NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Ron Alquist

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Working Papers

March 2014Commodity-Price Comovement and Global Economic Activity
with Olivier Coibion: w20003
Guided by the predictions of a general-equilibrium macroeconomic model with commodity prices, we apply a new factor-based identification strategy to decompose the historical sources of changes in commodity prices and global economic activity. The model yields a factor structure for commodity prices in which the factors have an economic interpretation: one factor captures the combined contribution of all aggregate shocks that affect commodity markets only through general equilibrium effects while other factors represent direct shocks to commodity markets. The model also provides identification conditions to recover the structural interpretation from a factor decomposition of commodity prices. We apply these methods to a cross-section of real commodity prices since 1968. The theoretical rest...
February 2013Fire-sale FDI or Business as Usual?
with Rahul Mukherjee, Linda Tesar: w18837
Using a new data set, we examine the characteristics and dynamics of cross-border mergers and acquisitions during emerging-market financial crises, that is, so-called “fire-sale FDI”. Our findings shed fresh light on whether the transactions undertaken during crisis periods differ in fundamental ways from those undertaken during more tranquil periods. The increase in foreign acquisitions during crises is mainly driven by non-financial acquirers targeting firms in the same industry rather than foreign financial firms. This increase in acquisition activity in a given industry is unrelated to the industry’s dependence on external finance. There is also no evidence of an increase in the size of stakes bought during crises. In terms of the effect of crises on emerging-market mergers and acquisi...
August 2006Conventional and Unconventional Approaches to Exchange Rate Modeling and Assessment
with Menzie D. Chinn: w12481
We examine the relative predictive power of the sticky price monetary model, uncovered interest parity, and a transformation of net exports and net foreign assets. In addition to bringing Gourinchas and Rey’s new approach and more recent data to bear, we implement the Clark and West (forthcoming) procedure for testing the significance of out-of-sample forecasts. The interest rate parity relation holds better at long horizons and the net exports variable does well in predicting exchange rates at short horizons in-sample. In out-of-sample forecasts, we find evidence that our proxy for Gourinchas and Rey’s measure of external imbalances outperforms a random walk at short horizons as do some of other models, although no single model uniformly outperforms the random walk forecast.
March 2002Productivity and the Euro-Dollar Exchange Rate Puzzle
with Menzie D. Chinn: w8824
This paper documents the evidence for a productivity based model of the dollar/euro real exchange rate over the 1985-2001 period. We estimate cointegrating relationships between the real exchange rate, productivity, and the real price of oil using the Johansen (1988) and Stock-Watson (1993) procedures. We find that each percentage point in the US-Euro area productivity differential results in a five percentage point real appreciation of the dollar. This finding is robust to the estimation methodology, the variables included in the regression, and the sample period. We conjecture that productivity-based models cannot explain the observed patterns with the standard set of assumptions, and describe a case in which the model can be reconciled with the observed data.

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