10th RCEA Macro-Money-Finance Conference
Is a Recession Coming?
September 13-14, 2019, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
The current macroeconomic situation indicates a growing possibility of the next recession. Economic growth has slowed down in Europe and China and is likely to slow down in the US once the stimulative effect of tax cuts passes. Combined with tariff war between US and China, erratic economic policies in some countries and financial markets volatility, a recession in the next two years is more likely than it appeared to be a year ago. The current situation makes dealing with the next recession a formidable challenge: interest rates are low, public debts are high and some macroprudential reforms introduced in the wake of the Great Recession have been rolled back.
The goal of the conference is to assemble a group of leading researchers in macroeconomics, monetary economics and finance to present and discuss their recent work. While the focus of the conference is on theoretical and empirical work related to macro prospects, we welcome papers in all areas of economics and finance related to the overarching theme of the conference.
13th RCEA Bayesian Econometrics Workshop
22-23 June, 2019, University of Cyprus, Larnaca
The 13th RCEA Bayesian Econometrics Workshop will take place in association with the University of Cyprus on 22-23 June 2019 in Larnaca, Cyprus. Papers in all areas of Bayesian Econometrics are welcome for contributed sessions.
2nd RCEA Warsaw Money-Macro-Finance Conference
May 10-11 , 2019, University of Warsaw, Poland
SKEMA Business School, France
The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis – Poland and the Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw invite papers to be considered for the 2nd RCEA Warsaw Money-Macro-Finance Conference (WMMFC 2019). The Conference will assemble a group of applied and theoretical economists to present and discuss their work on all areas of macroeconomics, monetary economics, finance and related fields.
5th International Conference on Applied Theory, Macro and Empirical Finance (AMEF2019)
April 22-23, 2019, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece
The Department of Economics of the University of Macedonia organizes the 5th International Conference on Applied Theory, Macro and Empirical Finance (AMEF), which will be held at the Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. The aim is to bring together researchers, young scholars, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students that are working on the areas of Economics and Finance.
Rimini Conference in Economics and Finance (RCEF2018)
14-15 June 2018, Rimini Palacongressi, Italy
The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA) invites papers to be considered for the RCEF2018: the Rimini Conference in Economics and Finance. RCEF is our main biennial conference, assembling a group of leading economists to present and discuss their work at the cutting edge of economic research.
The Centre welcomes submissions for the contributed sessions in all areas of economics and finance, including monetary and fiscal policies, experimental economics, business cycles analysis, international trade and finance, public economics, public finance, general equilibrium, game theory, environmental economics, industrial organization, labour economics, health economics, economic geography, regional development and economics of tourism. RCEF2018 will run will run in parallel to the 5th RCEA Time Series Econometrics Workshop and the 12th RCEA Bayesian Workshop, all held at Rimini Palacongressi. Papers in all areas of econometrics should he submitted to one of these workshops. Participants to RCEF2018 will have access to all sessions of the Bayesian and Time Series Workshops, and vice versa.
12th Annual RCEA Bayesian Workshop
14-15 June 2018, Rimini Palacongressi, Italy
The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis invites papers to be considered for its 12th RCEA Bayesian Workshop.
The Centre welcomes submissions for the contributed sessions. While the workshop is intended for theoretical work or applied work with methodological contribution in Bayesian Econometrics, any Bayesian paper with an econometric focus will be considered. Quality papers in all areas in relation to the overarching theme of the workshop are welcome.
5th RCEA Time Series Econometrics Workshop
14-15 June 2018, Rimini Palacongressi, Italy
The 5th RCEA Time Series Econometrics Workshop will take place at Rimini Palacongressi (http://www.riminipalacongressi.it/), Via della Fiera 23, Rimini, Italy, 14-15 June 2018, with keynote speaker André Lucas (Free University of Amsterdam). In addition, we will run a full set of contributed sessions. Papers in all areas of Time Series econometrics are welcome.
1st RCEA Warsaw Money-Macro-Finance Conference
25-26 May 2018, Warsaw, Poland
The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis – Poland (RCEA-Poland) and the Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw invite papers to be considered for the 1st RCEA Warsaw Money, Macro Finance Conference (WMMF2018).
WWMF2018 is the first meeting organized by newly established RCEA-Poland in cooperation with the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the University of Warsaw (WNE). RCEA is an is a private, non-profit international organization dedicated to independent research in applied and theoretical economics and related fields. Originally established in Rimini, Italy in 2007, it is headquartered in Canada and has a branch in Italy and now in Poland. WNE is the top-ranked Polish institution on RePEc and one of only two economic faculties ranked A+ by the Polish education ministry.
4th International Conference in Applied Theory, Macro and Empirical Finance
April 02-03, 2018, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece
Department of Economics of the University of Macedonia organizes the 4th International Conference in Applied Theory, Macro and Empirical Finance (AMEF), which will be held at the Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. The aim is to bring together researchers, young scholars, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students that are working on the areas of Economics and Finance. Selected papers will be included in special issues of (1) Journal of Economic Asymmetries, (2) Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance and (3) Review of Economic Analysis.
11th Annual Bayesian Econometrics Workshop
July 3-4, 2017, University of Melbourne, Australia
This is the first time the RCEA Bayesian workshop was held in Australia. It is the result of a partnership with the Bayesian Analysis and Modeling Research Group at the University of Melbourne. Papers in all areas of Bayesian econometrics were presented.
9th RCEA Macro-Money-Finance Workshop
Monetary and Fiscal Policy in the Next Recession
June 23-24, 2017, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, On. Canada
The current macroeconomic situation will make it more difficult than ever for policymakers to stimulate economies in the next recession. Policy interest rates cannot be reduced much since they are at record lows; public debt is, in most countries, at record high, and the new US administration is promising to roll back some of macroprudential reforms introduced in the wake of the Great Recession. The current situation makes dealing with the next recession a formidable challenge. The goal of the workshop is to discuss what can be done to prepare for the next cyclical downturn, and what to do when the next recession starts, as it inevitably will.
Two Dynamic Paths on a Shared Road: Canadian-Italian Cooperation at 150 and 156
June 17, 2017, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The conference is organized on the occasion of Canada’s sesquicentennial, with the support of the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto and Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Toronto.
Unlike other RCEA meetings, this is an interdisciplinary conference, which will include participants from social sciences and humanities. It has two goals. The first is to celebrate 150 years of Canada and the contribution of Italian-Canadians to Canada’s economic, political, social and cultural development. The second goal is to bring together academics and policymakers from both countries to spur cooperation between Canada and Italy. Canada’s sesquicentennial year, coming only a few years after Italy’s 150th anniversary as a unified state, provides a timely opportunity to strengthen these historic bonds.
8th RCEA Macro-Money-Finance Workshop
May 18-19, 2017, Rimini, Palacongressi, Italy
The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA) invites papers to be considered for its 2017 RCEA Macro-Money-Finance Workshop. While the workshop is intended for theoretical work or applied work in Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Finance and Public Finance, papers in any area of Economics and Finance in relation to the overarching theme of the workshop are welcome.
3rd International Conference in Applied Theory, Macro and Empirical Finance (AMEF)
April 21-22 , 2017, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki , Greece
The Department of Economics of the University of Macedonia organizes the 3rd International Conference in Applied Theory, Macro and Empirical Finance (AMEF). The aim is to bring together researchers, young scholars, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students that are working on the areas of Economics and Finance. Selected papers will be included in special issues of (1) Applied Economics Quarterly, (2) Review of Economic Analysis and (3) South Eastern Europe Journal of Economics.
3rd Workshop on Spatial Dimensions of the Labour Market
Spatial Dimensions of Inequality
March 30-31, 2017, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, Germany
The workshop on “Spatial Dimensions of the Labour Market” focuses on topics concerning regional labour markets. This year, a special focus is placed on inequality across space. The workshop is jointly organised by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA) and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW).
For earlier events please click the Colloquium tab at the top of the page
In Memoriam: Ramo Gencay, 1961-2018
With great sadness we inform the RCEA community about the tragic death of Ramazan (Ramo) Gencay in Colombia in December. Ramo was a Senior Fellow and member of the RCEA Scientific Committee from the outset. His contributions were fundamental to the RCEA’s launch and its subsequent success. Ramo organized and managed the RCEA financial study group. He was an agent of continuous inspiration, commitment and enthusiasm. He understood and personified RCEA’s spirit of intellectual independence and informal, but earnest scholarship.
Ramo will be greatly missed and will remain an inspiration to the colleagues and students who had the good fortune of meeting him.
We are pleased to announce the establishment of RCEA-Poland.
The director of RCEA-Poland is Joanna Siwińska-Gorzelak. RCEA-Poland is located at the Faculty of Economic Sciences (WNE), Warsaw University. In 2019 RCEA-Poland is organizing the second RCEA Warsaw Money-Macro-Finance Conference> The plenary speaker is Florencio López de Silanes, one of the most cited economics and finance researchers (over 100 000 cites in Google Scholar).
WNE is the top-ranked Polish institution on RePEc and one of only two economic faculties ranked A+ by the Polish education ministry.
RCEA is an is a private, non-profit international organization dedicated to independent research in applied and theoretical economics and related fields. Originally established in Rimini, Italy in 2007, it is headquartered in Canada, with branches in Italy and in Poland. Poland has some excellent economists, including many young researchers, and we hope to contribute to the development of academic research there.
RCEA is pleased to announce the appointment of Philippe Aghion and Peter Howitt as Honorary Senior Fellows.
Philippe is a Professor at the College de France and at the London School of Economics. He taught at MIT, Oxford, UCL and Harvard University, where he is Visiting Professor. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Foreign Fellow of the British Academy. He served as the President of the European Economic Association and of the French Economic Association. In 2001, Philippe received the Yrjo Jahnsson Award of the best European economist under age 45, and in 2009 he received the John Von Neumann Award.
Peter is the Lyn Crost Professor Emeritus of Social Sciences, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Brown University and Honorary Professor of Economics at Western University (formerly University of Western Ontario). He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and of the Royal Society of Canada and served as President of the Canadian Economics Association. In addition to Brown, he taught at the University of Western Ontario and at Ohio State. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Guelph and from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Philippe’s and Peter’s research focuses on economic growth. They pioneered the so-called Schumpeterian Growth paradigm which was subsequently used to analyze the design of growth policies and the role of the state in the growth process. Much of this work is summarized in their joint books Endogenous Growth Theory (MIT Press, 1998) and The Economics of Growth (MIT Press, 2009), in Philippe’s book with Rachel Griffith on Competition and Growth (MIT Press, 2006), and in the survey “What Do We Learn from Schumpeterian Growth Theory” (joint with U. Akcigit).
Philippe Aghion, RCEA Honorary Senior Fellow was elected President of the European Economic Association and of the French Economic Association.
Michael Devereux, RCEA Senior Fellow and Professor at the Vancouver School of Economics was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada for his contributions to the international macroeconomics and international finance.
Laurence Ball, RCEA Honorary Senior Fellow, has written a book on the Lehman Brothers’ collapse. The book The Fed and Lehman Brothers: Setting the Record Straight on a Financial Disaster will be published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press
Steve Ambler, RCEA Senior Fellow, has been re-appointed for multiple roles at the C.D. Howe Institute: as a Fellow-in-Residence, the David Dodge Chair in Monetary Policy, and a member of the National Council at the Institute.
In WP 18-39: The effects of markets, uncertainty and search intensity on bitcoin returns, Theodore Panagiotidis, Thanasis Stengos and Orestis Vravosinos assess the effects of factors such as stock market returns, exchange rates, gold and oil returns, FED’s and ECB’s rates and internet trends on bitcoin returns. The results reveal (i) a significant interaction between bitcoin and traditional stock markets, (ii) a weaker interaction with FX markets and the macroeconomy and (iii) an anemic importance of popularity measures.
In WP 18-38, Multivariate Stochastic Volatility with Co-Heteroscedasticity, Joshua Chan, Arnaud Doucet, Roberto León-González and Rodney W. Strachan propose a multivariate stochastic volatility inverse Wishart process that decomposes shocks into homoscedastic and heteroscedastic components and is invariant to the ordering of the variables. Linear combinations of heteroscedastic variables are homoscedastic (co-heteroscedasticity). We provide two empirical applications. A reparameterization and novel particle filter algorithm substantially improve algorithmic convergence
In WP 18-37, Reducing Dimensions in a Large TVP-VAR, Eric Eisenstat , Joshua C.C. Chan and Rodney W. Strachan impose an empirically supported rank reduction in the covariance matrix of the state equation to reduce the dimension of the state space for high-dimensional TVP-SVAR models. They generalize the recentering approach to obtain efficient and simple computation of a high dimensional model.
In WP 18-36, Public Debt Frontier. A toolkit for analyzing fiscal policy and debt sustainability, Gonzalo F. de-Córdoba, Benedetto Molinari and José L. Torres propose a synthetic and visual indicator to assess public debt sustainability. They develop stand-alone software that analyzes public debt sustainability in response to variations of fiscal policy.
In WP 18-35: Property Heterogeneity and Convergence Club Formation among Local House Prices Mark J. Holmes, Jesús Otero and Theodore Panagiotidis investigate the extent of convergence club formation in local house prices. Using a very large panel dataset from England and Wales spanning over 2 decades, they find the presence of divergence or multiple house price convergence clubs rather than a single club.
In WP 18-34: Simulating financial contagion dynamics in random interbank networks John Leventides, Kalliopi Loukaki and Vassilios Papavassiliou assess the resilience of financial systems to exogenous shocks using techniques drawn from the theory of complex networks. They use a default model of contagion applied on interbank networks of varying sizes and analyze the interplay of several crucial drivers of interbank contagion, such as heterogeneity and interconnectedness.
In WP 18-33: 18-33 Are China’s “Leftover Women” really leftover? An investigation of marriage market penalties in modern-day China Loren Brandt, Hongbin Li, Laura Turner and Jiaqi Zou study the widely cited phenomenon of “leftover women” in urban Chinese marriage markets. They find higher-educated women marrying later, but ultimately at slightly higher rates, than their less-educated peers. Using Choo’s (2015) dynamic estimator, they project these high completed marriage rates to continue among university-educated women.
In WP 18-32: Caught in the Cycle: Economic Conditions at Enrollment and Labor Market Outcomes of College Graduates, Alena Bicakova, Guido Matias Cortes and Jacopo Mazza present robust evidence that cohorts of graduates who enter college during worse economic times earn higher average wages than those who enter during better times. They graduate with higher college grades, and earn higher wages conditional on their grades. The results suggest that these cohorts exert more effort during their studies.
In WP 18-31: Variational Bayes inference in high-dimensional time-varying parameter models, Gary Koop and Dimitris Korobilis propose a mean field variational Bayes algorithm for efficient posterior and predictive inference in time-varying parameter models. Their approach involves: i) computationally trivial Kalman filter updates of regression coefficients, ii) a dynamic variable selection prior that removes irrelevant variables in each time period, and iii) a fast approximate state-space estimator of the regression volatility parameter.
In WP 18-30: Machine Learning Macroeconometrics: A Primer, Dimitris Korobilis reviews econometric methods that can be used to deal with the challenges of inference in high-dimensional empirical macro models with possibly “more parameters than observations”. These methods broadly include machine learning algorithms for Big Data, but also more traditional estimation algorithms for data with a short span of observations relative to the number of explanatory variables.
In WP 18-29: The Rise and Fall of the Natural Interest Rate, Gabriele Fiorentini, Alessandro Galesi, Gabriel Pérez-Quirós and Enrique Sentana document changes in the natural interest rate in several advanced economies. It starts increasing in the 1960s and peaks at the end of 1980s. An estimated Panel ECM suggests that the temporary demographic effect of the young baby-boomers mostly accounts for the rise and fall.
WP 18-28: Economic Policy Uncertainty Spillovers in Booms and Busts, Giovanni Caggiano, Efrem Castelnuovo and Juan Manuel Figueres quantify the impact of economic policy uncertainty shocks in the US on the unemployment rate in Canada. They identify a novel “economic policy uncertainty spillovers channel”: jumps in US policy uncertainty foster uncertainty in Canada and lead to temporary increase in Canadian unemployment rate.
In WP 18-27: The Monetary Dimension of Arbitrage. A Brief Note Andrea Mantovi extends the principle according to which financial frictions give rise to the value of money. The role of arbitrageurs of interacting with financial frictions is connected with the secular economic drive to liquidity transformation, and the macroeconomic relevance of such an approach is discussed in terms of “friction setting” and shadow banking.
In WP 18-26: Modeling Euro STOXX 50 Volatility with Common and Market–specific Components, Fabrizio Cipollini and Giampiero M. Gallo address long memory features in the Euro-area volatility. They model the Euro-STOXX 50 and show that the HAR terms are no longer significant when a common and several market-specific components are used as regressors. These components are derived with an extension of the Component GARCH of Engle and Lee (1999) to a multivariate MEM.
In WP 18-23: A Bayesian dynamic model to test persistence in funds’ performance, Emmanuel Mamatzakis and Mike Tsionas develop a Bayesian model for (dynamic) panel data to take into account persistence in US funds’ performance. The model detects previously undocumented striking variability in terms of performance and persistence across funds categories and over time, and in particular through the financial crisis
In WP 18-22: Specification tests for non-Gaussian maximum likelihood estimators, Gabriele Fiorentini and Enrique Sentana propose generalised DWH specification tests which simultaneously compare three or more likelihood-based estimators of conditional mean and variance parameters in multivariate conditionally heteroskedastic dynamic regression models.
In WP 18-16: Here Lives a Wealthy Man: Price Rigidity and Predictability in Luxury Housing Markets, Daniel Levy and Avichai Snir use study the effect of price changes in the market for luxury and middle class homes. They find that for luxury homes price elasticity is lower, prices persist and are sticker than for middle-class homes.
In WP 18-15: Tat will tell: Tattoos and time preferences, Bradley Ruffle and Anne Wilson find, on the basis of an incentivized experiment and self-reported behaviors, that individuals with tattoos, especially visible ones, are more short-sighted and impulsive than the non-tattooed. They present causal evidence that a short-sighted pre-disposition leads to getting a tattoo.
In WP 18-14: On the Determinants of Bitcoin Returns: a LASSO Approach, Theodore Panagiotidis, Thanasis Stengos and Orestis Vravosinos examine the significance of potential drivers of bitcoin returns for the period 2010 to 2017. Within a LASSO framework, they examine the effects of stock market returns, exchange rates, gold and oil returns, FED’s and ECB’s rates and internet trends.Search intensity and gold returns emerge as the most important variables for bitcoin returns.
In WP 18-13: Volatility Persistence and Asymmetry Under the Microscope: The Role of Information Demand for Gold and Oil, Georgios Bampinas, Theodore Panagiotidis and Christina Rouska explore the relationship between Google search activity and the conditional volatility of oil and gold spot market returns. They construct a weekly Searching Volume Index (SVI) for each market as proxy of households and investors information demand. They find that higher information demand increases conditional return volatility.
In WP 18-12: Bayesian Inference and Prediction of a Multiple-Change-Point Panel Model with Nonparametric Priors, Mark Fisher and Mark J. Jensen model the hierarchical prior nonparametrically by letting the hyperparameter’s prior be unknown and modeling it with a Dirichlet processes prior. They apply their model to a longitudinal data set of actively managed, US equity, mutual fund returns to measure fund performance and investigate what the chances are of a skilled fund being skilled in the future.
In WP 18-11: A Class of Model Averaging Estimators, Shangwei Zhao, Aman Ullah and Xinyu Zhang introduce a class of model averaging estimators. Model averaging aims to a trade-off between efficiency and biases. They establish its dominance condition over the ordinary least squares estimator. All theoretical findings are verified by simulations.
In WP 18-10: Has Monetary Policy Changed? How the Crisis Shifted the Ground Under Central Banks, Pierre Siklos examines the results of a survey begun in 2013, in cooperation with the BIS, to assess how and why central bank communication strategies have changed in light of the financial crisis of 2008-10. Inflation targeting central banks are more vocal in publicly explaining the role and function of macroprudential tools. Communicating in normal versus crisis times are not seen as being very different.
In WP 18-09: “Some Financial Implications of Global Warming: An Empirical Assessment”, Claudio Morana and Giacomo Sbrana assess global warming evidence, its implications for the natural environment and the drivers of catastrophe bonds risk premia. They report that rising natural disaster risk is not reflected in prices of catastrophe bonds and conclude that there is significant undervaluation of natural disasters risk.
In WP 18-08: “Economic Growth and the Public Sector: A Comparison of Canada and Italy, 1870-2013”, Livio Di Matteo and Thomas Barbiero investigate public sector spending of central governments and economic performance in Canada and Italy. They find the size of central government spending directly affects the performance of their economies in an inverse U-shaped relationship known as a Scully/BARS Curve. The results have implications for spending by both the central and other levels of government.
In WP 18-07: “On the Evolution of Individual Preferences and Family Rules”, Alessandro Cigno and Annalisa Luporini study the result of mixed marriages on the evolution of inherited traits. Under certain conditions, in the long run everyone has the same trait. The authors discuss the consequences for immigration and welfare policy if the trait is a person’s taste for receiving filial attention in old age.
In WP 18-06: “Consistent non-Gaussian Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Estimators”, Gabriele Fiorentini and Enrique Sentana characterize the mean and variance parameters that distributionally misspecied maximum likelihood estimators can consistently estimate in multivariate conditionally heteroskedastic dynamic regression models. They analyze the statistical properties of the proposed consistent estimators, as well as their efficiency relative to Gaussian pseudo maximum likelihood procedures.
In WP 18-05: “The Fama 3 and Fama 5 Factor Models Under a Machine Learning Framework”, Periklis Gogas, Theofilos Papadimitriou and Dimitrios Karagkiozis examine Fama – French 3 & 5 factors model, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT) model. These models are used by investors and market professionals as an important part of the investment decision process and for the evaluation of the applied investment strategies.
In WP 18-04: “Aid to agriculture, Trade and Take-oﬀ”, Alessandra Pelloni, Thanasis Stengos and Ilaria Tedesco study the eﬀect of foreign aid to agriculture on the industrialization process of developing countries. The theoretical analysis suggests a dichotomy between closed and open economies as regards the impact of aid given for productive purposes to the primary sector. Empirical results conﬁrm this, as they ﬁnd the eﬀect is positive for landlocked countries only.
In WP 18-03: “Oil Price Shocks and Economic Growth: The Volatility Link”, John M. Maheu, Yong Song and Qiao Yang report a robust link between oil shocks and the volatility of economic growth. A new measure of oil shocks is developed and shown to be superior to existing measures. It indicates that the conditional variance of growth increases in response to an indicator of local maximum oil price exceedance.
In WP 18-02: “Bayesian Parametric and Semiparametric Factor Models for Large Realized Covariance Matrices”, Xin Jin, John M. Maheu and Qiao Yang introduce a new factor structure suitable for modeling large realized covariance matrices with full likelihood based estimation. Due to the computational advantages of their approach, the factor can be modelled nonparametrically as a Dirichlet process mixture or as an inﬁnite hidden Markov mixture which leads to an inﬁnite mixture of inverse-Wishart distribution.
In WP 18-01: “The Shifting Scully Curve: International Evidence from 1870 to 2013”, Livio Di Matteo and Fraser Summerﬁeld estimate the Scully curve predictions for growth-maximizing public sector sizea using panel data covering 17 industrialized nations from 1870-2013. The economic growth maximizing size shifted over time from 9% pre-WWI to 25% Post WWII. IV estimates suggest that the Scully curve may be subject to some reverse causality.
In WP 17-31: “The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks on the Volatility of Commodity Prices”, Dimitrios Bakas and Athanasios Triantafyllou examine the impact of uncertainty shocks on the volatility of commodity prices. Their results indicate that a positive shock in both macroeconomic and financial uncertainty leads to a persistent increase in the volatility of the broad commodity market index and of individual commodity prices.
In WP 17:30: “Structural Transformation and the Rise of Information Technology”, Giovanni Gallipoli and Christos A. Makridis ask whether the emergence of information technology changed the structure of employment and earnings in the US. The authors propose a new index of occupation-level IT intensity and document several long-term changes in the occupational landscape over the past decades, using Census micro-data between 1970 and 2015: (i) the share of workers in IT-intensive jobs has expanded significantly, with little or no pause; (ii) IT jobs enjoy a large and growing earnings premium, even after controlling for general task requirements (e.g., cognitive, non-routine); and (iii) the rise of the IT employment share is closely associated with declines in the manufacturing employment share.
In WP 17-29: “Corruption and Economic Development”, Sule Akkoyunlu and Debora Ramella investigate the impact of openness to trade and corruption on economic development for a cross-section of 143 countries. They find that corruption negatively affects income per capita, productivity, and innovation, while it does not significantly impact income inequality (Gini). The control of corruption and the openness to trade affect output per worker through total factor productivity. These findings have important policy implications. For example, on the basis of the estimates, if Botswana improved its control of corruption to reach the level of Finland, its per capita income would rise almost threefold.
In WP 17-28: “Towards an understanding of credit cycles: do all credit booms cause crises?” R. Barrell, D. Karim and Corrado Macchiarelli analyze the practical side of the hypothesis that excessive credit growth leads to banking crises. They compare the performance of the HP filter to extract the cyclical indicator of excess credit with alternative measures of the credit gap. They find that, in some countries, and AR (2) smoother does a better job than the HP filter. They conclude that credit growth is sometimes a good indicator of potential problems but note that this is restricted to cases where excessive lending fuels a cycle of rising housing prices and hence collateral which in turn propagates further credit growth. Their results question the effectiveness of the macroprudential policy which links capital requirements to the measured level of excess credit in the economy.
In WP 17-27: “Nobel Beauty”, Jan Fidrmuc, Boontarika Paphawasit and Çigdem Börke Tunali consider the effect of physical attractiveness, assessed using publicly available pictures of top scientists, on their probability of winning the Nobel Prize. There is now an extensive body of literature that finds that physically attractive people receive non-negligible benefits in the labor market, marriage market and social life. In contrast, they find that attractiveness is negatively correlated with the probability of being awarded the Nobel.
In WP 17-26: “Technology-specific Production Functions”, Michele Battisti, Filippo Belloc and Massimo Del Gatto estimate technology-specific production functions avoiding any ex-ante assumption on the degree of technological sharing across firms. Their approach enables them to isolate the contribution to labour productivity stemming from technology (i.e. between-technology TFP) from the contribution associated to idiosyncratic productivity shocks not related to technology (i.e. within-technology TFP).