Estimation: General

The J–Curve Phenomenon: Evidence from Commodity Trade Between South Africa and the United States

Previous studies on the J–curve phenomenon for South Africa have been carried out using either aggregate trade data between South Africa and the rest of the world or between South Africa and her major trading partners. The evidence of J-curve effects in South Africa's bilateral trade have been mixed. In this paper, we revisit this issue by examining the short- and long-run effects of exchange rate changes on trade flows in the context of disaggregated industry data on bilateral trade between South Africa and the United States.

Modelling exchange rate volatility dynamics: Empirical evidence from South Africa

In this paper, we extend the literature on modelling exchange rate volatility in South Africa by estimating a range of models, including some that attempt to account for structural breaks and long memory. We examine the key nominal exchange rates of the South African rand and replicate common findings in the literature; particularly that volatility is ‘persistent’. We investigate whether this ‘persistence’ is due to structural breaks or long memory, and the extent of asymmetric responses of the rand to ‘good news’ and ‘bad news’.

Evaluating South Africa’s Tobacco Control Initative: A Synthetic Control Approach

South Africa has since 1994 consistently and aggressively increased excise taxes on cigarettes in order to maintain a total tax burden of around 50% of the average retail selling price. The tax rises have translated into large increases in the inflation-adjusted price of cigarettes. For instance, the average real price per pack increased by 110% between 1994 and 2004. This paper uses a transparent and data-driven technique, the Synthetic Control method, to evaluate the impact on cigarette consumption of South Africa’s large-scale tobacco tax increases.

Important Channels of Transmission Monetary Policy Shock in South Africa

This paper investigates the di¤erent channels of transmission of monetary policy shock in South Africa in a data-rich environment. The analysis contains 165 quarterly variables observed from 1990Q1 to 2012Q2. We use a Large Bayesian Vector Autoregressive model, which can easily accommodate a large cross-section of variables without running out of degree of freedom. The benefit of this frame-

Monetary Policy Response to Foreign Aid in an Estimated DSGE Model of Malawi

This paper estimates a Bayesian Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model of Malawi and uses it to account for short-run monetary policy response to aid inflows between 1980 and 2010. In particular, the paper evaluates the existence of a “Dutch Disease” following an increase in foreign aid and examines the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) reaction to aid inflows under different monetary policy rules. The paper finds strong evidence of “Taylor rule” like response of monetary policy to aid inflows.

No-Arbitrage One-Factor Models of the South African Term-Structure of Interest Rates

Short-term interest rate processes determine the term-structure of interest rates in an arbitrage-free market, and are central to the valuation of interest-rate derivatives. We obtain parameter estimates and compare the empirical fit of alternative one-factor continuous-time processes for the South African short-term interest rate (and hence of arbitrage-free term-structure models), using Gaussian estimation methods. We find support only for diffusions where the interest rate volatility is moderately sensitive to the level of the interest rate.

Could we have predicted the recent downturn in the South African Housing Market?

This paper develops large-scale Bayesian Vector Autoregressive (BVAR) models, based on 268 quarterly series, for forecasting annualized real house price growth rates for large-, medium and small-middle-segment housing for the South African economy. Given the in-sample period of 1980:01 to 2000:04, the large-scale BVARs, estimated under alternative hyperparameter values specifying the priors, are used to forecast real house price growth rates over a 24-quarter out-ofsample horizon of 2001:01 to 2006:04.

A Large Factor Model for Forecasting Macroeconomic Variables in South Africa

This paper uses large Factor Models (FMs) which accommodates a large cross-section of macroeconomic time series for forecasting per capita growth rate, inflation, and the nominal short-term interest rate for the South African economy. The FMs used in this study contains 267 quarterly series observed over the period of 1980Q1-2006Q4.

Nonparametric estimation when income is reported in bands and at points

We show how to estimate kernel density functions of distributions in which some of the responses are provided in brackets, by inverse probability weighting. We consider two cases, one where the data are CAR and where the data are not CAR. We show how the selection probabilities can be estimated by means of the EM algorithm without specifying a parametric distribution function for the variable. A Monte Carlo experiment shows that this procedure estimates the selection parameters fairly precisely.


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