NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Steffen Elstner

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Working Papers

June 2013Time-Varying Business Volatility, Price Setting, and the Real Effects of Monetary Policy
with Ruediger Bachmann, Benjamin Born, Steffen Elstner, Christian Grimme: w19180
Does time-varying business volatility affect the price setting of firms and thus the transmission of monetary policy into the real economy? To address this question, we estimate from the firm-level micro data of the German IFO Business Climate Survey the impact of idiosyncratic volatility on the price setting behavior of firms. In a second step, we use a calibrated New Keynesian business cycle model to gauge the effects of time-varying volatility on the transmission of monetary policy to output. Our results are twofold. Heightened business volatility increases the probability of a price change, though the effect is small: the tripling of volatility during the recession of 08/09 caused the average quarterly likelihood of a price change to increase from 31.6% to 32.3%. Second, the effects of...
April 2013Firms’ Optimism and Pessimism
with Rüdiger Bachmann, Steffen Elstner: w18989
Are firms’ expectations systematically too optimistic or too pessimistic? Does it matter? We use micro data from the West German manufacturing subset of the IFO Business Climate Survey to infer quarterly production changes at the firm level and combine them with production expectations over a quarterly horizon in the same survey to construct series of quantitative firm-specific expectation errors. We find that depending on the details of the empirical strategy at least 6 percent and at most 34 percent of firms systematically over- or underpredict their one-quarter-ahead upcoming production. In a simple neoclassical heterogeneous-firm model these expectational biases lead to factor misallocations that cause welfare losses which in the worst case are comparable to conventional estimates of t...
June 2010Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data
with Ruediger Bachmann, Steffen Elstner, Eric R. Sims: w16143
What is the impact of time-varying business uncertainty on economic activity? Using partly confidential business survey data from the U.S. and Germany in structural VARs, we find that positive innovations to business uncertainty lead to prolonged declines in economic activity. In contrast, their high-frequency impact is small. We find no evidence of the "wait-and-see"-effect – large declines of economic activity on impact and subsequent fast rebounds – that the recent literature associates with positive uncertainty shocks. Rather, positive innovations to business uncertainty have effects similar to negative business confidence innovations. Once we control for their low-frequency effect, we find little statistically or economically significant impact of uncertainty innovations on activity. ...

Published: R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-49, April. citation courtesy of

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