Foreign Vulnerabilities, Domestic Risks: The Global Drivers of GDP-at-Risk
We study how foreign financial developments influence the conditional distribution of domestic GDP growth. Within a quantile regression setup, we propose a method to parsimoniously account for foreign vulnerabilities using bilateral-exposure weights when assessing downside macroeconomic risks. Using a panel dataset of advanced economies, we show that tighter foreign financial conditions and faster foreign credit-to-GDP growth are associated with a more severe left tail of domestic GDP growth, even when controlling for domestic indicators. The inclusion of foreign indicators significantly improves estimates of ‘GDP-at-Risk’, a summary measure of downside risks. In turn, this yields time-varying estimates of higher GDP growth moments that are interpretable and provide advanced warnings of crisis episodes. Decomposing historical estimates of GDP-at-Risk into domestic and foreign sources, we show that foreign shocks are a key driver of domestic macroeconomic tail risks.