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The purpose of the FIW Working Paper series is to circulate the results of ongoing research in international economics within the research community and thus to encourage discussion and stimulate critical comments within the field as well as to enhance networking and potential cooperation among researchers. Please take our Call for Papers into account if you want to submit your work.Call for Working Papers

Equilibrium Real Effective Exchange Rates and Real Exchange Rate Misalignments: Time Series vs. Panel Estimates

FIW Working Paper N° 65

Oliver Hossfeld - December 2010

 

Abstract: We follow the behavioral equilibrium exchange rate approach by Clark and MacDonald (1998) to derive equilibrium real effective exchange rates and currency misalignments for the US and its 16 major trading partners. We apply cointegration and panel cointegration techniques to derive fully countryspecific measures of misalignment and measures based on panel estimates. We formally test the forecast performance of pooled vs. heterogeneous estimators over a hold-back period and find that pooling the data delivers more accurate forecasts in the vast majority of cases although the implicit long-run homogeneity restriction is statistically rejected. This is especially remarkable, since we have given the heterogeneous estimator an ’unfair’ advantage by choosing the country-specific model (of up to 21 possible ones) with the best out-of-sample performance prior to comparing it to two final panel specifications. Robustness of the results is supported by recently introduced cross-sectionally augmented panel unit root tests by Pesaran (2007) and bootstrapped error correction-based panel cointegration tests by Westerlund (2007), as well as different estimators. While we find strong evidence for the Balassa-Samuelson-effect, the evidence for other commonly hypothesized fundamentals is weak.

Does the nominal exchange rate regime affect the real interest parity condition?

FIW Working Paper N° 64

Christian Dreger - December 2010

 

Abstract:The real interest parity (RIP) condition combines two cornerstones in international finance, uncovered interest parity (UIP) and ex ante purchasing power parity (PPP). The extent of deviation from RIP is therefore an indicator of the lack of product and financial market integration. This paper investigates whether the nominal exchange rate regime has an impact on RIP. The analysis is based on 15 annual real interest rates and covers a long time span, 1870-2006. Four subperiods are distinguished and linked to fixed and flexible exchange rate regimes: the Gold Standard, the interwar float, the Bretton Woods system and the current managed float. Panel integration techniques are applied to increase the power of the tests, where cross section correlation is embedded via common factor structures. The results suggest that RIP holds as a long run condition irrespectively of the nominal exchange rate regime. However, adjustment towards RIP is affected by both the institutional framework and the historical episode. Half lives of shocks tend to be lower under fixed exchange rates and in the first part of the sample. Although barriers to trade and capital controls have been removed, they did not lead to lower half lives during the managed float.

Inequality Adjustment Criteria for the Human Development Index

FIW Working Paper N° 63

Enrico Casadio Tarabusi, Giulio Guarini - December 2010

 

Abstract: Despite its popularity, the United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI) only addresses simplistically, if at all, issues of inequality, intended either across dimensions or across units (or both). To overcome this problem, the weighted arithmetic average can be replaced, in the aggregation steps, by more sophisticated non-linear functions, often given by suitable generalised means, that impose penalizations for inequalities; this is done (more or less explicitly) in the literature, as well as in the 2010 edition of the Human Development Report (HDR). Besides other basic properties that aggregation functions are expected to satisfy, the following additional two appear relevant: the function must be defined for every set of values of variables (including high or negative), and the compensability among variables must be incomplete. Furthermore, a choice must be allowed among three different kinds of penalisations: one that only depends on the differences of variables (called "constant penalisation" here); one that, for given such differences, increases--and one that decreases--when the absolute levels of variables increase. These features were not discussed previously in the literature and are not fulfilled, for instance, by the Inequality Adjusted HDI of the 2010 HDR. Nevertheless, these features do hold for a suitable explicit generalised mean introduced here. Such an aggregation function is then applied to a database of 32 developing or developed countries, thereby resulting in significant rating and ranking variations with respect to the HDI, especially in the non-constant penalisation cases. Moreover, there is a negative correlation between the HDI and the penalisation value (that can be regarded as a penalization index in itself), both in terms of rating and ranking.

Measurement of Specialization – The Choice of Indices

FIW Working Paper N° 62

Nicole Palan - December 2010

 

Abstract: This paper compares nine common specialization indices, discussing their properties, strengths and weaknesses. In order to unravel the differences between the indices they are applied to European employment structures in 2005, spanning 51 industries and 24 European countries. The resulting heterogeneity levels differ largely between relative and absolute specialization measures, but also within these two groups of indices. As results are highly dependent on which measure is employed, it is important to be aware of carefully choosing appropriate indices in empirical studies in order to attain appropriate conclusions and conduct sound economic policy.

Unions’ Bargaining Coordination in Multinational Enterprises

FIW Working Paper N° 61

Domenico Buccella - November 2010_ update: June 2011

 

Abstract: This paper investigates the coordination of bargaining activities among labor unions in a Multinational Enterprise (MNE) with plants in different countries. Making use of a threestage game where the parties sequentially decide whether to coordinate negotiations, it derives the bargaining regimes arising as sub-game perfect equilibria. In presence of workers perfect substitutes in production and symmetry in the plants’ efficiency, it is shown that unions’ transaction costs may attenuate the conflict of interests among the parties as regards the level of coordination at which negotiations should take place.

Financial Development, Financial Openness and Trade Openness: New evidence

FIW Working Paper N° 60

PHAM Thi Hong Hanh - November 2010

 

Abstract: Employing the Pedroni co-integration technique and the GMM estimator, this paper aims at investigating the possible connection between financial development, financial openness and trade openness in twenty-nine Asian developing countries over 1994-2008. Firstly, we find a bidirectional causality between trade openness and financial development/openness. Secondly, the relationship between financial development and financial openness is heterogeneous across different measures. Finally, this paper provides a complementary contribution to earlier studies as asking for the question of whether the inclusion of financial crisis in estimated models can change the nature of the relationship between financial development and both types of openness.

How Bad is Globalization for Labour Standards in the North?

FIW Working Paper N° 59

Alejandro Donado, Klaus Wälde - November 2010

 

Abstract: We analyse a world consisting of ’the North’ and ’the South’ where labour standards in the North are set by trade unions. Standards set by unions tend to increase output and welfare. There are no unions in the South and work standards are suboptimal. Trade between these two countries can imply a reduction in work standards in the North. Moreover, when trade unions are established in the South, the North, including northern unions, tends to lose out. Quantitatively, these effects are small and overcompensated for by gains in the South. The existing empirical literature tends to support our findings.

International Spillovers of Output Growth and Output Growth Volatility: Evidence from the G7

FIW Working Paper N° 58

Nikolaos Antonakakis, Harald Badinger - November 2010

 

Abstract: This paper examines the transmission of GDP growth and GDP growth volatility among the G7 countries over the period 1960 q1 - 2009 q3, using a multivariate generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (MGARCH) model to identify the source and magnitude of spillovers. Results indicate the presence of positive own-country GDP growth spillovers in each country and of cross-country GDP growth spillovers among most of the G7 countries. In addition, the large number of significant own-country output growth volatility and cross-country output growth volatility spillovers indicates that output growth shocks in most of the G7 countries affect output growth volatility in the remaining others. An additional finding is that U.S. is the dominant source of GDP growth volatility transmission, as its volatility exerts a significant unidirectional spillover to all remaining G7 countries.

An Overhaul of a Doctrine: Has Inflation Targeting Opened a New Era in Developing-country Peggers?

FIW Working Paper N° 57

Marjan Petreski - November 2010

 

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to empirically examine the effect of a regime switch, from exchange-rate targeting (fixed exchange rate) to inflation targeting, on monetary policy in developing economies, hence adding to evidence on whether inflation targeting along with a managed float provides a better monetary policy compared to exchange-rate targeting. For this purpose, a group of developing countries that have historically experienced such a switch is analysed. This is done by an augmented interest-rate rule a-la Taylor (1993; 2001). Two methodological approaches are used: switching regression and Markov-switching method. Although both approaches have different drawbacks which compensate, still both lead to the conclusion that inflation targeting represented a real switch in developing countries. The period of inflation targeting was characterized by: a more stable economic environment; by more independent monetary-policy conduct; and by strict focus on inflation. Estimates suggest that the switch to a new monetary regime explains these results.

Business cycle convergence in EMU: A second look at the second moment

FIW Working Paper N° 56

Jesús Crespo-Cuaresma, Octavio Fernández-Amador - September 2010

 

Abstract: We analyse the dynamics of the standard deviation of demand shocks and of the demand component of GDP across countries in the European Monetary Union (EMU). This analysis allows us to evaluate the patterns of cyclical comovement in EMU and put them in contrast to the cyclical performance of the new members of the EU and other OECD countries. We use the methodology put forward in Crespo-Cuaresma and Fernández-Amador (2010), which makes use of sigma-convergence methods to identify synchronization patterns in business cycles. The Eurozone has converged to a stable lower level of dispersion across business cycles during the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s. The new EU members have also experienced a strong pattern of convergence from 1998 to 2005, when a strong divergence trend appears. An enlargement of the EMU to 22 members would not decrease its optimality as a currency area. There is evidence for some European idiosyncrasy as opposed to a world-wide comovement.

Firm growth, European industry dynamics and domestic business cycles

FIW Working Paper N° 55

Harald Oberhofer - September 2010

 

Abstract: Based on the empirical firm growth literature and on heterogeneous (microeconomic) adjustment models, this paper empirically investigates the impact of European industry fluctuations and domestic business cycles on the growth performance of European firms. Since the implementation of the Single market program (SMP) the EU 27 member states share a common market. Accordingly, the European industry business cycle is expected to become a more influential predictor of European firms' behavior at the expense of domestic fluctuations. Empirically, the results of a two-part model for a sample of European manufacturing firms reject this hypothesis. Additionally, subsidiaries of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) constitute the most stable firm cohort throughout the observed business cycle.

Business cycle convergence in EMU: A first look at the second moment

FIW Working Paper N° 54

Jesús Crespo-Cuaresma, Octavio Fernández-Amador - September 2010

 

Abstract: We propose the analysis of the dynamics of the standard deviation of business cycles across euro area countries in order to evaluate the patterns of cyclical convergence in the European Monetary Union for the period 1960-2008. We identify significant business cycle divergence taking place in the mid-eighties, followed by a persistent convergence period spanning most of the nineties. This convergent episode finishes roughly with the birth of the European Monetary Union. A hypothetical euro area including all the new members of the recent enlargements does not imply a sizeable decrease in the optimality of the currency union. Finally, the European synchronization differential with respect to other developed economies seems to have been diluted within a global cycle since 2004.

Sectoral productivity and spillover effects of FDI in Latin America

FIW Working Paper N° 53

Gabriele Tondl, Jorge A. Fornero - August 2010

 

Abstract: Empirical studies analysing productivity effects of inward FDI in Latin America (LA) are inconclusive. We argue that investigating aggregate FDI masks

interesting effects of FDI that take place within and across sectors. Moreover, the potential of FDI to generate productivity effects differs across sectors. For these reasons and because sectoral FDI intensities vary significantly among LA countries and change over time, we investigate the productivity effects of FDI in eight different sectors including the primary sector, manufacturing and services. Besides FDI, sector-specific institutional factors, education and a sector‘s export share are considered as control variables. Given the likely endogeneity of variables, a GMM system estimation approach is used. The results indicate that positive productivity effects can be found in all sectors, although they may depend on specific conditions or are limited to a certain time period. Direct productivity effects are highest in the primary sector (agriculture, mining and petroleum production) and in financial services. In contrast, FDI in manufacturing and in transport and telecommunications generates productivity spillovers to nearly all other sectors.

East Asia in World Trade: The Decoupling Fallacy, Crisis, and Policy Challenges

FIW Working Paper N° 52

Prema-chandra Athukorala and Archanun Kohpaiboon - July 2010

 

Abstract: This paper examines the export experience of China and other East Asian economies in the aftermaths of the global financial crisis against the backdrop of pre-crisis trade patterns. The analysis is motivated by the ‘decoupling’ thesis, which was a popular theme in the Asian policy circles in the lead-up to the onset of the recent financial crisis, and aims to probe three key issues: Was the East Asian trade integration story that underpinned the decoupling thesis simply a statistical artifact or the massive export contraction caused by an overreaction of traders to the global economic crisis and/or by the drying up of trade credit, which overpowered the cushion provided by intra-regional trade? What are the new policy challenges faced by the East Asian economies? Is there room for an integrated policy response that marks a clear departure from the pre-crisis policy stance favoring export-oriented growth? The findings caution against a possible policy backlash against openness to foreign trade arising from the new-found enthusiasm for rebalancing growth, and make a strong case for a long-term commitment to non-discriminatory multilateral and unilateral trade liberalization.

FDI and Corporate Geography in the Home Country

FIW Working Paper N° 51

Rita Cappariello, Stefano Federico and Roberta Zizza - June 2010

 

Abstract: This paper contributes to the empirical literature on the home-country effects of FDI. Instead of comparing FDI firms to non-FDI firms, we look at what

happens within multi-plant FDI firms and we compare headquarters to onheadquarter plants belonging to the same firm. Using survey data on Italian industrial firms, we find that in FDI firms non-headquarter plants show a significantly worse performance in terms of employment and investment than headquarter plants. This suggests that the home-country effects of FDI tend to

be biased in favour of headquarters.

FDI, International Trade and Union Collusion

FIW Working Paper N° 50

Domenico Buccella - June 2010

 

Abstract: This paper deals with firms’ decision related to international activities in a twocountry oligopoly model with a homogeneous product and unionized labor markets. Using a three-stage non-cooperative game with firms being first movers, it is found that firms’ strategies are affected by the scale of fixed costs of direct investments, trade costs and union wage strategies in labor markets, giving rise to different productive structures in equilibrium. Scopes and incentives for unions’ collusion are analyzed. The consequences on national welfare levels of both unions and firms’ strategic behavior are also investigated, deriving some policy insights.

The Synchronization of GDP Growth in the G7 during U.S. Recessions. Is this Time Different?

FIW Working Paper N° 49

Nikolaos Antonakakis, Johann Scharler - April 2010

 

Abstract: Using the dynamic conditional correlation (DCC) model due to Engle (2002), we estimate time varying correlations of quarterly real GDP growth among the G7 countries. In general, we find that rather heterogeneous patterns of international synchronization exist during U.S. recessions. During the 2007 - 2009 recession, however, international co-movement increased substantially.

Financial Integration in Autocracies: Greasing the Wheel or More to Steal?

FIW Working Paper N° 48

Ramin Dadasov, Philipp Harms, Oliver Lorz - April 2010

 

Abstract: This paper analyzes the influence of financial integration on institutional

quality. We construct a dynamic political-economic model of an autocracy in which a ruling elite uses its political power to expropriate the general population. Although financial integration reduces capital costs for entrepreneurs and thereby raises gross incomes in the private sector, the elite may counteract this effect by increasing the level of expropriation. Since de facto political power is linked to economic resources, financial integration also has long-run consequences for the distribution of power and for the rise of an entrepreneurial class.

The Influence of Trade with the EU-15 on Wages in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia between 1997 and 2005

FIW Working Paper N° 47

Konstantin Wacker - April 2010

 

Abstract: I use the STAN database of the OECD and different econometric methods to investigate the effects of exports towards the EU-15 on wages in the Visegrad countries (CEEC-4; Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia). The results do not allow to draw any definite statements about this effect. While the impact of exports towards the EU-15 on wages in the countries investigated is likely to be negative in the short run (1-2 years), it seems to be positive in the medium and long run, at least for Hungary and Poland.

Nevertheless, it is clear that the pattern of the CEEC-4 exports towards the EU-15 does not correspond with the predictions of the Heckscher-Ohlin model.

Therefore, also the theorems of Stolper and Samuelson (1941) and concerning the equalization of factor prices, which are based on the Heckscher-Ohlin model, do not seem accurate to describe the underlying forces linking trade with factor prices. I argue that missing regional and related inter-sectoral labor mobility might be a potential factor preventing employees from taking advantage of trade liberalization. To substantiate this suspicion, however, analysis of more disaggregated data is necessary.

How to Measure Globalisation? A New Globalisation Index (NGI)

FIW Working Paper N° 46

Petra Vujakovic - Februar 2010

 

Abstract: In this article, a new composite globalisation index will be presented. With its 21 variables, it accounts for the multidimensionality of this phenomenon instead of relying purely on economic indicators. As compared to other existing globalisation indices, three major innovations are introduced in this New Globalisation Index (NGI). Firstly, five variables that have until now not been used in globalisation indices enter the calculations. Secondly, geographical distances between countries are incorporated into the index in the trade variable, so as to account for the distinction between globalisation and regional integration. A final innovation is a methodological one, which concerns the use of a statistical method (principal component analysis) to form subindices according to the statistical features of the variable structure. A control for country size is employed for significantly affected variables, as was done in some other globalisation indices before. The final index contains 70 countries and covers a period between 1995 and 2005.

Agglomeration Economies and Location Choices by Foreign Firms in Vietnam

FIW Working Paper N° 45

Dinh Thi Thanh Binh - Jänner 2010

 

Abstract: This paper studies the effects of agglomeration economies on the location choices by foreign firms in Vietnam. By using a large dataset that provides detailed information about individual firms, the study examines the location choices by 568 newly created foreign firms in 2005 in about 150 different 4-digit industries. This is one of the few studies of agglomeration effects on the location choices by foreign investments in transition economies in general and in Vietnam in particular. The estimates of the negative binomial regression model and the conditional logit model show that agglomeration benefits motivate foreign firms in the same industries and from the same countries of origin to locate near each other. However, the empirical results also indicate that there is competition among provinces in Vietnam in attracting foreign investors, and the locations of Vietnamese firms have no effects on the location decisions by foreign firms in the same industry.

Conventions in the Foreign Exchange Market:Do they really explain Exchange Rate Dynamics?

FIW Working Paper N° 44

Gabriele Di Filippo - Jänner 2010

 

Abstract: The present paper provides a new explanation for the dynamics of exchange rates based on conventions that prevail among market participants. The model relies on a two states Markov switching framework: a bull state and a bear state. In the bull state, agents are optimistic and put more weight on positive news about the domestic economy inducing an appreciation of the domestic currency. In the bear state, agents are pessimistic and overweight negative news associated to the domestic economy leading to a depreciation of the domestic currency. Results show that market switches between a bull state and a bear state explain the dynamics of the euro/dollar exchange rate between January 1995 and December 2008. Besides, the model highlights the life-cycle of conventions in the foreign exchange market and provides lessons for public authorities to reduce exchange rate volatility. Eventually, the model offers a solution to the exchange rate disconnection puzzle.

The Interplay between International Trade and Technological Change and the wage inequality in the OECD Countries

FIW Working Paper N° 43

Nikolina Stojanovska and Ludo Cuyvers - Jänner 2010

 

Abstract: We estimate the impact of international trade and of trade-induced technological change on the wage inequality in the OECD countries, by estimating a two-stage mandated-wage regression. From our estimation we find no evidence on the Stolper-Samuelson effect of trade with the developing and newly industrialized countries. On the other hand, the evidenced technological change from technological competition did not have a strong effect on the increase of the wage differential between the different types of labour in the analyzed sample of OECD countries, which would have indicated that the bias of the technological change towards the skilled-intensive sectors is determined by trade in innovation-intensive goods.

Financial Instability and Optimal Monetary Policy Rule

FIW Working Paper N° 42

Hossein Sedghi-Khorasgani - Jänner 2010

 

Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of financial instability on the design of monetary policy rule for a small open economy. We find evidence that optimal monetary policy rule reacts directly to financial imbalances and, as a result, to the real exchange rate movements. However, optimal rule would not react to the real exchange rate changes directly if central bank does not care about the financial instability. For a quantitative analysis, impulse responses of some macroeconomic variables and financial instability to the domestic productivity and foreign country output shocks, resulting from simulation, are also analysed in this paper.

Financial Frictions, Foreign Direct Investment, and Growth

FIW Working Paper N° 41

Luis San Vicente Portes - Jänner 2010

 

Abstract: This paper assesses the role of financial frictions and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on an economy´s growth rate, business cycle volatility, and firm´s capital structure. We gauge these effects within the Financial Accelerator framework, where entrepreneurs can establish affiliates of local firms abroad through Foreign Direct Investment. Model simulations suggest that in the presence of credit market imperfections FDI is associated with faster growth, less leverage, and lower aggregate volatility. These features are consistent with the macroeconomic dynamics of the more globally integrated economies over the last three decades.