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Theses Doctoral

Real Business Cycles in Emerging Countries

Akinci, Ozge

This dissertation investigates the sources of real business cycle fluctuations in emerging countries, using a combination of real business cycle theory and econometric techniques.
The first chapter consists of two main sections. In the first section, I empirically evaluate the canonical dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of a small open emerging economy using bayesian methods. I show that estimated dynamic models of business cycles in emerging countries deliver counterfactual predictions for the country risk premium. In particular, the country interest rate predicted by these models is acyclical or procyclical, whereas it is countercyclical in the data. The second section proposes and estimates a small open economy model of the emerging-market business cycle in which a time-varying country risk premium emerges endogenously through a variant of the financial accelerator mechanism as in Bernanke, Gertler, and Gilchrist (1999). In the proposed model, a firm's borrowing rate adjusts countercyclically as the productivity default threshold depends on the state of the macroeconomy. I econometrically estimate the proposed model and find that it can account for the volatility and the countercyclicality of the country risk premium as well as for other key emerging market business cycle moments. Time varying uncertainty in firm specific productivity contributes to delivering a countercyclical default rate and explains more than 65 percent of the variances in the trade balance and in the country risk premium. Finally, I find that the predicted contribution of nonstationary productivity shocks in explaining output variations falls between the high estimate reported by Aguiar and Gopinath (2007) and the low estimates reported by Garcia-Cicco, Pancrazi, and Uribe (2010).
In the second chapter, I investigate the extent to which global financial conditions contribute to the macroeconomic fluctuations in emerging economies. Using a panel structural VAR model, I find that global risk shocks are important contributors to the dynamics of the country risk premium and real macroeconomic variables. In particular, I find that global risk shocks explain about 20 percent of movements both in the country risk premium and in the economic activity in emerging economies. The contribution of U.S. real interest rate shocks to macroeconomic fluctuations in emerging economies is negligible. I argue that the role of U.S. interest rate shocks in driving the business cycles in emerging economies, as emphasized in the previous literature, is taken up by global risk shocks. The country risk premium shock also has significant explanatory power of emerging economy real business cycle fluctuations. Global financial shocks altogether account for about 45 percent of the aggregate fluctuations in emerging economies. I find that domestic macroeconomic variables including domestic banking sector risk have sizable impact on the country risk premium fluctuations. I argue that the linkage between the economic activity and the country risk premium is the key mechanism through which global risk shocks are transmitted to emerging economies.



More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Uribe, Martin
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 15, 2014