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Title: Essays in international macroeconomics and finance
Author: Mann, Samuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 544X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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This collection of essays examines the topic of macroeconomic stabilisation in an international context, focusing on monetary policy, capital controls and exchange rates. Chapter 1, written in collaboration with Giancarlo Corsetti and Joao Duarte, reconsiders the effects of common monetary policy shocks across countries in the euro area, using a data-rich factor model and identifying shocks with high-frequency surprises around policy announcements. We show that the degree of heterogeneity in the response to shocks, while being low in financial variables and output, is significant in consumption, consumer prices and macro variables related to the labour and housing markets. Mirroring country-specific institutional and market differences, we find that home ownership rates are significantly correlated with the strength of the housing channel in monetary policy transmission. We document a high dispersion in the response to shocks of house prices and rents and show that, similar to responses in the US, these variables tend to move in different directions. In Chapter 2, I build a two-country, two-good model to examine the welfare effects of capital controls, finding that under certain circumstances, a shut-down in asset trade can be a Pareto improvement. Further, I examine the robustness of the result to parameter changes, explore a wider set of policy instruments and confront computational issues in this class of international macroeconomic models. I document that within an empirically relevant parameter span for the trade elasticity, the gains from capital controls might be significantly larger than suggested by previous contributions. Moreover, I establish that a refined form of capital controls in the shape of taxes and tariffs cannot improve upon the outcome under financial autarky. Finally, results show that the conjunction of pruning methods and endogenous discount factors can remove explosive behaviour from this class of models and restore equilibrating properties. In Chapter 3, I use a panel of 20 emerging market currencies to assess whether a model that combines fundamental and non-fundamental exchange rate forecasting approaches can successfully predict risk premia (i.e. currency excess returns) over the short horizon. In doing so, I aim to overcome three main shortcomings of earlier research: i) Sensitivity to the chosen sample period; ii) seemingly arbitrary selection of explanatory variables that differs from currency to currency; and iii) difficulty in interpreting forecasts beyond the numerical signal. Based on a theoretical model of currency risk premia, I use real exchange rate strength combined with indicators for carry, momentum and economic sentiment to homogeneously forecast risk premia across all 20 currencies in the sample at a monthly frequency. In doing so, the model remains largely agnostic about structural choices, keeping arbitrarily imposed restrictions to a minimum. Results from portfolio construction suggest that returns are significant and robust both across currencies as well as over time, with Sharpe Ratios in out-of-sample tests above 0.7.
Supervisor: Corsetti, Giancarlo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Monetary Policy ; High-Frequency Identification ; Monetary Union ; Labour Market ; Housing Market ; Capital Controls ; Terms of Trade ; International Risk-Sharing ; Welfare ; Pruning ; Endogenous Discount Factors ; New Open Economy Macroeconomics ; Exchange Rates ; Value ; Carry Trade ; Risk Premia ; Emerging Markets