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8226 Results

Fads or Bubbles?

Staff Working Paper 1997-2 Huntley Schaller, Simon van Norden
This paper tests between fads and bubbles using a new empirical strategy (based on switching-regression econometrics) for distinguishing between competing asset-pricing models. By extending the Blanchard and Watson (1982) model, we show how stochastic bubbles can lead to regime-switching in stock market returns.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Financial markets JEL Code(s): C, C4, C40, G, G1, G12

Reconsidering Cointegration in International Finance: Three Case Studies of Size Distortion in Finite Samples

Staff Working Paper 1997-1 Marie-Josée Godbout, Simon van Norden
This paper reconsiders several recently published but controversial results about the behaviour of exchange rates. In particular, it explores finite-sample problems in the application of cointegration tests and shows how these may have affected the conclusions of recent research.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Econometric and statistical methods JEL Code(s): C, C1, C15, C2, C22, C3, C32, F, F3, F31
December 11, 1996

The impact of exchange rate movements on consumer prices

In the first, mostly theoretical, part of this article, the author analyses the factors that affect the pass-through of exchange rate movements to consumer prices. In the second part, she studies the recent Canadian experience in this area, starting from 1992. The analysis in the first part of the article is used to investigate why the depreciation of the Canadian dollar by almost 20 per cent between 1992 and 1994 did not produce as much of an increase in the inflation rate as predicted by conventional estimates of the exchange rate pass-through. The author first explains this phenomenon using the factors described in the theoretical part of the article: demand conditions, the costs of adjusting prices, and expectations about the depreciation's duration. She then examines the role of more specific factors, such as the abolition of customs duties on trade between Canada and the United States and the restructuring of the retail market. It is clear that the latter two factors helped neutralize the effect of the depreciation on prices.
December 10, 1996

The maturity structure of household financial assets and liabilities

In this article, the author examines the maturity structure of the household sector's balance sheet and the degree of interest rate variability of household loans and financial assets. The bulk of households' interest-bearing assets and financial liabilities consists of medium- and long-term, fixed-rate instruments. The pattern of personal consumption is therefore influenced more by the wealth effects of interest rate changes than by their income effects, and the full impact of a permnent shift in interest rates on consumption will become apparent only after a lag.
December 9, 1996

The Canadian market for zero-coupon bonds

A conventional bond is a debt instrument consisting of a series of periodic coupon payments plus the repayment of the principal at maturity. As the name suggests, a zero-coupon bond has no coupon payments. It has only a single payment consisting of the repayment of the principal at maturity. The zero-coupon bond is sold at a discount and then redeemed for its face value at maturity. The return to the investor is the difference between the face value of the bond and its discounted purchase price. In this article, the author examines the investment characteristics of zero-coupon bonds. In particular, a type of zero-coupon bond known as a strip bond is discussed. A strip bond is created by stripping coupon payments from conventional bonds. The strip bond market in Canada has grown substantially since the late 1980s and is now an integral part of Canadian fixed-income markets. As well, the opportunity to trade in the strip bond market improves the liquidity and efficiency of Canadian fixed-income markets, thus helping to reduce the overall cost of borrowing to the government.
November 11, 1996

Productivity growth in the commercial service sector

For over three decades, measured productivity growth in the commercial service sector has consistently lagged behind that of the goods-producing sector. At the same time, the service sector has greatly expanded its share of output and employment. Some commentators have suggested that this trend will reduce growth in total economy-wide productivity. In this article, the author reviews recent trends in productivity growth in services and the main factors affecting it. She concludes that services will likely contribute to increases in future productivity growth. There is a great diversity of experience within the service sector. While productivity is falling in some industries, factors such as technological change, deregulation, and increased competition have helped to increase it in others. Moreover, much of the growth in commercial service output is occurring in those industries with relatively high productivity growth. Difficulties in measuring output for some service activities may also be resulting in underestimation of output and productivity growth. To the extent that services are used as intermediate inputs in the production of goods, underestimating productivity growth in the service industry would cause an offsetting overestimation of productivity growth in goods-producing industries.
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