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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. Gilchrist, Simon & Yankov, Vladimir & Zakrajsek, Egon, 2009. "Credit market shocks and economic fluctuations: Evidence from corporate bond and stock markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 471-493, May.
  2. Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2012. "Confronting model misspecification in macroeconomics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 171(2), pages 167-184.
  3. Sylvia Kaufmann & Maria Teresa Valderrama, 2010. "The Role Of Credit Aggregates And Asset Prices In The Transmission Mechanism: A Comparison Between The Euro Area And The Usa," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 78(4), pages 345-377, 07.
  4. Francesco Bianchi, 2012. "Regime Switches, Agents’ Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Working Papers 12-04, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. Bianchi, Javier, 2009. "Overborrowing and Systemic Externalities in the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 16270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  7. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  8. Zhigu He & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2012. "A Model of Capital and Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 735-777.
  9. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2009. "Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 278, Bank for International Settlements.
  10. 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.).
  11. 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.
  12. Troy Davig & Craig Hakkio, 2010. "What is the effect of financial stress on economic activity," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 35-62.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stefan Mittnik & Willi Semmler, 2013. "The Real Consequences of Financial Stress," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2013-011, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  4. 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.
  5. Hideaki Hirata & M. Ayhan Kose & Christopher Otrok & Marco E. Terrones, 2012. "Global House Price Fluctuations: Synchronization and Determinants," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2012, pages 119-166 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dario Bonciani & Björn van Roye, 2013. "Uncertainty shocks, banking frictions, and economic activity," Kiel Working Papers 1843, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. Kenny, Geoff & Morgan, Julian, 2011. "Some lessons from the financial crisis for the economic analysis," Occasional Paper Series 130, European Central Bank.
  8. Kilian, Lutz & Vigfusson, Robert J., 2014. "The role of oil price shocks in causing U.S. recessions," CFS Working Paper Series 460, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  9. 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.
  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. Eickmeier, Sandra & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Prieto, Esteban, 2013. "Time Variation in Macro-Financial Linkages," CEPR Discussion Papers 9436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.

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