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Title: Research on futures-commodities, macroeconomic volatility and financial development
Author: Koutroumpis, Panagiotis
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 0363
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis consists of eight studies that cover topics in the increasingly influential field of futures- commodities, macroeconomic volatility and financial development. Chapter 2 considers the case of Argentina and provides a first thorough examination of the timing of the Argentine debacle. By applying a group of econometric tests for structural breaks on a range of GDP growth series over a period from 1886 to 2003 we conclude that there are two key dates in Argentina's economic history (1918 and 1948) that need to be inspected closely in order to further our understanding of the Argentine debacle. Chapters 3 and 4 investigated the time-varying link between financial development and economic growth. By employing the logistic smooth transition framework to annual data for Brazil covering the period 1890-2003 we found that financial development has a mixed (either positive or negative) time- varying effect on growth, which depends on trade openness thresholds. We also find a positive impact of trade openness on growth while a mainly negative one for the various political instability measures. Chapter 5 studied the convergence properties of inflation rates among the countries of the European Monetary Union over the period 1980-2013. By applying recently developed panel unit root/stationarity tests overall we are able to accept the stationarity hypothesis. Similarly, results from the univariate testing procedure indicated a mixed evidence in favour of convergence. Hence next we employ a clustering algorithm in the context of multivariate stationarity tests and we statistically detect three absolute convergence clubs in the pre-euro period, which consist of early accession countries. We also detect two separate clusters of early accession countries in the post-1997 period. For the rest of the countries/cases we find evidence of divergent behaviour. For robustness check we additionally employ a pairwise convergence Bayesian framework, which broadly confirms our findings. Finally, we show that in the presence of volatility spillovers and structural breaks time-varying persistence will be transmitted from the conditional variance to the conditional mean. Chapter 6 focuses on the negative consequences that the five years of austerity (2010-2014) imposed on the Greek economy and the society in general. To achieve that goal we summarize the views of three renowned economists, namely Paul De Grauwe, Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz on the eurozone crisis as well as the Greek case. In support of their claims we provide solid evidence of the dramatic effects that the restrictive policies had on Greece. Chapter 7 analyzes the properties of inflation rates and their volatilities among five European countries over a period 1960-2003. Unlike to previous studies we investigate whether or not the infl ation rate and its volatility of each individual country displayed time-varying characteristics. By applying various power ARCH processes with structural breaks and with or without in-mean effects the results indicated that the conditional means, variances as well as the in-mean effect displayed time-varying behaviour. We also show that for France, Italy and Netherlands the in-mean effect is positive, whereas that of Austria and Denmark is negative. Chapter 8 examines the stochastic properties of different commodity time series during the recent fi nancial and EU sovereign debt crisis (1997-2013). By employing the Bai-Perron method we detect five breaks for each of the commodity returns (both in the mean and in the variance). The majority of the breaks are closely associated with the two aforementioned crises. Having obtained the breaks we estimated the power ARCH models for each commodity allowing the conditional means and variances to switch across the breakpoints. The results indicate overall that there is a time-varying behaviour of the conditional mean and variance parameters in the case of grains, energies and softs. In contrast, metals and soya complex show time-varying characteristics only in the conditional variance. Finally, conducting a forecasting analysis using spectral techniques (in both mapped and unmapped data) we find that the prices of corn remained almost stable while for wheat, heating oil, wti and orange juice the prices decreased further, though slightly. In the case of natural gas, coffee and sugar overall the prices experienced significant defl ationary pressures. As far as the prices of oats, platinum, rbob, cocoa, soybean, soymeal and soyoil is concerned, they showed an upward trend. Chapter 9 examines the effect of health and military expenditures, trade openness and political instability on output growth. By employing a pooled generalised least squares method for 19 NATO countries from 1993 to 2010 we fi nd that there is a negative impact of health and military expenditures, and political instability on economic growth whereas that of trade openness is positive.
Supervisor: Karanasos, M. ; Campos, N. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economic growth ; GARCH models ; STAR models ; Political instability