IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Financial stress and economic dynamics: The transmission of crises

  • Robert Tetlow

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Kirstin Hubrich

    (European Central Bank)

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.

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 571.

in new window

Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:571
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Javier Bianchi, 2009. "Overborrowing and systemic externalities in the business cycle," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2009-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2012. "Confronting Model Misspecification in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 17791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  7. 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.
  8. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2008. "Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy," Working Paper Research 146, National Bank of Belgium.
  9. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  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.
  11. 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.).
  12. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed013:571. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.