Working Papers

The aim of the Working Papers series is to disseminate research papers on economics and finances by Banco de España researchers. The Working Papers are published once they have successfully come through an anonymous evaluation process. Through their publication, the Banco de España seeks 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.

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  • 1922
    Jobs multipliers: evidence from a large fiscal stimulus in Spain (8 MB) Mario Alloza and Carlos Sanz

    We estimate the employment effect of a large fiscal stimulus in Spain (PlanE), in which the national government transferred funds to municipalities to carry out local investment projects. Using a difference-in-difference approach by exploiting variation in the timing of the execution of projects across municipalities, we find that 100,000 euros of stimulus reduced unemployment by 0.62 jobs per year. We allow for possible spatial effects, i.e. the propagation of the stimulus to neighboring municipalities, and find that these are sizable, representing 8.4% of the “local” effect. We also present evidence on the transmission mechanism, finding that the effect was: (i) initially concentrated in the construction and industrial sectors, but later spilled over to the broader economy, (ii) larger for males than females, (iii) larger when the shock represented a higher share of the budget, and (iv) not larger for municipalities headed by more educated mayors. Our estimate of the multiplier falls in the lower range of previous work.

  • 1917
    Is market liquidity less resilient after the financial crisis? Evidence for US treasuries (683 KB) Carmen Broto and Matías Lamas

    We analyse the market liquidity level and resilience of US 10-year Treasury bonds. Having
    checked that five indicators show inconclusive results on the liquidity level, we fit a bivariate
    CC-GARCH model to evaluate its resilience, that is, how liquidity reacts to financial shocks. According to our results, spillovers from liquidity volatility to returns volatility and vice versa are more intense after the crisis. Further, the volatility persistence of both returns and liquidity becomes lower after the crisis. These results are consistent with the existence of more frequent short-lived episodes of high volatility and more unstable liquidity that is more prone to evaporation.

  • 1915
    The gender promotion gap: evidence from central banking (598 KB) Laura Hospido, Luc Laeven and Ana Lamo

    We examine gender differences in career progression and promotions in central banking, a stereotypical male-dominated occupation, using confidential anonymized personnel data from the European Central Bank (ECB) during the period 2003-2017. A wage gap emerges between men and women within a few years of hiring, despite broadly similar entry conditions in terms of salary levels and other observables. We also find that women are less likely to be promoted to a higher salary band up until 2010 when the ECB issued a public statement supporting diversity and took several measures to support gender balance. Following this change, the promotion gap disappears. The gender promotion gap prior to this policy change is partly driven by the presence of children. Using 2012-2017 data on promotion applications and decisions, we explore the promotion process in depth, and confirm that during this most recent period women are as likely to be promoted as men. This results from a lower probability of women to apply for promotion, combined with a higher probability of women to be selected conditional on having applied. Following promotion, women perform better in terms of salary progression, suggesting that the higher probability to be selected is based on merit, not positive discrimination.

  • 1914
    A new approach to dating the reference cycle (1 MB) Maximo Camacho, María Dolores Gadea and Ana Gómez Loscos

    This paper proposes a new approach to the analysis of the reference cycle turning points, defined on the basis of the specific turning points of a broad set of coincident economic indicators. Each individual pair of specific peaks and troughs from these indicators is viewed as a realization of a mixture of an unspecified number of separate bivariate Gaussian distributions whose different means are the reference turning points. These dates break the sample into separate reference cycle phases, whose shifts are modeled by a hidden Markov chain. The transition probability matrix is constrained so that the specification is equivalent to a multiple changepoint model. Bayesian estimation of finite Markov mixture modeling techniques is suggested to estimate the model. Several Monte Carlo experiments are used to show the accuracy of the model to date reference cycles that suffer from short phases, uncertain turning points, small samples and asymmetric cycles. In the empirical section, we show the high performance of our approach to identifying the US reference cycle, with little difference from the timing of the turning point dates established by the NBER. In a pseudo real-time analysis, we also show the good performance of this methodology in terms of accuracy and speed of detection of turning point dates.

  • 1913
    The effects of pension-related policies on household spending (618 KB) Susana Párraga Rodríguez

    This paper estimates the impact of pension-related policies on household spending. The identification strategy exploits the deviation in pensioner income and expenditure caused by the introduction of a new pension system during the 1980s and 1990s in Spain and constructs a new narrative series of legislated pension changes. I present a variety of estimates, some of them imply that increases in the average pension have a roughly one-for-one effect on pensioner spending. The strongest effects are on the pensioners with the highest levels of expenditure, income, and wealth. Estimates for different categories of expenditure indicate that benefit increases trigger these pensioners to spend more on durables. At the same time, pension-related policies targeted to pensioners with low income levels seem to affect the spending on non-durables and necessities such as food positively.

  • 1912
    Drivers of productivity in the Spanish banking sector: recent evidence (868 KB) Christian Castro and Jorge E. Galán

    We analyse the drivers of total factor productivity of Spanish banks from early 2000,
    including the last financial crisis and the post-crisis period. This allows us to study changes
    in productivity following a major restructuring process in the banking sector such as the
    one experienced in Spain. Overall, we find that following a period of continued growth,
    productivity declined after the height of the crisis, though large banks were less affected. We also find that risk, capital levels, competition and input prices were important drivers of the differences in productivity change between banks. Finally, our results suggest that, by the end of our sample period, there was still some room for potential improvements in productivity via exploiting scale economies and enhancing cost efficiency. These opportunities appear to be generally greater for the smaller banks in our sample.

  • 1911
    Monetary policy, corporate finance and investment (998 KB) James Cloyne, Clodomiro Ferreira, Maren Froemel and Paolo Surico

    We provide new evidence on how monetary policy affects investment and firm finance in the United States and the United Kingdom. Younger firms paying no dividends exhibit the largest and most signifcant change in capital expenditure – even after conditioning on size, asset growth, Tobin’s Q, leverage or liquidity – and drive the response of aggregate investment. Older companies, in contrast, hardly react at all. After a monetary policy tightening, net worth falls considerably for all firms but borrowing declines only for younger non-dividend payers, as their external finance is mostly exposed to asset value fluctuations. Conversely, cash-flows change less markedly and more homogeneously across groups. Our findings highlight the role of firm finance and financial frictions in amplifying the effects of monetary policy on investment.

  • 1910
    Monetary policy implications of state-dependent prices and wages (2 MB) James Costain, Anton Nakov and Borja Petit

    We study the effects of monetary shocks in a model of state-dependent price and wage adjustment based on “control costs”. Suppliers of retail goods and of labor are both monopolistic competitors that face idiosyncratic productivity shocks and nominal rigidities. Stickiness arises because precise decisions are costly, so agents choose to tolerate small errors in the timing of adjustments. Our simulations are calibrated to microdata on the size and frequency of price and wage changes. Money shocks have less persistent real effects in our state-dependent model than they would a time-dependent framework, but nonetheless we obtain sufficient monetary nonneutrality for consistency with macroeconomic evidence. Nonneutrality is primarily driven by wage rigidity, rather than price rigidity. State-dependent nominal rigidity implies a flatter Phillips curve as trend inflation declines, because nominal adjustments become less frequent, making short-run inflation less reactive to shocks.

  • 1909
    Exploring trend inflation dynamics in euro area countries (1 MB) Mónica Correa-López, Matías Pacce and Kathi Schlepper

    This paper analyzes the inflation processes of twelve Euro Area countries over the period 1984:q1-2017:q4. The stylized features of inflation uncover its changing nature and cross-country heterogeneity, in terms of mean, volatility and persistence. After estimation of a wide array of unobserved components models, we isolate trend inflation rates in a framework that allows for time-varying inflation gap persistence and stochastic volatility in both the trend and transitory components. On average, a sizeable share of overall inflation dynamics is accounted for by movements in the trend. In explaining trend dynamics, we consistently find a signficant role for short-term inflation expectations, economic slack, and openness variables. However, the cumulated impacts of these are fairly small, except in certain, sustained episodes. This is of policy relevance since the monetary authority might want to respond to shocks that are prone to affect the inflation trend in order to ensure that long-term inflation expectations remain anchored.

  • 1908
    The China syndrome affects banks: the credit supply channel of foreign import competition (733 KB) Sergio Mayordomo and Omar Rachedi

    We study the effect of rising Chinese import competition in the early 2000s on banks’ credit supply policies. Using bank-firm-level data on the universe of Spanish corporate loans, we exploit heterogeneity across banks in the exposure of their loan portfolios towards firms competing with Chinese imports. Exposed banks rebalanced their loan portfolios by cutting the supply of credit to firms affected by Chinese competition, while raising their lending towards non-exposed sectors. This portfolio reallocation depressed further the economic activity of firms competing with Chinese imports.

  • 1906
    A new economic policy uncertainty index for Spain (584 KB) Corinna Ghirelli, Javier J. Pérez and Alberto Urtasun

    We construct a new Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU) index for Spain, building on the
    influential methodology of Baker, Bloom and Davis (2016), and compare it with the EPU for
    Spain that these authors provide. We refine the index in several dimensions: we expand
    the headline newspaper coverage from 2 to 7, including economic-financial ones, use a
    much richer set of keywords to form the search expressions, and cover a longer sample
    period. Two results stand out: (i) the new index presents a more consistent chronology
    of economic policy events; (ii) the macroeconomic effects of uncertainty shocks identified
    from the new index yield significant negative responses of GDP, private consumption and
    private investment, compared to mute responses obtained using the original one. Beyond
    the results for the Spanish case, our results suggest that, in addition to the richness of the
    keywords in the search expressions, widening the press and time coverage is key to improve
    the quality of the aggregate EPU index.

  • 1905
    Measuring economic and economic policy uncertainty, and their macroeconomic effects: the case of Spain (595 KB) Corinna Ghirelli, María Gil, Javier J. Pérez and Alberto Urtasun

    We provide additional evidence on the relationship between uncertainty and economic activity. For this purpose, we gather and construct a wide range of proxy indicators of economic and economic policy uncertainty from Spain. We distinguish between the relative merits of different types of measures based on: (i) the volatility of financial markets; (ii) economic analysts’ disagreement; (iii) economic policy uncertainty. We show that the first and the third block of measures are the most relevant to grasp the negative effects of unexpected changes in uncertainty on aggregate economic developments, as measured by real GDP. In addition, we find that economic policy uncertainty and financial uncertainty shocks produce visible negative effects on private consumption. The negative responses on capital goods investments are initially bigger in magnitude but vanish more quickly.

  • 1904
    Timed to say goodbye: does unemployment benefit eligibility affect worker layoffs? (1 MB) Andrea Albanese, Corinna Ghirelli and Matteo Picchio

    We study how unemployment benefit eligibility affects the layoff exit rate by exploiting quasi-experimental variation in eligibility rules in Italy. By using a difference-indifferences estimator, we find an instantaneous increase of about 12% in the layoff probability when unemployment benefit eligibility is attained, which persists for about 16 weeks. These findings are robust to different identifying assumptions and are mostly driven by jobs started after the onset of the Great Recession, in the South and for small firms. We argue that the moral hazard from the employer’s side is the main force driving these layoffs.

  • 1903
    The impact of the ECB´s targeted long-term refinancing operations on banks´ lending policies: the role of competition (1 MB) Desislava C. Andreeva and Miguel García-Posada

    We assess the impact of the Eurosystem’s Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operations
    (TLTROs) on the lending policies of euro area banks. To guide our empirical research, we build a theoretical model in which banks compete à la Cournot in the credit and deposit markets. According to the model, we distinguish between direct and indirect effects. Direct effects take place because bidding banks expand their loan supply due to the lower marginal costs implied by the TLTROs. Indirect effects on non-bidders operate via changes in the competitive environment in banks’ credit and deposit markets and are a priori ambiguous. We then test these theoretical predictions with a sample of 130 banks from 13 countries and the confidential answers to the ECB’s Bank Lending Survey. Regarding direct effects on bidders, we find an easing impact on margins on loans to relatively safe borrowers, but no impact on credit standards. Regarding indirect effects, there is a positive impact on the loan supply on non-bidders but, contrary to the direct effects, the transmission of the TLTROs takes place through an easing of credit standards, and it is mainly concentrated in banks facing high competitive pressures. We also find evidence of positive funding externalities.

  • 1902
    Advertising, innovation and economic growth (879 KB) Laurent Cavenaile and Pau Roldan

    This paper analyzes the implications of advertising for firm dynamics and economic growth through its interaction with R&D investment at the firm level. We develop a model of endogenous growth with firm heterogeneity that incorporates advertising decisions. We calibrate the model to match several empirical regularities across firm size using U.S. data. Through a novel interaction between R&D and advertising, our model provides microfoundations for the empirically observed negative relationship between both firm R&D intensity and growth, and firm size. Our model predicts substitutability between R&D and advertising at the firm level. Lower advertising costs are associated with lower R&D investment and slower economic growth. We provide empirical evidence supporting substitution between R&D and advertising using exogenous changes in the tax treatment of R&D expenditures across U.S. states. Finally, we find that R&D subsidies are more effective under an economy that includes advertising relative to one with no advertising.

  • 1901
    Trade and credit: revisiting the evidence (547 KB) Eduardo Gutiérrez and Enrique Moral-Benito

    This paper explores the effects of bank lending shocks on export behavior of Spanish
    firms. For that purpose, we combine Balance of Payments data on exports at the firm-product-
    destination level with a matched bank-firm dataset incorporating information on the
    universe of corporate loans from 2002 to 2013. Armed with this dataset, we identify bankyear
    specific credit supply shocks following Amiti and Weinstein (2018) and estimate their
    impact on firms’ exports at the product-destination level. According to our estimates, credit
    supply shocks have sizable effects on both the intensive margin (amount exported) and the
    extensive margin of trade (decision to export).

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