Frank Smets

Frank Smets
European Central Bank · Directorate General Research Department

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147
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14,102
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Publications

Publications (147)
Article
Banking crises are rare events that break out in the midst of creditintensive booms and bring about deep and long-lasting recessions. This paper presents a textbook dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to explain these phenomena. The model features a nontrivial banking sector, where bank heterogeneity gives rise to an interbank market. Mora...
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We compare the labour market response to region-specific shocks in Europe and the United States and to national shocks in Europe and investigate changes over time. We employ a multilevel factor model to decompose regional labour market variables and then estimate the dynamic response of the employment level, the employment rate and the participatio...
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This paper analyses the real-time forecasting performance of the New Keynesian DSGE model of Galí, Smets and Wouters (2012), estimated on euro area data. It investigates the extent to which the inclusion of forecasts of inflation, GDP growth and unemployment by professional forecasters improve the forecasting performance. We consider two approaches...
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This paper analyses the real-time forecasting performance of the New Keynesian DSGE model of Galí, Smets, and Wouters (2012) estimated on euro area data. It investigates to what extent forecasts of inflation, GDP growth and unemployment by professional forecasters improve the forecasting performance. We consider two approaches for conditioning on s...
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An analysis of the performance of GDP, employment and other labor market variables following the troughs in postwar U.S. business cycles points to much slower recoveries in the three most recent episodes, but does not reveal any significant change over time in the relation between GDP and employment. This leads us to characterize the last three epi...
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We reformulate the Smets-Wouters (2007) framework by embedding the theory of unemployment proposed in Gali (2011b, 2011c). We estimate the resulting model using postwar US data, while treating the unemployment rate as an additional observable variable. Our approach overcomes the lack of identification of wage markup and labor supply shocks highligh...
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We evaluate the ECB's monetary policy strategy against some of the underlying economic features of the eurozone, in normal times and during the financial crisis. We show that in the years preceding the crisis the ECB's emphasis on monetary indicators and deliberate avoidance of excessive activism were justified by the underlying macroeconomic condi...
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This chapter investigates the implications of adaptive learning in the private sector's formation of inflation expectations for the conduct of monetary policy. We first review the literature that studies the implications of adaptive learning processes for macroeconomic dynamics under various monetary policy rules. We then analyze optimal monetary p...
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This introductory essay briefly summarizes the eleven empirical studies of price setting and price adjustment that are included in this special issue. The studies, which use data from several European countries, were conducted as part of the European Central Bank’s Inflation Persistence Network.
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This paper analyses the implications of heterogeneity in the type of downward wage rigidity (nominal or real) for optimal monetary policy in a monetary union with asymmetric wage adjustment costs. Indexation in one region of the union reduces optimal grease inflation in the presence of common productivity shocks. Large common shocks may have sizeab...
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This article investigates the business cycle behaviour of measures of perceived uncertainty and financial risk premia in Germany over the past two decades. Both the perceived uncertainty and the financial risk premia are highly countercyclical and may therefore amplify and propagate the transmission of business cycle shocks. We find that exogenous...
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This paper investigates the macroeconomic relevance of new findings regarding nominal wage stickiness, wage indexation, wage staggering and synchronisation, and downward nominal and real wage rigidity in the euro area. Quantifying the relevance of this evidence for monetary policy remains to be fully resolved, but our results suggest that countries...
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Bayesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models combine microeconomic behavioural foundations with a full-system Bayesian likelihood estimation approach using key macro-economic variables. Because of the usefulness of this class of models for addressing questions regarding the impact and consequences of alternative monetary policies t...
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Over the past few years, the world economy has been going through a major financial crisis and the most severe recession since the Second World War, putting an abrupt end to what economists have called the "Great Moderation." This global crisis has led to unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy actions by governments and central banks all over the...
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This paper uses information from a rich firm-level survey on wage and price-setting procedures, in around 15,000 firms in 15 European Union countries, to investigate the relative importance of internal versus external factors in the setting of wages of newly hired workers. The evidence suggests that external labour market conditions are less import...
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We evaluate the ECB’s monetary policy strategy against the underlying economic structure of the euro area economy, in normal times and in times of severe financial dislocations. We show that in the years preceding the financial crisis that started in 2007 the ECB’s strategy was successful at ensuring macroeconomic stability and steady growth. Empha...
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Imperfect information has played a prominent role in modern business cycle theory. We assess its importance by estimating the New Keynesian (NK) model under alternative informational assumptions. One version focuses on confusion between temporary and persistent disturbances. Another, on unobserved variation in the inflation target of the central ba...
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This chapter surveys the recent literature on models of price setting. It is organized as follows. Section 2 reviews the recent literature that studies new, more detailed micro data on prices. Section 3 discusses the recent literature that compares standard models of price setting used in macroeconomics to the new micro price data. Section 4 argues...
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This paper provides a quantitative assessment of the role of …nancial frictions in the choice of exchange rate regimes. I use a two country model with sticky prices to compare di¤erent exchange rate arrangements. I simulate the model without and with borrowing constraints on investment, under monetary policy and technology shocks. I …nd that the st...
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We review the recent literature that studies new, detailed micro data on prices. We discuss implications of the new micro data for macro models. We argue that the new micro data are helpful for macro models, but not decisive. There is no simple mapping from the frequency of price changes in micro data to impulse responses of prices and quantities t...
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This paper presents preliminary estimates of the euro area flexible-price output gap using the estimated version of the New Area-Wide Model (NAWM) – a large-scale DSGE model of the euro area developed and maintained by ECB staff. Following a definition of the flexible-price output gap frequently used in the literature, we show that the NAWM-based m...
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This paper estimates a Bayesian VAR for the US economy which includes a housing sector and addresses the following questions. Can developments in the housing sector be explained on the basis of developments in real and nominal GDP and interest rates? What are the effects of housing demand shocks on the economy? How does monetary policy affect the h...
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The objective of this paper is to examine the main features of optimal monetary policy cooperation within a micro-founded macroeconometric framework. First, using Bayesian techniques, we estimate a two-country dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model for the United States (US) and the euro area (EA). The main features of the new open eco...
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We use a version of the New Area-Wide Model (NAWM) developed at the ECB in order to quantify the gains from monetary policy cooperation. The model is calibrated in order to match a set of empirical moments. We then derive the cooperative and (open-loop) Nash monetary policies, assuming that the central banks’ objectives is to maximize the welfare o...
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Using two estimated models for the euro area and the United States, this paper investigates whether the observed difference in the amplitude of the interest rate cycle since 1999 in both areas is due to differences in the estimated monetary policy reaction function, differences in the structure of the economy or differences in the size and nature o...
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Understanding the features and the determinants of individual price setting behavior is important for the formulation of monetary policy. These behavioral mechanisms play a fundamental role in influencing the characteristics of aggregate inflation and in determining how monetary policy affects inflation and real economic activity. The Inflation Per...
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We use the Factor-Augmented Vector Autoregression (FAVAR) approach of Bernanke, Boivin and Eliasz (2005) to estimate the effects of monetary policy shocks on wages and employment in the euro area. The use of a large data set comprising country, sectoral and euro area-wide data allows us to better identify common monetary policy shocks in the euro a...
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Understanding the features and the determinants of individual price setting behaviour is important for the formulation of monetary policy. These behavioural mechanisms play a fundamental role in influencing the characteristics of aggregate inflation and in determining how monetary policy affects inflation and real economic activity. The Inflation P...
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This paper applies Bayesian methods to study the empirical im-portance of learning using euro-area data. It analyzes whether New Keynesian DSGE models with constant-gain adaptive learning explain better the behavior of euro area data than similar models with ratio-nal expectations, and whether learning can account for macroeconomic persistence. The...
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This paper investigates the role of three likely suspects in driving the steady deterioration of the US external balance: US technology developments, changes in the US government fiscal position and the Fed's monetary policy. Estimating several Vector Autoregressions on US data over the period 1982:2–2005:4 we identify five structural shocks: a mul...
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The paper provides new tools for the evaluation of DSGE models, and applies them to a large-scale New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with price and wage stickiness and capital accumulation. Specifically, we approximate the DSGE model by a vector autoregression, and then systematically relax the implied cross-equation...
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Using a Bayesian likelihood approach, we estimate a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model for the US economy using seven macroeconomic time series. The model incorporates many types of real and nominal frictions and seven types of structural shocks. We show that this model is able to compete with Bayesian Vector Autoregression models in out-...
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Prof. Leamer's paper is witty, provocative and very timely. It is also written with a certain passion. Now, passion and central banking do not necessarily go well together. Boredom is an attribute more often associated with central banking. So, unfortunately part of my task will be to try to take out some of the passion, in particular when it comes...
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The paper focuses on satisfaction with income and proposes a utility model built on two value systems, the `Ego' system - described as one own income assessment relatively to one own past and future income - and the `Alter' system - described as one own income assessment relatively to a reference group. We show how the union of these two value syst...
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Questions about transparency and the optimal way to communicate and commit to a monetary policy are both highly practical and fascinating from a research viewpoint. How far can transparency be taken? Is it better for a central bank to provide information about the future path for the interest rate instrument, or simply to give the staff's economic...
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This paper provides a summary of current knowledge on inflation persistence and price stickiness in the euro area, based on research findings that have been produced in the context of the Inflation Persistence Network. The main findings are: i) Under the current monetary policy regime, the estimated degree of inflation persistence in the euro area...
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We consider optimal policy when private sector expectations are formed through adaptive learning. Earlier research has found that adaptive learning is consistent with empirical evidence on private sector expectations. In this paper, we consider the (admittedly) extreme case of sophisticated central banking, whereby the central bank has full knowled...
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Using Bayesian likelihood methods, this paper estimates a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with Taylor contracts and firm-specific factors in the goods market on euro-area data. The paper shows how the introduction of firmspecific factors improves the empirical fit of the model and reduces the estimated contract length to a duration of...
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Progress in stochastic macroeconomic modeling justifies revisiting Milton Friedman's program on the relation between macroeconomic stability and active stabilization policies. In the lecture, we use a standard new Keynesian model but depart from rational expectations by assuming that agents behave in line with adaptive learning, which increase the...
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We show that, when private sector expectations are determined in line with adaptive learning, optimal policy responds persistently to cost-push shocks. The optimal response is stronger and more persistent, the higher is the initial level of perceived inflation persistence by the private sector. Such a sophisticated policy reduces inflation persiste...
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This paper evaluates new evidence on price-setting practices and inflation persistence in the euro area with respect to its implications for macro modeling. It argues that several of the most commonly used assumptions in micro-founded macro models are seriously challenged by the new findings. (JEL: E31, E52) (c) 2006 by the European Economic Associ...
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Progress in stochastic macroeconomic modeling justifies revisiting Milton Friedman's program on the relation between macroeconomic stability and active stabilization policies. In the lecture, we use a standard new Keynesian model but depart from rational expectations by assuming that agents behave in line with adaptive learning, which increase the...
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Smets and Wouters (2003) find that at short- and medium-term horizons stochastic variations in the goods market mark-up are the most important source of inflation variability in the euro area. This article shows that an empirically plausible alternative interpretation is that the estimated price mark-up shocks represent relative price (e.g. product...
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The International Journal of Central Banking from time to time will assemble and publish collections of papers on a common topic, especially when the editors see a critical mass of submissions in an active area where quick publication of the papers as a group will encourage discussion, create synergies, and increase the potential for further breakt...
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This paper compares a number of alternative specifications for price setting in the context of the Smets-Wouters (2003) Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model. We compare the Calvo model with a standard Taylor contracting model and show that by allowing for sector-specific capital the Taylor contracting model with relative short contract leng...
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The paper studies the conduct of monetary policy, in a simple new Keynesian model, with adaptive learning on the part of the private sector. A key feature is that even though we start out with a linear “structural†model, the system and hence policy responses inherit the non-linear feature of the updating equations for the estimated parameters....
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This paper calculates indices of central bank autonomy (CBA) for 163 central banks as of end-2003, and comparable indices for a subgroup of 68 central banks as of the end of the 1980s. The results confirm strong improvements in both economic and political CBA over the past couple of decades, although more progress is needed to boost political auton...
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This paper discusses the advantages of Bayesian New Neoclassical Synthesis models as tools for monetary policy analysis and forecasting. The combination of a sound, micro founded structure with a good probabilistic description of the observed data makes those models suitable for investigating the structural sources of business cycle fluctuations, f...
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We first estimate the effects of a euro area-wide monetary policy change on output growth in eleven industries of seven euro area countries over the period 1980-98. On average the negative effect of an interest rate tightening on output is significantly greater in recessions than in booms. There is, however, considerable cross-industry heterogeneit...
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This paper develops an open economy DSGE model with sticky prices and wages linking the euro area and the US economy. The model is estimated with Bayesian tech- niques using ten country-speci…c macroeconomic variables for each economy together with oil prices and the euro/dollar exchange rate. The introduction of a complete set of domestic and open...
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We introduce adaptive learning behavior into a general-equilibrium life-cycle economy with capital accumulation. Agents form forecasts of the rate of return to capital assets using least-squares autoregressions on past data. We show that, in contrast to the perfect-foresight dynamics, the dynamical system under learning possesses equilibria that ar...
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This paper estimates a DSGE model with many types of shocks and frictions for both the US and the euro area economy over a common sample period (1974-2002). The structural estimation methodology allows us to investigate whether differences in business cycle behaviour are due to differences in the type of shocks that affect the two economies, differ...
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In monetary policy strategies geared towards maintaining price stability, conditional and unconditional forecasts of inflation and output play an important role. In this article we illustrate how modern sticky-price dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models, estimated using Bayesian techniques, can become an additional useful tool in the...
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Using a sticky price-wage model with capital accumulation and adjustment costs, this paper analyses the welfare effects of non-fundamental asset price and investment fluctuations for the representative household. The welfare effect depends strongly on the steady state level around which the economy is fluctuating. If output is below the first best...
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The paper aims at deriving some stylised facts for financial, real, and monetary policy developments during asset price booms. We observe various macroeconomic variables in a pre-boom, boom and post-boom phase. Not all booms lead to large output losses. We analyse the differences between highcost and low-cost booms. High-cost booms are clearly thos...
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This report presents results from a research project developed by the European Central Bank and the 12 National Central Banks of the Eurosystem on the persistence of inflation in the euro area and its member countries. The analysis, conducted by a team called the Inflation Persistence Network (IPN), focuses on measuring and comparing patterns of pr...
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We present a new approach to study empirically the effect of the introduction of the euro on currency invoicing. Our approach uses a compositional multinomial logit model, in which currency choice depends on the characteristics of both the currency and the country. We use unique quarterly panel data of Norwegian imports from OECD countries for the...
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On 11-12 December 2003, the Directorate Monetary Policy of the Directorate General Economics in collaboration with the Directorate General Research held a workshop on "Asset prices and monetary policy" at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The workshop was attended by participants from 27 central banks.2 This note briefly summarises some of th...