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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  • 1635 Juan Francisco Jimeno, Aitor Lacuesta, Marta Martínez-Matute and Ernesto Villanueva Education, labour market experience and cognitive skills: evidence from PIAAC (625 KB)

    We study how formal education and experience in the labour market correlate with measures of human capital available in thirteen countries participating in the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC), an international study assessing adults’ proficiency in numeracy and literacy. Two findings are consistent with the notion that, in producing human capital, work experience is a substitute for formal education for respondents with compulsory schooling. Firstly, the number of years of working experience correlates with performance in PIAAC mostly among low-educated individuals. Secondly, individual fixed-effect models suggest that workers in jobs intensive in numerical tasks – relative to reading tasks – perform relatively better in the numeracy section of the PIAAC test than in the reading part. The results are driven by young individuals with low levels of schooling and hold mainly for simple tasks, suggesting that our findings are not fully generated by the sorting of workers across jobs. A back-of-the-envelope estimate suggests that the contribution of on-the-job learning to skill formation is a quarter of that of compulsory schooling in the countries we analyse.

  • 1634 Juan de Lucio, Raúl Mínguez, Asier Minondo and Francisco Requena The variation of export prices across and within firms (490 KB)

    This paper uses transaction-level trade data to analyse the differences in export prices across and within Spanish manufacturing firms in the year 2014. The transactional nature of the database uncovers sizable differences in the price that an exporter charges for the same product and destination. These differences are related to the number of goods covered within each product category, volume discounts and vertically differentiated varieties. Export prices are positively correlated with firms’ productivity, destination markets’ GDP per capita and distance to Spain. These latter results suggest that Spanish exporters compete in quality.

    Published in: Review of World EconomicsOpens in a new window

  • 1633 Omar Rachedi Portfolio rebalancing and asset pricing with heterogeneous inattention (688 KB)

    Can households’ inattention to the stock market quantitatively account for the inertia in portfolio rebalancing? I address this question by introducing an observation cost into a production economy with heterogeneous agents. In this environment inattention changes endogenously over time and across agents. I find that inattention explains the inertia in portfolio rebalancing and its heterogeneity across households. Inattention also rationalises the limited stock market participation observed in the data, and improves the asset pricing performance of the model. Finally, I present a novel testable implication linking the effects of inattention on portfolio choices and asset prices to households’ funding liquidity.

  • 1632 Mar Delgado Téllez, Víctor D. Lledó and Javier J. Pérez On the determinants of fiscal non-compliance: an empirical analysis of Spain’s regions (754 KB)

    This paper proposes an empirical framework that distinguishes between voluntary and involuntary compliance with fiscal deficit targets on the basis of economic, institutional and political factors. The framework is applied to Spain’s Autonomous Communities (regions) over the period 2002-2015. Fiscal non-compliance among Spain’s regions has proven persistent. It increases with the size of growth forecasting errors and the extent to which fiscal targets are tightened, factors not fully under the control of regional governments. Non-compliance also tends to increase during election years, when vertical fiscal imbalances become accentuated, and market financing costs subside. Strong fiscal rules have not shown any significant impact on containing fiscal noncompliance. Reducing fiscal non-compliance in multi-level governance systems such as Spain’s requires a comprehensive assessment of inter-governmental fiscal arrangements that looks beyond rules-based frameworks by ensuring enforcement procedures are politically credible.

  • 1631 Pablo Burriel and Alessandro Galesi Uncovering the heterogeneous effects of ECB unconventional monetary policies across euro area countries (1 MB)

    We assess the effects of the ECB’s recent unconventional monetary policy measures by estimating a global VAR that exploits panel variation among all euro area economies and explicitly takes into account cross-country interdependencies. Unconventional monetary policy measures have beneficial effects on activity, credit, inflation and equity prices, and lead to a depreciation of the exchange rate. Most euro area members benefit from these measures, but with a substantial degree of heterogeneity. Cross-country spillovers account for a sizable fraction of such dispersion, and substantially amplify effects. Countries with less fragile banking systems benefit the most from unconventional monetary policy measures. Compared to expansionary conventional monetary policies, unconventional measures are particularly effective in reducing firms’ financing costs and boosting credit.

  • 1630 Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti, Marta Martínez-Matute and Miguel García-Posada Credit, crisis and contract enforcement: evidence from the Spanish loan market (766 KB)

    A number of theoretical and empirical studies have shown that the development of credit markets is affected by the efficacy of enforcement institutions. A less explored question is how these institutions interact with turns in the economic cycle and the impact of different types of legal procedures on credit market performance. This paper fills these gaps by analysing how differences in the availability of credit and in non-performing loans ratios may be partially explained by regional variations in the quality of loan contract enforcement during recent periods of sustained growth (2001-2007) and recession (since 2008) in the Spanish economy. This research concludes that a rise in the clearance rate of executions (i.e. when a judge enforces the repayment of a debt) increases the ratio of total credit to GDP. However, the declaratory stage of proceedings (i.e. when a debt is fi rst verifi ed by a judge) does not seem to be statistically significant. A possible explanation of this finding is that, throughout the economic cycle, a significant proportion of the defaults declared are strategic (i.e. defaults by a solvent debtor). Furthermore, it is observed that, in regions where declaratory procedures are more efficient, less credit is declared as non-performing. The latter effect, however, is only observed after the onset of the «Great Recession» in 2008. This may be related to the increase in non-strategic defaults during a downturn.

  • 1629 Susana Párraga Rodríguez The aggregate effects of government income transfer shocks - EU evidence (505 KB)

    This paper estimates the aggregate effect of government income transfer shocks for a sample of EU countries. The new measure of transfer shocks builds on a dataset by public finance experts of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). The identification strategy consists of a narrative analysis of the old-age pension-related policy actions reported in the ESCB dataset. Increases in old-age pensions are found to have a positive impact on aggregate expenditure components and employment consistent with a multiplier effect of between 0 and 1.

  • 1628 Susana Párraga Rodríguez The dynamic effect of public expenditure shocks in the United States (578 KB)

    This paper estimates the dynamic aggregate effect of exogenous shocks to two key components of public expenditure in the United States: government income transfers and government spending. The identification strategy positions the structural shocks to public expenditures in an SVAR framework with exogenous measures of public expenditure changes. Transfers shocks are based on a new narrative variable of legislated increases in U.S. social security benefits. I demonstrate that shocks to different types of public expenditure do not have the same macroeconomic impact. The estimated government spending multiplier is between 0 and 1, while increases in transfers generate a multiplier effect above 1.

  • 1627 Ricardo Gimeno and Eva Ortega The evolution of inflation expectations in euro area markets (2 MB)

    This paper explores the behaviour of inflation expectations across countries that share their monetary policy, in particular those of the European Monetary Union. We investigate the possible common features at the various horizons, as well as differentials across euro area countries. A multi-country dynamic factor model based on Diebold et al. (2008), where we also add a liquidity risk component, is proposed and estimated using daily data from inflation swaps for Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the euro area as a whole, and for a wide range of horizons. It allows us to calculate the proportion of common vs country-specific components in the term structure of inflation expectations. We find sizable differences in inflation expectations across the main euro area countries only at short maturities, while in general a common component predominates throughout the years, especially at long horizons. The common long-run level of inflation expectations is estimated to have fallen since late 2014, while an increased persistence of lower expected inflation and for longer horizons is estimated from 2012. There has been no reversal in either of these characteristics following the announcement and implementation of the ECB’s unconventional monetary policy measures.

  • 1626 Paul De Grauwe and Eddie Gerba Stock market cycles and supply side dynamics: two worlds, one vision? (8 MB)

    This paper compares two state-of-the-art but very distinct methods used in macroeconomics: rational-expectations DSGE and bounded rationality behavioural models. Both models are extended to include financial frictions on the supply side. The result in both frameworks is that production, supply of credit and the front payment to capital producers depend heavily on stock market cycles. During phases of optimism, credit is abundant, access to production capital is easy, the cash-in-advance constraint is lax, risks are undervalued, and production booms. But with a reversal in market sentiment, the contraction in all these parameters is deep and sometimes asymmetric. This is all the more evident in the behavioural model, where economic agents’ cognitive limitations exacerbate the contraction. While both models capture the empirical regularities very well, the validation exercise is even more favourable to the behavioural model.

  • 1625 María Dolores Gadea, Ana Gómez-Loscos and Antonio Montañés Oil price and economic growth: a long story? (641 KB)

    This study investigates changes in the relationship between oil prices and the US economy from a long-term perspective. Although neither of the two series (oil price and GDP growth rates) presents structural breaks in mean, we identify different volatility periods in both of them, separately. From a multivariate perspective, we do not observe a significant effect between changes in oil prices and GDP growth when considering the full period. However, we find a significant relationship in some subperiods by carrying out a rolling analysis and by investigating the presence of structural breaks in the multivariate framework. Finally, we obtain evidence, by means of a time-varying VAR, that the impact of the oil price shock on GDP growth has declined over time. We also observe that the negative effect is greater at the time of large oil price increases, supporting previous evidence of nonlinearity in the relationship.

    Published in: Econometrics, vol. 4(4), pp. 41Opens in a new window.

  • 1624 Galo Nuño and Carlos Thomas Optimal monetary policy with heterogeneous agents (1 MB)

    Incomplete-markets models with heterogeneous agents are increasingly used for policy analysis. We propose a novel methodology for solving fully dynamic optimal policy problems in models of this kind, both under discretion and commitment, based on optimization techniques in function spaces. We illustrate our methodology by studying optimal monetary policy in an incomplete-markets model with long-term nominal debt and costly inflation. Under discretion, an inflationary bias arises from the central bank’s attempt to redistribute wealth from creditors to debtors, who have a higher marginal utility of consumption. Under commitment, this inflationary force is counteracted over time by the incentive to prevent expected future inflation from lowering the price at which issuers of new bonds do so; under certain conditions, long-run inflation is zero as both effects cancel out asymptotically. We find numerically that the optimal commitment features first-order initial inflation followed by a gradual decline towards its (near zero) long-run value.

  • 1623 Carlos Sanz The effect of electoral systems on voter turnout: evidence from a natural experiment (522 KB)

    I exploit the unique institutional framework of Spanish local elections, where municipalities follow different electoral systems depending on their population size, as mandated by a national law. Using a regression discontinuity design, I compare turnout under closed-list proportional representation and under an open-list, plurality-at-large system where voters can vote for individual candidates from the same or different party lists. I find that the openlist system increases turnout by between one and two percentage points. The results suggest that open-list systems, which introduce competition both across and within parties, are conducive to greater voter turnout.

    Published in: Political Science Research and Methods, Vol. 5, Issue 4, October 2017, pp. 689-710Opens in a new window

    Awarded the 2017/18 Political Science Research and Methods Best Paper Award.

  • 1622 Javier Andrés, Óscar Arce and Carlos Thomas When fiscal consolidation meets private deleveraging (1 MB)

    We analyze the interaction between fiscal consolidation and private-sector deleveraging in an economy within a monetary union. Pre-existing long term collateralized private debt – a core ingredient of the deleveraging process – plays a critical role in shaping fiscal multipliers. By buffering the short-run fall in debtors’ spending capacity, long-run private debt reduces the short-run multipliers of aggressive (large and/or fast) consolidations. However, absent credibility concerns, aggressive consolidations raise the intensity and length of private deleveraging, causing higher output losses over the medium run. In terms of discounted output losses and welfare, this latter effect dominates, so that larger and faster consolidations are relatively costlier than smaller and more gradual ones. Also, in this environment, alternative budgetary instruments generate sizable differences in terms of their incidence on private deleveraging dynamics and, hence, on the overall output costs of fiscal consolidations.

  • 1621 Adrian van Rixtel, Luna Romo González and Jing Yang The determinants of long-term debt issuance by European banks: evidence of two crises (2 MB)

    This paper is one of the first to investigate the determinants of bond issuance by European banks. We use a unique database of around 50,000 bonds issued by 63 banks from 14 European countries to test explicitly a broad set of hypotheses on the drivers of bond issuance. The sample covers the two major financial crises that caused severe dislocations in bank funding structures, i.e. the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the euro area financial crisis of 2010-2012. Our findings suggest that “market timing” (low interest rates) drove issuance before but not during the crisis, when access to funding became more important than its cost. Moreover, during the crisis years, country-risk characteristics became drivers of bond issuance, while for banks from the euro area periphery central bank liquidity substituted for unsecured long-term debt. We also show that heightened financial market tensions were detrimental to bond issuance, and more strongly so during crisis episodes. We find evidence of “leverage targeting” by means of the issuance of long-term debt during the crisis years. The positive and significant coefficient for the capital ratio supports the “risk absorption” hypothesis, suggesting that larger capital buffers enhanced the risk-bearing capacity of banks and allowed them to issue more debt. Moreover, banks with deposit supply constraints and relatively large loan portfolios issued more bonds, both before and after the crisis years. We find, too, that higher rated banks were more likely to issue bonds, also during the crisis period. Stronger banks issued unsecured debt in particular, while weaker banks resorted more to issuance of covered bonds. Overall, our results suggest that stronger banks – including those from peripheral countries – maintained better access to longer-term funding markets, even during crisis periods.

  • 1620 Francisco Martí and Javier J. Pérez Spanish public finances through the financial crisis (622 KB)

    Spain’s public finances have been under significant stress during the crisis, despite precrisisfiscal surpluses and low levels of public debt. The impact of the crisis and an initial phase of counter-cyclical activism exacerbated the existing (structural) fiscal vulnerabilities. To correct the fiscal imbalances, a significant number of bold policy actions were taken, affecting taxation, public spending, national fiscal rules and the structure of the public sector. In this paper we discuss the evolution of public finances in Spain during the financial crisis, framing crisis-related fiscal policy measures within medium-term economic trends and focusing on policy responses to the financial crisis. We also touch upon the main policy challenges ahead.

  • 1619 Gabriele Fiorentini, Alessandro Galesi and Enrique Sentana A spectral EM algorithm for dynamic factor models (818 KB)

    We make two complementary contributions to efficiently estimate dynamic factor models: a frequency domain EM algorithm and a swift iterated indirect inference procedure for ARMA models with no asymptotic efficiency loss for any finite number of iterations. Although our procedures can estimate such models with many series without good initial values, near the optimum we recommend switching to a gradient method that analytically computes spectral scores using the EM principle. We successfully employ our methods to construct an index that captures the common movements of US sectoral employment growth rates, which we compare to the indices obtained by semiparametric methods.

  • 1618 Mihály Tamás Borsi Fiscal multipliers across the credit cycle (659 KB)

    This paper studies the differences between fiscal multipliers in OECD economies across the credit cycle. Impulse responses are obtained using a state-dependent model with direct projections, in which multipliers depend on the state of credit markets. Identification of the effects of fiscal stimulus and austerity measures is achieved by distinguishing between unanticipated increases and decreases in government spending. The empirical results imply that the financial environment matters. Expansionary fiscal policies are associated with large multipliers during credit crunch episodes, and spending increases likewise foster economic growth in periods of rapid credit expansion, albeit to a lesser extent. In contrast, the output effect of contractionary fiscal policies is never statistically different from zero. Regime-specific multipliers of the individual components of GDP and the unemployment rate suggest that reductions in public expenditure should help constrain the economy during unsustainable credit booms, whereas spending increases in financial recessions should facilitate the repair of private sector balance sheets in order to revive market confidence and boost economic recovery.

  • 1617 Mihály Tamás Borsi Credit contractions and unemployment (602 KB)

    This paper investigates the impact of private credit contractions on labor market performance. Impulse responses for total, youth, and long-term unemployment are estimated using local projections for a panel of 20 OECD countries over the period 1980-2013. The empirical findings suggest that a decline in private credit can generate sizable and statistically significant increases in all three unemployment measures. On average, credit contractions in the sample increase total unemployment rates by nearly 1 percentage point at the peak. This effect is even stronger for youth unemployment. The persistent impact on long-term unemployment emphasizes the sluggish recovery of labor markets following a credit downturn. The results also reveal that increases in joblessness depend heavily on the scale of the build-up in financial leverage prior to the onset of a contraction. Specifically, excessive credit booms tend to be followed by a significantly larger rise in unemployment in the subsequent bust phase. Moreover, credit contractions associated with rigid labor market institutions lead to disproportionately greater increases in unemployment. These findings underline the important relationship between disruptions in the credit market and unemployment fluctuations.

  • 1616 Bing Xu, Adrian van Rixtel and Honglin Wang Do banks extract informational rents through collateral? (810 KB)

    The use of collateral is one of the defining characteristics of loan contracts. This paper investigates if relationship lending and market concentration allow for informational rent extraction through collateral. We use equity IPO data as informational shocks that erode rent-seeking opportunities. Using a new loan-level database for China, we find that collateral incidence increases with relationship intensity and banking market concentration for loans obtained pre- IPO, while this effect is more moderate post-IPO. We also show that the degree of rent extraction declines for lower-risk firms post-IPO, while it increases for higher-risk firms. These results are not driven by differences or changes in firm-specific financial risks. To our knowledge, our paper is the first to investigate the determinants of collateral for China using loan-level data.

  • 1615 Alessandro Galesi and Omar Rachedi Structural transformation, services deepening, and the transmission of monetary policy (678 KB)

    Advanced economies are undergoing a structural transformation from manufacturing to services. We document that structural change comes with a process of services deepening: over time, both services and manufacturing become more intensive in service inputs. We argue that structural transformation and services deepening affect the transmission of monetary policy by increasing the relative importance of services, which have stickier prices than manufacturing. We study the implications of the U.S. sectoral reallocation with a New Keynesian model with two sectors connected by an input-output matrix, which varies endogenously over time. The rise of services dampens the responses of aggregate and sectoral inflation rates to a monetary policy shock. The changes in the responses of sectoral inflation rates are entirely driven by services deepening.

  • 1614 Jaime Martínez-Martín Breaking down world trade elasticities: a panel ECM approach (785 KB)

    This paper exhaustively analyses the recent decline of international trade elasticities to output growth. We extend an empirical model of import demand functions to account not only for transitory factors, such as relative prices and import intensity-adjusted measures of demand (I-O Tables), but also for habitually neglected permanent factors such as protectionism, vertical integration (i.e. Global Value Chains) and foreign direct investment (FDI). Dealing with a non-stationary heteregenous panel of 27 countries, we estimate a panel Error Correction Model from 1960 to 2015 in order to break down world trade elasticities. Our main findings evidence: i) the presence of panel (cointegrating) structural changes in the trade-to-GDP relationship in 2000 and 2009, private consumption being a source of disruption; ii) although investment and exports are the most sensitive, import-intensive components of demand, this is far from being transitory, which is clearly weighing on the current slowdown; iii) the relevant contribution of GVCs shows a procyclical pattern, questioning the permanent nature of the current levelling-off of vertical integration processes. The lack of progress in reducing import tariffs and the usual discarded, complementary relationship between FDI and imports have a residual role. All in all, our results have substantial policy implications, as they reinforce the idea of a historical break towards a new ‘normal’ trading phase.

  • 1613 Enrique Moral-Benito Growing by learning: firm-level evidence on the size-productivity nexus (610 KB)

    It is a well-known empirical regularity that small firms are less productive than large firms. However, does size cause productivity or vice versa? Using matching methods, I find that productivity shocks are followed by significant increases in size defined by employment. In contrast, size shocks are not followed by productivity gains at the firm level. This finding casts doubt on the conventional wisdom that aggregate productivity in Spain is driven by a firm size distribution biased towards small firms in comparison with other developed countries. According to my findings, low firm-level productivity might play a crucial role in shaping the Spanish firm size distribution.

  • 1612 Celestino Girón, Marta Morano, Enrique M. Quilis, Daniel Santabárbara and Carlos Torregrosa Modelling interest payments for macroeconomic assessment (842 KB)

    In this paper we present a methodology designed to estimate the future path of the interest payments of central government. The basic idea is to represent in a compact way the joint dynamics of debt liabilities and interest payments as a function of four elements: the initial outstanding amounts of debt, the expected primary funding needs, the expected yield curves and the expected issuance strategy to be followed by the government. The procedure is amenable to scenario-based simulation and produces a detailed representation of the debt term structure. We provide results for the period 2015-2025.

  • 1611 Luna Azahara Romo González The drivers of European banks’ US dollar debt issuance: opportunistic funding in times of crisis? (1 MB)

    This paper provides a comprehensive investigation of the determinants of US dollar-denominated long-term debt issuance by European banks. The database used allows the drivers of foreign-currency issuance identified in the literature, including variables at the individual firm (e.g. bank) level, to be explored. The analysis covers overall US dollar issuance as well as Yankee debt issuance, which is defined in this paper as bonds denominated in US dollars issued in domestic US markets by non-US issuers. In addition, issuance determinants are investigated during both crisis and non-crisis periods. The main findings are the following. European banks issue US dollar debt to naturally hedge their US dollar assets (with US dollar exposures obtained from BIS international banking statistics), but they also make extensive use of deviations in covered interest parity and even in uncovered interest parity, particularly after the crisis. There is also evidence that banks issue in US dollars for strategic reasons and that heightened volatility has a negative impact on US dollar issuance. Bank-specific variables are also relevant drivers of US dollar debt issuance: banks with higher asset growth, with a banking subsidiary in the United States and with a high credit rating are more likely to issue in US dollars than others. Bank-specific structures, as captured by deposit and loan ratios, also have a relevant impact on US dollar funding activity in some cases. The results are robust to alternative econometric specifications and to different definitions of covered and uncovered cost savings.

  • 1610 Miguel García-Posada and Raquel Vegas Las reformas de la Ley Concursal durante la Gran Recesión (2 MB)

    Traditionally, bankruptcy procedures in Spain have been lengthy and costly processes that have nearly always (95%) resulted in the liquidation of the insolvent firm. These dysfunctions became apparent with the large increase in bankruptcy filings during the crisis that started in 2008 and the ensuing congestion of the courts. In order to resolve these and other problems, the Bankruptcy Law has been reformed several times. The goal of this research is to analyse the impact of these reforms on two facets: the length of bankruptcy procedures and the probability of achieving a successful reorganisation, hence avoiding the firm’s liquidation. Our findings show that two of the four reforms analysed increased the percentage of reorganisations and decreased bankruptcy duration through improving the quality of insolvency administrators and by fostering out-of-court workouts for large corporations.

  • 1609 Manuel García-Santana, Enrique Moral-Benito, Josep Pijoan-Mas and Roberto Ramos Growing like Spain: 1995-2007 (699 KB)

    Spanish GDP grew at an average rate of 3.5% per year during the 1995-2007 expansion, well above the EU average of 2.2%. However, this growth was based on factor accumulation rather than productivity gains as TFP fell at an annual rate of 0.7%. Using firm-level administrative data for all sectors we show that deterioration in the allocative efficiency of productive factors across firms was at the root of the low TFP growth in Spain, while misallocation across sectors played only a minor role. We show that within-industry misallocation of production factors increased substantially over the period in all industries. Absent such deterioration, average TFP growth would have been around 0.8% per year, in line with the growth of the technological frontier. Cross-industry variation reveals that the increase in misallocation was more severe in sectors where the incidence of regulations is greater. In contrast, sectoral differences in financial dependence, skill intensity, innovative content, tradability and the intensity of capital structures appear to be unrelated to changes in allocative efficiency. All in all, the observed high output growth together with increasing firm-level misallocation in all sectors is consistent with an expansion driven by a demand boom rather than by structural reforms.

  • 1608 Carmen Broto and Matías Lamas Measuring market liquidity in US fixed income markets: a new synthetic indicator (1.020 KB)

    We propose a new synthetic liquidity indicator that summarises the data on a broad set of market liquidity measures both for sovereign and corporate fixed income markets in the US. Our index is based on 17 variables that cover the main dimensions of market liquidity. The methodology used to calculate the index consists of two steps. First, a transformation of the individual liquidity measures is made, based on the methodology proposed by Holló et al. (2012) for the CISS (Composite Indicator of Systemic Stress). The transformed variables are then weighted using a principal component analysis. The indicator shows that liquidity in US fixed income markets has been impaired after the global financial crisis, mainly as a result of weaker liquidity conditions in US Treasury markets, whereas those in the corporate debt market remained stable.

  • 1607 Vincenzo Merella and Daniel Santabárbara Do the rich (really) consume higher quality goods? Evidence from international trade data (2 MB)

    Using average import prices (unit values) as proxies for quality, a large body of the international trade literature finds both theoretical and empirical support for the positive relationship between importer income and quality of imports. Several authors, however, argue that the empirical evidence of the link between income and product quality might be spurious, since import prices could be affected by other factors than product quality. This paper takes into account this issue with a new theoretical and empirical approach. Building on Khandelwal’s (2010) discrete choice model approach, where quality is inferred by quantitative market shares as well as unit values, we develop a model that allows for willingness to pay for quality to vary with income. We empirically validate the theoretical relationship between importer income and product quality by using the Eurostat’s COMEXT database, which collects customs data reported by EU countries at 8-digit disaggregation. Our estimations support the positive link between consumer income and product quality, which is also robust across sectors.

  • 1606 Fructuoso Borrallo, Ignacio Hernando and Javier Vallés The effects of US unconventional monetary policies in Latin America (993 KB)

    This paper offers an empirical analysis of the way in which US unconventional monetary policy has affected Latin American countries. First, we estimate the effects of US monetary policy announcements on sovereign bond interest rates, exchange rates and stock market indices for a set of emerging countries, including five Latin American economies. We find that QE announcements in 2008/2009 and the “tapering talk” in 2013 generated sizable sovereign yield and exchange rate fluctuations. We further find some excess response of Latam asset prices that disappear once we take into account their country characteristics. In the second part of the paper we estimate a simple model that measures the influence of country-specific macroeconomic fundamentals on the transmission of US financial disturbances. An estimated model including the inflation rate, the CDS spread, the ratio of official reserves and market capitalisation explains some of the observed cross-country heterogeneity of spillovers from US monetary policy announcements. Under this model, a greater impact from the normalisation of US monetary policy can be expected in Latin America relative to other emerging economies.

  • 1605 Ana Lamo, Enrique Moral-Benito and Javier J. Pérez Does slack influence public and private labour market interactions? (595 KB)

    We empirically analyse the impact of public employment and public wages shocks on private labour market outcomes by examining whether policies operate differently in periods of economic slack than in normal times. We use local projection methods and focus on the Spanish and euro area aggregate cases. We find that the degree of unemployment slack is key for determining: (i) whether public employment crowds out private employment, and (ii) the degree and extent of the influence of public wages on the private sector. In addition, we find that at times of economic distress, public wage adjustment has lower output costs than public employment cuts for the Spanish case, while the opposite occurs at the euro area level. We conjecture that differences in the degree of wage rigidities and the size of the unemployment pool may rationalise our findings.

  • 1604 Enrique Alberola, Iván Kataryniuk, Ángel Melguizo and René Orozco Fiscal policy and the cycle in Latin America: the role of financing conditions and fiscal rules (961 KB)

    Their strong macroeconomic position when the financial crisis erupted allowed Latin American economies to mitigate its impact through fiscal expansions, reversing the characteristic procyclical behaviour of fiscal policy. At the same time, in the last two decades fiscal rules have been extensively adopted in the region. This paper analyses the stabilising role of discretionary fiscal policy over time, and the role of fiscal financing conditions and fiscal rules in the behaviour of a sample of eight Latin American economies. The analysis shows three main results: i) fiscal policies became countercyclical during the crisis, but they have turned procyclical again in recent years; ii) financing conditions are confirmed to be a key driver of the fiscal stance, although their relevance has recently diminished; and iii) fiscal rules are associated with a more marked stabilising role for fiscal policy.

    Published in: BIS Working Paper, no. 543.Opens in a new window

  • 1603 Alberto Fuertes and José María Serena How firms borrow in international bond markets: securities regulation and market segmentation (1 MB)

    We investigate how firms in emerging economies choose among the different international bond markets: global, US144A and Eurobond markets. By exploiting the connection between the market of issuance and regulatory disclosure of information, we show that firms with poorer credit quality, less ability to absorb flotation costs and more informational asymmetries issue debt in US144A and Eurobond markets, where regulation is lighter and information is less public. On the contrary, firms issuing global bonds – subject to full SEC requirements – are financially sounder and larger. This exercise also shows that, following the global crisis, firms are more likely to tap less regulated debt markets. The results are supported by descriptive evidence, univariate non-parametric analyses, and conditional and multinomial logit analyses. To research the issue, we have constructed a novel dataset containing information on firms’ debt securities issuance and their financial accounts for the period 2000-2014. To account for firms’ complex structures, we look at the balance sheet of the guarantor of debt, which need not be the issuing company. The dataset comprises 3,944 debt securities, guaranteed by firms of 36 emerging economies, which amount to a total of 1.2 USD trillion in debt issued.

    Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance (forthcoming)

  • 1602 Trino-Manuel Ñíguez and Javier Perote Multivariate moments expansion density: application of the dynamic equicorrelation model (3 MB)

    In this study, we propose a new semi-nonparametric (SNP) density model for describing the density of portfolio returns. This distribution, which we refer to as the multivariate moments expansion (MME), admits any non-Gaussian (multivariate) distribution as its basis because it is specified directly in terms of the basis density s moments. To obtain the expansion of the Gaussian density, the MME is a reformulation of the multivariate Gram-Charlier (MGC), but the MME is much simpler and tractable than the MGC when positive transformations are used to produce well-defined densities. As an empirical application, we extend the dynamic conditional equicorrelation (DECO) model to an SNP framework using the MME. The resulting model is parameterized in a feasible manner to admit two-stage consistent estimation, and it represents the DECO as well as the salient non-Gaussian features of portfolio return distributions. The in- and out-of-sample performance of a MME-DECO model of a portfolio of 10 assets demonstrates that it can be a useful tool for risk management purposes.

    Published in: Journal of Banking & Finance, 72, pp.S216-S232Opens in a new window

  • 1601 Christian Castro, Ángel Estrada and Jorge Martínez The countercyclical capital buffer in Spain: an analysis of key guiding indicators (869 KB)

    This paper analyses a group of quantitative indicators to guide the Basel III countercyclical capital buffer (CCB) in Spain. Using data covering three stress events in the Spanish banking system since the early 1960s, we describe a number of conceptual and practical issues that may arise with the Basel benchmark buffer guide (i.e. the credit-to-GDP gap) and study alternative specifications plus a number of complementary indicators. In this connection, we explore ways to deal with structural changes that may lead to some shortcomings in the indicators. Overall, we find that indicators of credit ‘intensity’ (where we propose the ratio of changes in credit to GDP), private sector debt sustainability, real estate prices and external imbalances can usefully complement the credit-to-GDP gap when taking CCB decisions in Spain.

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