Sunday, September 21, 2014

Financial Policy

John Cochrane supports the case (forcefully made by Anat Admati) for higher capital requirements, citing excellent pieces by Pat Regnier at Time and Peter Coy at Business Week who explain exactly what this does and does not,  mean. I agree: we need banks to hold more capital.  But is that enough?

The following passages are extracts from my recent paper in the Manchester School on the role of the Financial Policy Committee as a guardian of financial stability.  I make the case that financial markets are inefficient because we cannot trade in markets that open before we are born. That fact is an important source of market incompleteness that I call the "absence of prenatal financial markets".
We all agree that financial crises occur. We disagree as to their cause. Some economists argue that markets are not only informationally efficient; they are also Pareto efficient. The boom and the bust are a consequence of the natural flow of knowledge acquisition in a capitalist economy. They are the price of progress. I disagree.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

How to Estimate Models with Indeterminacy

My coauthors, Vadim Khramov, Giovanni Nicolo and I, have recently completed a revision of our working paper, "Solving and Estimating Indeterminate DSGE Models".

Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models (DSGE) often have many equilibria. I have long argued that we should exploit that idea to explain real world phenomena. For example, multiple equilibrium models can help to explain why "animal spirits" drive real world markets (see my survey here).

In 2004, Thomas Lubik and Frank Schorfheide published an influential paper which applied that idea to US monetary policy.  A number of authors have taken up their method, but the technique they used is not very easy to apply in practice. Our paper shows how to solve and estimate models with indeterminate equilibria using readily available software packages such as Chris Sim's code Gensys, or the widely used Matlab based package Dynare.

Monday, September 1, 2014