration phenomena. We find that larger start ups survive longer and that the probability of exit is larger in sectors with high entry rates and low concentration. One of the contributions of the paper is the inclusion of the initial firm's financial structure among the determinants of survival. Our results suggest that holding debt, instead of equity, has positive and important effects on survival up to some point. Beyond this point, further debt increments have a negative impact on survival, and this effect is more important the higher is the corresponding debt ratio or indebtness of the firm.

    Published in: Entrepeneurship, Industrial Location and Economic Growth, Edward Elgar Publishing (2007) (Book)

  • 0607 Óscar J. Arce Speculative hyperinflations: when can we rule them out? (1 MB)

    Motivated by a strong degree of hysteresis in the stock of monetization observed after the end of hyperinflations, I provide a cash-and-credit model in which the use of money exhibits some persistence because individuals can establish long-lasting credit relationships. This feature helps to account for the main stylized facts of extreme hyperinflations and reconcile some conflicting views on their causes, development and end without departing from rational expectations. Unlike the existing literature, I show that when hysteresis is possible, an orthodox fiscal-monetary reform that successfully stops a speculative hyperinflation may not be sufficient to prevent it.

    Published in: Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (2009)

  • 0606 Javier Delgado, Vicente Salas and Jesús Saurina The joint size and ownership specialization in banks' lending (1 MB)

    In this paper we study the specialization of Spanish banks along two intertwined dimensions: size and ownership form. We find some interesting results at odds with the existing empirical literature. As commercial banks increase their size, they lend more to large borrowers but that is not the case for the largest banks. For savings banks, the larger the size the more likely is the lending to small borrowers. Moreover, we find evidence that larger commercial banks are more willing to lend to low credit quality borrowers than medium size banks, while the opposite is true among savings banks. Banks' specialization in lending to business firms seems to go across the reputation considerations, risk shifting behavior and lending technologies most often considered in the literature.

    Published in: Journal of Banking and Finance (2006)

  • 0605 Ricardo Gimeno y Carmen Martínez-Carrascal The interaction between house prices and loans for house purchase. The Spanish case (1 MB)

    The aim of this paper is to analyse, using a vector error-correction model (VECM), the dynamic interaction between house prices and loans for house purchase in Spain. The results show that both variables are interdependent in the long run: loans for house purchase depend positively on house prices, while house prices adjust when this credit aggregate departs from the level implied by its long-run determinants. In contrast, disequilibria in house prices are corrected only through changes in this variable. As for short-run dynamics, the results show that the two variables have a positive contemporaneous impact on each other, indicating the existence of mutally reinforcing cycles in both variables.

    Publicado en: Journal of Banking and Finance. Vol. 34(8), pp. 1849-1855Opens in a new window

  • 0604 Francisco de Castro and Pablo Hernández de Cos The economic effects of exogenous fiscal shocks in Spain: a SVAR approach (1 MB)

    This paper estimates the effects of exogenous fiscal policy shocks in Spain in a VAR framework. Government expenditure expansionary shocks are found to have a positive impact on output in the short term at the cost of higher inflation and public deficits and lower output in the medium and long term. Tax increases are found to have a negative impact on economic activity in the medium term while having only a temporary effect on the improvement of the public deficit. The application of these results to the analysis of fiscal policy in Spain since the mid nineties point to the conclusion that the consolidation process does not seem to have involved costs in terms of output growth and the stance of fiscal policy has become more counter cyclical.

    Journal of Macroeconomics (forthcoming)

  • 0603 Cristina Barceló Housing tenure and labour mobility: a comparison across European countries (1 MB)

    This paper studies housing tenure and labour mobility using individual data from the ECHP for five European countries. First, the effect of housing tenure on the unemployed workers' labour mobility is studied using a discrete unemployment duration model with two alternative exits to employment, depending on whether they are associated with a residential change or not. Ownership is found to affect geographical mobility negatively. Second, the results are robust to potential endogeneity of the ownership status and institutional differences across countries. Third, post-unemployment wages are studied. We do not find any effects of the unemployment spell duration and the geographical mobility on wages after controlling for the self-selection bias.

    Published in: Investigaciones Económicas (2007)

  • 0602 Juan A. Rojas and Carlos Urrutia Social Security Reform with Uninsurable Income Risk and Endogenous Borrowing Constraints (1 MB)

    We study the aggregate effects of a social security reform in a large overlapping generations model where markets are incomplete and households face uninsurable idiosyncratic income shocks. We depart from the previous literature by assuming that, because of lack of commitment in the credit market, the borrowing constraint in the unique asset is endogenously determined by the agents' incentives to default on previous debts. We find that a model with fixed borrowing constraints overestimates the positive effect of reforming social security on the capital stock and the saving rate, compared to our model with endogenous borrowing limit. The reason is that, in the latter, the size of precautionary savings is smaller because after the reform the incentives to default on previous debts are lower and consequently households face more relaxed borrowing limits. Adding retirement accounts to the basic model does not change these conclusions, although the quantitative importance of endogenizing borrowing constraints is reduced.

    Published in: Review of Economic Dynamics Volume 11, Issue 1, pp. 83–103 (January 2008)

  • 0601 Arturo Galindo, Alejandro Izquierdo and José Manuel Montero Real exchange rates, dollarization and industrial employment in Latin America (959 KB)

    We use a panel dataset on industrial employment and trade for 9 Latin American countries for which liability dollarization data at the industrial level is available. We test whether real exchange rate fluctuations have a significant impact on employment, and analyze whether the impact varies with the degree of trade openness and liability dollarization. Econometric evidence supports the view that real exchange rate depreciations can impact employment growth positively, but this effect is reversed as liability dollarization increases. In industries with high liability dollarization, the overall impact of a real exchange rate depreciation can be negative.

    Published in: Emerging Markets Review - 8 (4), pp. 284-298Opens in a new window

Contact Us

Information Management and Dissemination Unit

Related Information

Publications Search