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The importance of the financial system for the real economy

Sebastian Ankargren (), Mårten Bjellerup and Hovick Shahnazarian
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Mårten Bjellerup: Swedish National Debt Office
Hovick Shahnazarian: Ministry of Finance

Empirical Economics, 2017, vol. 53, issue 4, No 10, 1553-1586

Abstract: Abstract This paper first describes financial variables that have been constructed to correspond to various channels in the transmission mechanism. Next, a Bayesian VAR model for the macroeconomy, with priors on the steady states, is augmented with these financial variables and estimated using Swedish data for 1989–2015. The results support three conclusions. First, the financial system is important and the strength of the results is dependent on identification, with the financial variables accounting for 10–25 % of the forecast error variance of Swedish GDP growth. Second, the suggested model produces an earlier signal regarding the probability of recession, compared to a model without financial variables. Third, the model’s forecasts for the deep downturn in 2008 and 2009, conditional on the development of the financial variables, outperform a macro-model that lacks financial variables. Furthermore, this improvement in modelling Swedish GDP growth during the financial crisis does not come at the expense of unconditional predictive power. Taken together, the results suggest that the proposed model presents an accessible possibility to analyse the macro-financial linkages and the GDP developments, especially during a financial crisis.

Keywords: Transmission channels; Financial indicators; Macroeconomy; Business cycle; Credit cycle; Bayesian VAR (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E37 E44 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s00181-016-1175-4

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