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Dirk Niepelt

Dirk Niepelt

Dirk Niepelt is Director of the Study Center Gerzensee and Professor at the University of Bern. A research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR, London), CESifo (Munich) research network member and member of the macroeconomic committee of the Verein für Socialpolitik, he served on the board of the Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics and was an invited professor at the University of Lausanne as well as a visiting professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) at Stockholm University.

Articles by Dirk Niepelt

Economics PhD Admissions

5 days ago

In an NBER working paper, Jessica Bai, Matthew Esche, W. Bentley MacLeod and Yifan Shi argue:
We introduce a model of the admissions process based upon standard agency theory and explore its implications with economics PhD admissions data from 2013-2019. We show that a subjective score that aggregates subjective ratings and recommendation letter features plays a more important role in determining admissions than an objective score based upon graduate record exam (GRE) scores. Subjective evaluations by references who write multiple letters are not only more influential than those of references who write one letter, but they are also more informative. Since multiple-letter references are also more highly ranked economists, this implies that there is a constraint on the supply of

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Robert Wolff’s “Original Wisdom”

18 days ago

Goodreads rating 4.37. Wolff describes his experiences in rural Malaysia and in the jungle among the Sng’oi, where he learns (rather than being taught) new forms of awareness and knowledge.
I saw clearly—perhaps for the first time—that most people, even scientists, can see the world only from one point of view: their own. [p. 146]
Malay culture values halus—soft, gentle, polite—and despises kasar.

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“Sovereign Bond Prices, Haircuts and Maturity,” UniBe, 2022

20 days ago

With Tamon Asonuma and Romain Ranciere. UniBe Discussion Paper 22-13, November 2022. PDF.

We document that creditor losses (”haircuts”) during sovereign debt restructurings vary across debt maturity. In our novel dataset on instrument-specific haircuts suffered by private creditors in 1999-‒2020 we find larger losses on short- than long-term debt, independently of the specific haircut measure we use. A standard asset pricing model rationalizes our findings under two assumptions, both of which are satisfied in the data: increasing short-run restructuring risk in the run-up to a restructuring, and high exit yields. We relate our findings to the policy debate on restructuring procedures.

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Mortality Externalities of CO2-Emissions

22 days ago

In the Quarterly Journal of Economics (137, 4), a group of authors estimates that
the mean global increase in mortality risk due to climate change, accounting for adaptation benefits and costs, is valued at roughly 3.2% of global GDP in 2100 under a high-emissions scenario. Notably, today’s cold locations are projected to benefit, while today’s poor and hot locations have large projected damages. Finally, our central estimates indicate that the release of an additional ton of CO2 today will cause mortality-related damages of $36.6 under a high-emissions scenario, with an interquartile range accounting for both econometric and climate uncertainty of [−$7.8, $73.0].

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Mariana: CBDCs in Automated Market Makers

26 days ago

Three BIS innovation hubs plan to test DeFi inspired liquidity pools to exchange wCBDCs. BIS press release:

Project Mariana will use DeFi protocols to automate foreign exchange markets and settlement.
Automated market makers can become the basis for new generation of financial infrastructure.
Exploration on cross-border exchange of wholesale CBDCs is the first to involve three Hub centres.
The BIS Innovation Hub is launching a new project around central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and Decentralised Finance (DeFi) protocols as part of its 2022 work programme.
Project Mariana explores automated market makers (AMM) for the cross-border exchange of hypothetical Swiss franc, euro and Singapore dollar wholesale CBDCs. It will seek to examine the potential between financial institutions

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“Money and Banking with Reserves and CBDC,” UniBe, 2022

27 days ago

UniBe Discussion Paper 22-12, October 2022. PDF.
We analyze retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) in a two-tier monetary system with bank deposit market power and externalities from liquidity transformation. Resource costs of liquidity provision determine the optimal monetary architecture and modified Friedman (1969) rules the optimal monetary policy. Optimal interest rates on reserves and CBDC differ. A calibration for the U.S. suggests a weak case for CBDC in the baseline but a much clearer case when too-big-to-fail banks, tax distortions or instrument restrictions are present. Depending on central bank choices CBDC raises U.S. bank funding costs by up to 1.5 percent of GDP.

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“The Swiss National Bank in Brief”

October 28, 2022

PDF.
Contents
The SNB’s mandate
Monetary policy strategy
Implementation of monetary policy
Ensuring the supply and distribution of cash
The SNB’s role in the cashless payment system
Asset management
The SNB’s contribution to financial stability
International monetary cooperation
Independence, accountability and relationship with the Confederation
The SNB as a company
Legal basis
Appendix
Publications and other resources
SNB balance sheet
Addresses

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Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

October 28, 2022

Translated by Gregory Rabassa. Goodreads rating 4.10.
…the secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude. [p. 205]
… and once again she shuddered with the evidence that time was not passing, as she had just admitted, but that it was turning in a circle. [p. 341]
Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity … [p. 345]
… and then they understood that José Arcadio Buendía was not as crazy as the family said, but that he was the only one who had enough lucidity to sense the truth of the fact that time also stumbled and had accidents and could

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Digital Money and Finance: What’s New?

October 20, 2022

CEPR/SUERF/CB&DC webinar with Darrell Duffie, Todd Keister, Harald Uhlig, Dirk Niepelt.
Youtube
Digitisation rapidly changes money, banking and finance. Are these changes fundamental and radical—or part of a continuous process of technological progress and efficiency improvement? Do academics have to re-think money, banking and finance—or do conventional theories apply? And do finance professionals and regulators need to re-assess their frameworks and tools to keep up with the transformation?
Darrell Duffie (Stanford University and Fintech & Digital Currencies RPN Member), Todd Keister (Rutgers University and Fintech & Digital Currencies RPN Member) and Harald Uhlig (University of Chicago, CEPR and Fintech & Digital Currencies RPN Member), three experts on macro economics, monetary

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Political Economy for Investors

October 20, 2022

Mark Dittli of the market NZZ interviews Russell Napier:
… the power to control the creation of money has moved from central banks to governments. By issuing state guarantees on bank credit during the Covid crisis, governments have effectively taken over the levers to control the creation of money.
… statistics on bank loans to corporates within the European Union since February 2020: Out of all the new loans in Germany, 40% are guaranteed by the government. In France, it’s 70% of all new loans, and in Italy it’s over 100%, because they migrate old maturing credit to new, government-guaranteed schemes.
… we are headed into a significant growth slowdown, even a recession, and bank credit is still growing. … The CFO of Commerzbank was asked about this fact in July, and she said that the

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GNU Taler

October 14, 2022

The GNU Taler project:
We are building an anonymous, taxable payment system using modern cryptography. Customers will use traditional money transfers to send money to a digital Exchange and in return receive (anonymized) digital cash. Customers can use this digital cash to anonymously pay Merchants. Merchants can redeem the digital cash for traditional money at the digital Exchange. As Merchants are not anonymous, they can be taxed, enabling income or sales taxes to be withheld by the state while providing anonymity for Customers.

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No CBDC Act

October 11, 2022

Source
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
September 13, 2022

Mr. Lee (for himself and Mr. Braun) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

A BILL
To amend the Federal Reserve Act to limit the ability of Federal Reserve banks to issue central bank digital currency.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “No Central Bank Digital Currency Act” or the “No CBDC Act”.

SEC. 2. CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCY.

Section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act is amended by adding after the 14th undesignated paragraph (12 U.S.C. 347d) the following:

“ No Federal reserve bank, the Board, the Secretary

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Carbon Accounting

October 10, 2022

Carbon flow, stock and budget according to the recent Geneva Report on Climate and Debt:
Annual global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel and industry: 40 gigatonnes.
Cumulative historical emissions since 1850: 2400 gigatonnes. They are responsible for a temperature rise of 1 degree Celsius.
Remaining carbon budget given 1.5 degree Celsius temperature rise cap: 300 gigatonnes.

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Smart Banknote CBDC

October 9, 2022

Orell Füssli news release:
Orell Füssli Ltd. Security Printing and AUGENTIC GmbH announced their partnership on a “Smart Banknote CBDC” solution including trustwise.io’s Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) a week ago. A smart banknote is a physical banknote that interacts with a CBDC solution and acts as a transitional device between traditional and CBDC based payment systems. A smart banknote can be used like a classic banknote; however, the owner can redeem his cold wallet (physical banknote) and transfer the note’s value to a digital wallet by scanning the QR code with the private key. Our smart banknote includes a public and a private key represented by QR codes of which the private one is sealed. When the cover of the private key is removed, the QR code scanned, the value of the

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Lucas on an OECD Economic Expert Report

September 22, 2022

In a Carnegie-Rochester paper from 1979, Robert Lucas reviews an earlier report to the OECD by a group of independent experts. Lucas views the report as vacuous, eclectic, and dangerous:
… I know of no other way to convey the Report’s undisciplined eclecticism. It meanders through the long list of issues which have been defined in popular debate as “policy problems,” accepting all as equally suited to treatment by government action and equally amenable to economic expertise, offering ambiguous and unsupported opinion on each. Nowhere can one discern a consistent set of economic principles underlying either the choice of questions to be addressed or the policy stances which are recommended.
As an economist, I find this alarming, but not because I believe the Report will in any direct

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Monetary Policy, the NK Model, and Humility

September 22, 2022

In an NBER working paper John Cochrane concludes that

… we have been guilty of playing with too-complex models when we don’t really understand basics, such as stability, determinacy, and the frictionless limit. …
Given the state of actual agreed-on knowledge, central banks’ proclamations of detailed technocratic ability to manipulate delicate frictions is laughable. Figure 10 shows in chart form the Rube-Goldberg list of mechanisms the ECB thinks it understands and can manipulate. Central bankers who think they have any idea how all these boxes and arrows work, and how to manipulate them, should reread Bob’s unsung classic “on a report to the OECD” Lucas (1979) once a week. A little humility would do us all good.

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Goering About WWII

September 21, 2022

Lost Prison Interview With Hermann Goering: The Nazi Reichsmarschall’s Revelations
[embedded content]

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“Macroeconomics II,” Bern, Fall 2022

September 13, 2022

MA course at the University of Bern.
Time: Monday 10:15-12:00. Location: A-126 UniS. Uni Bern’s official course page. Course assistant: Stefano Corbellini.
The course introduces Master students to modern macroeconomic theory. Building on the analysis of the consumption-saving tradeoff and on concepts from general equilibrium theory, the course covers workhorse general equilibrium models of modern macroeconomics, including the representative agent framework, the overlapping generations model, and the Lucas tree model.
Lectures follow chapters 1–4 (possibly 5) in this book.

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“Makroökonomie I (Macroeconomics I),” Bern, Fall 2022

September 13, 2022

BA course at the University of Bern, taught in German.
Time: Monday 14:15-16:00. Location: Audimax. Uni Bern’s official course page. Course assistant: Wjera Yell Leutenegger.
Course description:
Die Vorlesung vermittelt einen ersten Einblick in die moderne Makroökonomie. Sie baut auf der Veranstaltung „Einführung in die Makroökonomie“ des Einführungsstudiums auf und betont sowohl die Mikrofundierung als auch dynamische Aspekte. Das heisst, sie interpretiert makroökonomische Entwicklungen als das Ergebnis zielgerichteten individuellen (mikroökonomischen) Handelns, und sie wird der Tatsache gerecht, dass wirtschaftliche Entscheidungen Erwartungen widerspiegeln und Konsequenzen in der Zukunft haben. Der klassische Modellrahmen, der in der Vorlesung entwickelt wird, bietet die Grundlage

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SNB Losses in the News

August 1, 2022

My written statement for 20minuten:
Anlageverluste der SNB sind schlecht für den Schweizer Steuerzahler, denn ihm gehört die SNB. Sie können aber auch Entwicklungen widerspiegeln, die ihre guten Seiten haben. Jetzt zum Beispiel führt die Frankenstärke zu Anlageverlusten, bremst aber auch die importierte Inflation.
Die Diskussion um die Höhe der SNB-Ausschüttungen ist vielfach fehlgeleitet. In der Debatte geht vergessen, dass Gewinnausschüttungen das Reinvermögen von Bund und Kantonen nicht verändern. Denn Ausschüttungen sind keine Transfers von Dritten an Bund oder Kantone – sie tauschen lediglich eine Aktivposition in der Bilanz von Bund oder Kantonen gegen eine andere aus, wie bei einer Dividendenausschüttung eines Unternehmens. Die Hauptwirkung von

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SNB Losses in the News

July 29, 2022

My written statement for 20minuten:
Anlageverluste der SNB sind schlecht für den Schweizer Steuerzahler, denn ihm gehört die SNB. Sie können aber auch Entwicklungen widerspiegeln, die ihre guten Seiten haben. Jetzt zum Beispiel führt die Frankenstärke zu Anlageverlusten, bremst aber auch die importierte Inflation.
Die Diskussion um die Höhe der SNB-Ausschüttungen ist vielfach fehlgeleitet. In der Debatte geht vergessen, dass Gewinnausschüttungen das Reinvermögen von Bund und Kantonen nicht verändern. Denn Ausschüttungen sind keine Transfers von Dritten an Bund oder Kantone – sie tauschen lediglich eine Aktivposition in der Bilanz von Bund oder Kantonen gegen eine andere aus, wie bei einer Dividendenausschüttung eines Unternehmens. Die Hauptwirkung von Ausschüttungen ist, dass sie

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The SNB’s Financial Result, Currency Reserves, and Distribution Reserve

July 27, 2022

How are SNB profits and losses distributed and what issues are debated?
Annual Result Funds two “Reserves”
The annual result (Jahresergebnis) of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) is split into two parts. The first part funds “provisions for currency reserves” (Zuweisungen an Rückstellungen für Währungsreserven) which are meant to provide a buffer against future losses on the SNB’s asset positions. The second part funds current and future profit distributions to the Confederation and cantons (Ausschüttungen an Bund und Kantone) and dividend payments to SNB shareholders. The ad hoc announcement regarding the SNB’s 2021 annual result (English, German) provides an overview.
Allocation Rules
The SNB decides how the annual result is split, subject to some guidance in the

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The SNB’s Financial Result, Currency Reserves, and Distribution Reserve

July 27, 2022

How are SNB profits and losses distributed and what issues are debated?
Annual Result Funds two “Reserves”
The annual result (Jahresergebnis) of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) is split into two parts. The first part funds “provisions for currency reserves” (Zuweisungen an Rückstellungen für Währungsreserven) which are meant to provide a buffer against future losses on the SNB’s asset positions. The second part funds current and future profit distributions to the Confederation and cantons (Ausschüttungen an Bund und Kantone) and dividend payments to SNB shareholders. The ad hoc announcement regarding the SNB’s 2021 annual result (English, German) provides an overview.
Allocation Rules
The SNB decides how the annual result is split, subject to some guidance in the National Bank Law (NBG,

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“The Political Economy of Early COVID-19 Interventions in US States,” JEDC, 2022

July 21, 2022

Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, July 2022, with Martin Gonzalez-Eiras. PDF (local copy).
We investigate how politico-economic factors shaped government responses to the spread of COVID-19. Our simple framework uses epidemiological, economic and politico-economic arguments. Confronting the theory with US state level data we find strong evidence for partisanship even when we control for fundamentals including the electorate’s political views. Moreover, we detect an important role for the proximity of elections which we interpret as indicative of career concerns. Finally, we find suggestive evidence for complementarities between voluntary activity reductions and government imposed restrictions.

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21st BIS Annual Conference

June 24, 2022

Central banking after the pandemic: challenges ahead
This year’s conference focused on the question of how central banks can meet their mission to preserve the value of money. The sessions focused on inflation – the containment of which is an important aspect of preserving money’s value – as well as preserving the value of money from the longer-term, structural perspective, focusing on the challenges of digital innovation.
Program

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Economic Journalism Award 2022

June 22, 2022

Der diesjährige Preis der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Volkswirtschaft und Statistik geht an Hansueli Schöchli. Pressemitteilung.

Le prix de cette année de la Société suisse d’économie et de statistique est décerné à Hansueli Schöchli. Communiqué de presse.

Il premio di quest’anno della Società svizzera di economia e di statistica va a Hansueli Schöchli. Comunicato stampa.

This year’s prize of the Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics goes to Hansueli Schöchli. Press release.

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