E21

Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth

Flow specific capital controls for emerging markets

This paper investigates the impact of capital controls on business cycle fluctuations and welfare. To perform this analysis, we deploy an asymmetric two country model that is subject to negative foreign interest rate shocks. The results show that both an inflow and outflow capital control are able to attenuate capital flow dynamics, but each control bears different implications for macroeconomic outcomes. Whilst the outflow capital control is associated with shock attenuation benefits, the inflow capital control is shown to amplify the impact of shocks.

Stock Return Predictability in South Africa: An Alternative Approach

There is considerable debate internationally as to whether share returns are predictable. The limited evidence in South Africa (Gupta and Modise, 2012a, b and 2013) reveals that valuation ratios have no forecasting power but the Treasury bill rate, term spread and money supply have been found to be able to predict share returns at a relatively short horizon. In this study, the consumption aggregate wealth ratio of Lettau and Ludvigson (2001) is applied to South African share returns to assess its forecasting power using in-sample tests over both short and long horizons.

Private Wealth in a Developing Country: A South African Perspective on Piketty

The point of departure of Thomas Piketty’s influential Capital in the Twenty-First Century was the dramatic growth of private wealth-income ratios in the advanced economies between 1970 and 2010. Using official balance sheet data for South Africa—the first country to publish such data in the developing world—, this paper examines to what extent this reemergence of private wealth was also experienced in the developing-country context.

What we talk about when we talk about saving: Concepts and measures of household saving and their application to South Africa

South African household savings rates have been declining steadily over the last five decades, from about ten percent of national income to nil or negative levels today. Due to the importance of savings on both the household - and aggregate level, the government has introduced several initiatives to reverse the trend. It is against this background that this paper asks whether our current way of measuring savings as the residual between income and expenditure is appropriate to guide economic policy in South Africa.

Evolution of Monetary Policy Transmission Mechanism in Malawi: A TVP-VAR with Stochastic Volatility Approach

This paper investigates the evolution of monetary transmission mechanism in Malawi between 1981 and 2010 using a time varying parameter vector autoregressive (TVP-VAR) model with stochastic volatility. We evaluate how the responses of real output and general price level to bank rate, exchange rate and credit shocks have changed over time since Malawi adopted financial reforms in 1980s. The paper finds that inflation, real output and exchange rate responses to monetary policy shocks changed over the period under review.

Financial Reforms and Consumption Behaviour in Malawi

The purpose of the study is to examine whether financial reforms implemented in the 1980's and 1990's altered the pattern of aggregate consumption behaviour in Malawi. More specifically, the study questions whether financial reforms affected consumption behaviour by reducing the excess sensitivity of changes in consumption to changes in current income using the Permanent income hypothesis (PIH) framework. If it happens that excess sensitivity does not reduce, the paper explores further whether the failure is due to liquidity constraints or myopia.

The Impact of Later Retirement Ages on Aggregate Household Savings and Saving Rates: An Analysis of OECD Countries

As a result of population aging, governments of many OECD countries have begun to implement policies to increase average retirement ages in an attempt to alleviate some of the …nancial strain in supporting retirees. This paper explores the effect that later retirement ages have on aggregate household saving rates, both on a theoretical and empirical level. Using a two-wave panel of OECD countries, the results show that later retirement ages have the effect of decreasing aggregate household saving rates. We show that it is likely that this corresponds to a decrease in household saving.

Retirement Date Effects on Pre-Retirement Wealth Accumulation: An Analysis of US Households

This paper uses seven waves of data from the US Health and Retirement Study to investigate the impact of expectations regarding the timing of retirement on pre-retirement wealth accumulation. More specifically, we analyze the effect of the individual's subjective belief that he will work full time after age 62 on his current level of wealth. We use the individual's perception of the usual retirement age on the job as an instrument for his subjective belief that he will work full time after age 62. We look at single women, single men and married individuals separately.

Who is Credit Constrained Among Denied or Discouraged Borrowers?

Since the seminal work of Jappelli (1990), it has become standard to identify as liquidity-constrained, borrowers who were either turned down for credit or did not apply because they might be turned down. In this paper, we show that the so-called “denied or discouraged” proxy does not capture accurately consumers’ credit access when consumers seek credit to finance expenditure on durable goods. Our sample is drawn from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We document systematic misclassification of unconstrained households as constrained.

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