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Financial stress and economic dynamics: the transmission of crises

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  • Kirstin Hubrich
  • Robert J. Tetlow

Abstract

The recent financial crisis and the associated decline in economic activity have raised some important questions about economic activity and its links to the financial sector. This paper introduces an index of financial stress--an index that was used in real time by the staff of the Federal Reserve Board to monitor the crisis--and shows how stress interacts with real activity, inflation and monetary policy. We define what we call a stress event--a period affected by stress in both shock variances and model coefficients--and describe how financial stress affects macroeconomic dynamics. We also examine what constitutes a useful and credible measure of stress and the role of monetary policy. We address these questions using a richly parameterized Markov-switching VAR model, estimated using Bayesian methods. Our results show that allowing for time variation is important: the constant-parameter, constant-shock-variance model is a poor characterization of the data. We find that periods of high stress coefficients in general, and stress events in particular, line up well with financial events in recent U.S. history. We find that a shift to a stress event is highly detrimental to the outlook for the real economy, and that conventional monetary policy is relatively weak during such periods. Finally, we argue that our findings have implications for DSGE modeling of financial events insofar as researchers wish to capture phenomena more consequential than garden-variety business cycle fluctuations, pointing away from linearized DSGE models toward either MS-DSGE models or fully nonlinear models solved with global methods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2012-82.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-82

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  1. Javier Bianchi, 2009. "Overborrowing and systemic externalities in the business cycle," Working Paper 2009-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Simon Gilchrist & Vladimir Yankov & Egon Zakrajsek, 2009. "Credit Market Shocks and Economic Fluctuations: Evidence from Corporate Bond and Stock Markets," NBER Working Papers 14863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kaufmann, Sylvia & Valderrama, Maria Teresa, 2007. "The role of credit aggregates and asset prices in the transmission mechanism: a comparison between the euro area and the US," Working Paper Series 0816, European Central Bank.
  4. Sims, Christopher A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2008. "Methods for inference in large multiple-equation Markov-switching models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 255-274, October.
  5. Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2012. "Confronting Model Misspecification in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 17791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Francesco Bianchi, 2010. "Regime Switches, Agents' Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Working Papers 10-39, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  7. Nicholas Bloom, 2007. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  9. Mark A. Carlson & Kurt F. Lewis & William R. Nelson, 2012. "Using policy intervention to identify financial stress," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-02, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Zhigu He & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2012. "A Model of Capital and Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 735-777.
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Cited by:
  1. Cesa-Bianchi, Ambrogio, 2013. "Housing cycles and macroeconomic fluctuations: A global perspective," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 215-238.
  2. Kirstin Hubrich, 2012. "Comment on "Global House Price Fluctuations: Synchronization and Determinants"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2012, pages 167-173 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dario Bonciani & Björn van Roye, 2013. "Uncertainty shocks, banking frictions, and economic activity," Kiel Working Papers 1843, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Fabian Fink & Yves S. Schüler, 2013. "The Transmission of US Financial Stress: Evidence for Emerging Market Economies," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-01, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  5. Hideaki Hirata & M. Ayhan Kose & Christopher Otrok & Marco E. Terrones, 2012. "Global House Price Fluctuations: Synchronization and Determinants," NBER Working Papers 18362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Prieto, Esteban & Eickmeier, Sandra & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2013. "Time variation in macro-financial linkages," Discussion Papers 13/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  7. Jonas Dovern & Björn van Roye, 2013. "International transmission of financial stress: evidence from a GVAR," Kiel Working Papers 1844, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Mittnik, Stefan & Semmler, Willi, 2013. "The real consequences of financial stress," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1479-1499.
  9. Holló, Dániel & Kremer, Manfred & Lo Duca, Marco, 2012. "CISS - a composite indicator of systemic stress in the financial system," Working Paper Series 1426, European Central Bank.
  10. Sofiane Aboura & Björn van Roye, 2013. "Financial stress and economic dynamics: an application to France," Kiel Working Papers 1834, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  11. Schüler, Yves S. & Fink, Fabian, 2013. "The Transmission of US Financial Stress: Evidence for Emerging Market Economies," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79692, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  12. Kenny, Geoff & Morgan, Julian, 2011. "Some lessons from the financial crisis for the economic analysis," Occasional Paper Series 130, European Central Bank.

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