Széchenyi 2020
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Working Papers

Growth, coal and carbon emissions: economic overheating and climate change
Apr 22, 2021
BIS Working Papers

We use a comprehensive database of 121 countries over the 1971-2016 period to study how macroeconomic factors drive carbon (carbon-dioxide) emissions. For this purpose, dynamic panel regressions are estimated. Carbon emissions rise with economic development, manufacturing activity, urbanization and increasingly with economic growth. In electricity generation, the use of coal, and to a lesser degree of oil, is associated with higher carbon emissions, while renewable energy use is already associated with lower national emissions in advanced economies. We also uncover a non-linearity: economic overheating is particularly harmful when coal use is more intensive. The results suggest that mitigating economic cycles might also reduce carbon emissions.

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We test whether commercial property performance, proxied by real estate investment trust (REIT) prices, can inform us about bank equity prices. Using data from the United States, the euro area and Japan, we show that REIT prices can predict bank equity prices. Furthermore, a “commercial property factor” adds significant explanatory power to both the CAPM and the 3-factor Fama-French model. At the same time, quantile regressions show that this factor becomes particularly prominent during downturns. It accounts for around half of the drop in average bank valuations during the great financial crisis and, again, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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How well-anchored are long-term inflation expectations?
Jun 8, 2020
BIS Working Papers 869

We study the anchoring properties of long-term inflation expectations in emerging and advanced economies, as a measure of monetary policy credibility. We proxy anchoring by how short-term expectations relate to long-term inflation expectations. We find that long-term inflation expectations are less well anchored in emerging than in advanced economies for the period 1996-2019. These findings do not significantly differ between before and after the global financial crisis or away from and at the effective lower bound. We also find that persistent deviations of inflation from target affect long-term inflation expectations in advanced economies. Yet, persistent deviations do not have a stronger impact at the effective lower bound. Moreover, we find evidence for asymmetry: higher than targeted inflation has a larger impact on long-term inflation expectations.

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We investigate empirically how the balance sheet characteristics of central counterparties (CCPs) affect their modelling of credit risk. CCPs set initial margin (IM), i.e., the collateral for transactions, to limit counterparty credit risk. When a CCP’s IM model fails on a large scale, the CCP could fail too, losing its skin-in-the-game capital. We find that higher skin-in-the-game is significantly associated with more p rudent modelling, in contrast to profits (a proxy for franchise value) and forms of capital other than skin-in-the-game. The results may help to inform the ongoing policy debate on how to incentivise prudent credit risk management at CCPs.

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We combine a rarely accessed BIS database on bilateral cross-border lending flows with cross-country data on macroprudential regulations. We study the interaction between the monetary policy of major international currency issuers (USD, EUR and JPY) and macroprudential policies enacted in source (home) lending banking systems. We find significant interactions. Tighter macroprudential policy in a home country mitigates the impact on lending of monetary policy of a currency issuer. For instance, macroprudential tightening in the UK mitigates the negative impact of US monetary tightening on USD-denominated cross-border bank lending outflows from UK banks. Vice-versa, easier macroprudential policy amplifies impacts. The results are economically significant.

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We study how domestic and global output gaps affect CPI inflation. We use a New Keynesian Phillips curve framework, which controls for non-linear exchange rate movements for a panel of 26 advanced and 22 emerging economies covering the 1994Q1-2017Q4 period. We find broadly that both global and domestic output gaps are significant drivers of inflation both in the pre-crisis (1994-2008) and post-crisis (2008-2017) periods. Furthermore, after the crisis, in advanced economies the effect of the domestic output gap declines, while in emerging economies the effect of the global output gap declines. The paper demonstrates the usefulness of the New Keynesian Phillips curve in identifying the impact of global and domestic output gaps on inflation.

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Demographic shifts, such as population ageing, have been suggested as possible explanations for the past decade’s low inflation. We exploit cross-country variation in a long panel to identify age structure effects in inflation, controlling for standard monetary factors. A robust relationship emerges that accords with the lifecycle hypothesis. That is, inflationary pressure rises when the share of dependants increases and, conversely, subsides when the share of working age population increases. This relationship accounts for the bulk of trend inflation, for instance, about 7 percentage points of US disinflation since the 1980s. It predicts rising inflation over the coming decades.

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We study the effect of macroprudential measures on cross-border lending during the taper tantrum, which a saw strong slowdown in cross-border bank lending to some jurisdictions. We use a novel dataset combining the BIS Stage 1 enhanced banking statistics on bilateral cross-border lending flows with the IBRN’s macroprudential database. Our results suggest that macroprudential measures implemented in borrowers’ host countries prior to the taper tantrum significantly reduced the negative effect of the tantrum on cross-border lending growth. The shock-mitigating effect of host country macroprudential rules are present both in lending to banks and non-banks, and are strongest for lending flows to borrowers in advanced economies and to the non-bank sector in general. Source (lending) banking system measures do not affect bilateral lending flows, nor do they enhance the effect of host country macroprudential measures. Our results imply that policymakers may consider applying macroprudential tools to mitigate international shock transmission through cross-border bank lending.

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We investigate how the use of a currency transmits monetary policy shocks in the global banking system. We use newly available unique data on the bilateral crossborder lending flows of 27 BIS-reporting lending banking systems to over 50 borrowing countries, broken down by currency denomination (USD, EUR and JPY). We have three main findings. First, monetary shocks in a currency significantly affect cross-border lending flows in that currency, even when neither the lending banking system nor the borrowing country uses that currency as their own. Second, this transmission works mainly through lending to non-banks. Third, this currency dimension of the bank lending channel works similarly across the three currencies suggesting that the cross-border bank lending channel of liquidity shock transmission may not be unique to lending in USD.

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We study how exchange rate pass-through to CPI inflation has changed since the global financial crisis. We have three main findings. First, exchange rate pass-through in emerging economies decreased after the financial crisis, while exchange rate pass-through in advanced economies has remained relatively low and stable over time. Second, we show that the declining pass-through in emerging markets is related to declining inflation. Third, we show that it is important to control for non-linearities when estimating exchange rate pass-through. These results hold for both short-run and long-run pass-through and remain robust to extensive changes in the specifications.

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Monetary policy spillovers and currency networks in cross-border bank lending
Mar 15, 2016 publication description
BIS Working Papers 549

We demonstrate that currency networks in cross-border bank lending have a significant impact on the size, distribution and direction of international monetary policy spillovers. Using the recently enhanced BIS international banking statistics, which simultaneously provide information on the lender, borrower and currency composition of cross-border bank claims, we map the major currency networks in international banking. Next, we show that during the 2013 Fed taper tantrum, exposure to dollar lending was associated with safe haven flows to the United States, virtually unchanged flow dynamics vis-à-vis other advanced economies, and strong outflows from emerging markets. Furthermore, this pattern was shaped by interbank lending rather than by lending to non-banks.

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Several countries are concurrently experiencing historically low inflation rates and ageing populations. Is there a connection, as recently suggested by some senior central bankers? We undertake a comprehensive test of this hypothesis in a panel of 22 countries over the 1955-2010 period. We find a stable and significant correlation between demography and low-frequency inflation. In particular, a larger share of dependents (ie young and old) is correlated with higher inflation, while a larger share of working age cohorts is correlated with lower inflation. The results are robust to different country samples, time periods, control variables and estimation techniques. We also find a significant, albeit unstable, relationship between demography and monetary policy.

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Credit and growth after financial crises
Jul 3, 2013
BIS Working Papers 416

We find that declining bank credit to the private sector will not necessarily constrain the economic recovery after output has bottomed out following a financial crisis. To obtain this result, we examine data from 39 financial crises, which – as the current one – were preceded by credit booms. In these crises the change in bank credit, either in real terms or relative to GDP, consistently did not correlate with growth during the first two years of the recovery. In the third and fourth year, the correlation becomes statistically significant but remains small in economic terms. The lack of association between deleveraging and the speed of recovery does not seem to arise due to limited data. In fact, our data shows that increasing competitiveness, via exchange rate depreciations, is statistically and economically significantly associated with faster recoveries. Our results contradict the current consensus that private sector deleveraging is necessarily harmful for growth.

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Ageing, property prices and money demand
Sep 2, 2012
BIS Working Papers 385

When the baby boomers joined the workforce and started saving, money supply and property prices entered a rising trajectory. We conclude that demography was the long-run driver of this process, basing our argument on data from 22 advanced economies for the 1950-2010 period. According to our lifecycle model, large working-age populations saved for their old age by investing in property and broad money instruments, such as deposits. In the past, savings activity by baby boomers drove up property prices and also increased demand for money. As baby boomers retire, these dynamics will go into reverse. Falling demand for savings, including money and deposits, might hinder banks in their efforts to collect deposits and thereby bring down excessively high loan-to-deposit ratios. Our model also confirms that monetary stability contributes to long-run property price stability.

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Ageing and asset prices
Aug 2010
BIS Working Paper 318

The paper investigates how ageing will affect asset prices. A small model is used to show that economic and demographic factors drive asset, and in particular house, prices. These factors are estimated in a panel regression framework encompassing BIS real house price data from 22 advanced economies between 1970 and 2009. The estimates show that demographic factors affect real house prices significantly. Combining the results with UN population projections suggests that ageing will lower real house prices substantially over the next forty years. The headwind is around 80 basis points per annum in the United States and much stronger in Europe and Japan. Based on the analysis, global asset prices are likely to face substantial headwinds from ageing.

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This paper focuses on how the exposure to the corporate sector may impact the health of the Australian banking system. It also compares Australian banks with their international peers. Finally, it investigates banks’ exposure to credit risk using the new Basel II Pillar 3 disclosure data. The analysis shows that Australian banks have remained very sound by international standards, despite the global financial turmoil. While the international downturn points to several vulnerabilities, the risks from the corporate and household sectors appear to be manageable.

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Interest Rate Liberalization in China
Aug 2009
IMF Working Paper 09/171

What might interest rate liberalization do to intermediation and the cost of capital in China? China’s most binding interest rate control is a ceiling on the deposit rate, although lending rates are also regulated. Through case studies and model-based simulations, we find that liberalization will likely result in higher interest rates, discourage marginal investment, improve the effectiveness of intermediation and monetary transmission, and enhance the financial access of underserved sectors. This can occur without any major disruption. International experience suggests, however, that achieving these benefits without unnecessary instability, requires vigilant supervision, governance, and monetary policy, and a flexible policy toolkit.

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The paper shows how tax rate cuts can increase revenues by improving tax compliance. The intuition is that tax evasion has externalities: tax evaders protect each other, because they tie down limited enforcement capacity. Thus, relatively small tax rate cuts, which decrease incentives to evade taxes, can lead to increased revenues through spillovers – creating Laffer effects. Interestingly, tax rate cuts here imply increasing effective taxes. The model is consistent with what happened in Russia, and may provide basis for further thinking about tax rate cuts in other countries.

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Bank consolidation and small business lending
Sep 16, 2004
ECB Working Paper Series

The paper investigates small business lending as an information problem. It models the effects of information asymmetries within the bank combined with fixed wages. Two kinds of inefficiencies arise in equilibrium: the credit officer either sometimes shirks or he is occasionally fired. In both cases lending falls below the first-best level. The solution, when the bank accepts the information asymmetries, is called the centralized structure. Under decentralized structure the bank employs additional supervisors to mitigate the information asymmetries within its organization. Decentralized banks manage to finance more small firms, but incur higher costs than centralized ones. Small banks are interpreted as a bank with relatively few credit officers, whom can be monitored without information asymmetries. The specification allows for investigating the effects of banking consolidation and technological change on small business lending. The model suggests that not banking size, but organizational structure is decisive in small business lending.

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GEN.:2021.11.27. - 14:50:08