Essays on macroeconomics
AdvisorLee, Sang Seok
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This dissertation consists of four essays on macroeconomics with a special emphasis on monetary economics and corporate finance. It presents empirical evidence for the floating rate channel in monetary policy transmission, highlighting the role of debt maturity when measuring cash flow exposure and its association with future path of policy. It then builds a theoretical model with New Keynesian properties in which endogenous borrowing constraints are source of amplification of fundamental shocks. The two blocks of the thesis, both empirical and theoretical essays, uncover the floating rate channel of monetary policy, with a comprehensive understanding and interpretation of corporate debt maturity, nature of repayment structure and forward guidance. The first essay investigates firm level stock price changes around monetary policy announcements in an event study framework, and finds that firms that have issued more floating rate debt see their stock prices affected more. Importantly, it shows that debt maturity is a crucial component of cash flow exposure. The firms with floating rate liabilities at longer maturities experience steeper fall in their stock prices. In addition to this, it provides further evidence regarding the floating rate channel by demonstrating that for the firms which hedge themselves against interest rate risk, the effect of the policy shock is mitigated. This indicates financial market sophistication, which is further explored in the form of statistical tests. Further, it is the path, or forward guidance component of monetary policy shock that triggers this channel since this is the aspect of the policy that shapes expectations about future short rates hence future floating rate debt payments. The results show that, in the zero lower bound period the floating rate channel continued to be effective because of forward guidance surprises. It is shown that this effect is not a result of rule of thumb behavior, and that the marginal stock market participant actually studies and correctly interprets the liability side of firm balance sheets. The tests of financial market sophistication, which are novel, contribute to the empirics of market rationality. Furthermore, the floating rate exposure at the time of monetary policy surprises predicts future investment and profitability, verifying the pricing decision and also providing evidence of another channel for monetary policy, due to financial effects. In short, this essay provides a detailed analysis of neo-classical monetary policy transmission involving firm balance sheets and provides a small glimpse of what lies behind Bernanke and Gertler’s (1995) “black box”. The second essay provides additional robustness checks and considers alternative regression model specifications to those in the first essay. This essay discusses the existence of floating rate channel for samples of different firm size classes, and for samples including or excluding specific sub-sectors. It shows that for small-sized firms, the channel is not evident, presumably resulting from the fact that their access to floating rate debt market is limited. This warrants further analysis, which will be taken up in the future. It confirms the cash flow effect and the protective power of hedging increases when the analysis excludes both financials and utilities sectors. Furthermore, it analyzes various specifications with additional control variables, time fixed effects, and provides further evidence for the zero lower bound period. The third essay builds a simple model in which both short term and long term debt co-exist. The essay is motivated by empirical papers which show that firms match their debt maturity structure and asset maturity. The model assumes that the sector which has long-lived capital is financed by long term debt, and the sector which has short-lived capital is financed by short term debt. The simple model provides an environment to discuss the sector-specific effects of the aggregate shocks and macro-prudential policies. In the second part of the essay, the simple real model is extended to a New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model which embeds nominal frictions due to price stickiness, which creates a role for monetary policy. The extended model has various policy implications. The impulse response functions to a similar monetary policy shock show that floating rate debt might be more disruptive for consumption. Moreover monetary policy is less effective in the floating rate case. These are in accordance with the findings of floating rate debt literature. Moreover it shows that lengthening the maturity of floating rate debt puts long term debt financed entrepreneurs into a more vulnerable position. This supports empirical findings in the first and second essay. The specific type of corporate debt that is used to finance investment, which eventually turns into production, plays a significant role in determining future cash flows, and that in turn is quite important for understanding monetary policy transmission. The fourth essay, which is the final essay of the thesis, is included to fulfill the publication requirement. It assesses empirically whether consumer confidence indices contain information about future private consumption growth in Turkey. To this end, empirical models for quarterly total, durable and nondurable consumption growth with and without sentiment indicators are presented, and in-sample forecasts and one-step-ahead out-of-sample forecasts from recursive OLS estimates are evaluated. It is demonstrated that consumer confidence indices are informative about consumption, however once other macro economic variables (e.g., exchange rate, labor income, real interest rate etc.) are included, gains from them in out-of-sample forecasts decrease significantly. Moreover there is no clear evidence for either precautionary savings motive or permanent income hypothesis.
KeywordsCash Flow Effect Of Monetary Policy
Floating Rate Debts
Interest Rate Risk Hedging
New Keynesian Models With Debt Maturity