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Author:Acharya, Sushant 

Discussion Paper
Natural Experiment Sheds Light on the Market Effects of Herding

Pension funds are expected to behave in a patient, countercyclical manner, making the most of low valuations over the business cycle to achieve high returns. Such behavior provides liquidity and stability to the financial system. However, this belief has come under question. A large theoretical literature has emerged which looks at how short-term considerations affecting these institutional investors might arise from relative performance concerns or from the influence of other incentives introduced by market and regulatory monitoring. Such considerations might incentivize fund managers to ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150930

Discussion Paper
Revisiting the Case for International Policy Coordination

Prompted by the U.S. financial crisis and subsequent global recession, policymakers in advanced economies slashed interest rates dramatically, hitting the zero lower bound (ZLB), and then implemented unconventional policies such as large-scale asset purchases. In emerging economies, however, the policy response was more subdued since they were less affected by the financial crisis. As a result, capital flows from advanced to emerging economies increased markedly in response to widening interest rate differentials. Some emerging economies reacted by adopting measures to slow down capital ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160601

Discussion Paper
Escaping Unemployment Traps

Economic activity has remained subdued following the Great Recession. One interpretation of the listless recovery is that recessions inflict permanent damage on an economy?s productive capacity. For example, extended periods of high unemployment can lead to skill losses among workers, reducing human capital and lowering future output. This notion that temporary recessions have long-lasting consequences is often termed hysteresis. Another explanation for sluggish growth is the influential secular stagnation hypothesis, which attributes slow growth to long-term changes in the economy?s ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20161116

Report
Asset price effects of peer benchmarking: evidence from a natural experiment

We estimate the effects of peer benchmarking by institutional investors on asset prices. To identify trades purely due to peer benchmarking as separate from those based on fundamentals or private information, we exploit a natural experiment involving a change in a government-imposed underperformance penalty applicable to Colombian pension funds. This change in regulation is orthogonal to stock fundamentals and only affects incentives to track peer portfolios, allowing us to identify the component of demand that is caused by peer benchmarking. We find that these peer effects generate excess ...
Staff Reports , Paper 727

Report
Replacement hiring and the productivity-wage gap

A large and growing share of hires in the United States are replacement hires. This increase coincides with a growing productivity-wage gap. We connect these trends by building a model where firms post long-lived vacancies and engage in on-the-job search for more productive workers. These features improve a firm's bargaining position while raising workers' job insecurity and the wedge between hiring and meeting rates. All three channels lower wages while raising productivity. Quantitatively, increased replacement hiring explains half the increase in the productivity-wage gap. The socially ...
Staff Reports , Paper 860

Discussion Paper
Understanding Heterogeneous Agent New Keynesian Models: Insights from a PRANK

In recent years there has been a lot of interest in the effect of income inequality (heterogeneity) on the economy, from both academics and policymakers. Researchers have developed Heterogeneous Agent New Keynesian (HANK) models that incorporate heterogeneity and uninsurable idiosyncratic risk into the New Keynesian models that have become a cornerstone of monetary policy analysis. This research has argued that heterogeneity and idiosyncratic risk change many features of New Keynesian models – the transmission of conventional monetary policy, the forward guidance puzzle, fiscal multipliers, ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200224

Report
Rational inattention in hiring decisions

We provide an information-based theory of matching efficiency fluctuations. Rationally inattentive firms have limited capacity to process information and cannot perfectly identify suitable applicants. During recessions, higher losses from hiring unsuitable workers cause firms to be more selective in hiring. When firms cannot obtain sufficient information about applicants, they err on the side of caution and accept fewer applicants to minimize losses from hiring unsuitable workers. Pro-cyclical acceptance rates drive a wedge between meeting and hiring rates, explaining fluctuations in matching ...
Staff Reports , Paper 878

Report
The side effects of safe asset creation

We present an incomplete markets model to understand the costs and benefits of increasing government debt in a low interest rate environment. Higher risk increases the demand for safe assets, lowering the natural rate of interest below zero, constraining monetary policy at the zero lower bound, and raising unemployment. Higher government debt satiates the demand for safe assets, raising the natural rate and restoring full employment. While this permanently lowers investment, a policymaker committed to low inflation has no alternative. Higher inflation targets, instead, permit both full ...
Staff Reports , Paper 842

Report
Costly information, planning complementarities and the Phillips Curve

Standard sticky information pricing models successfully capture the sluggish movement of aggregate prices in response to monetary policy shocks but fail at matching the magnitude and frequency of price changes at the micro level. This paper shows that in a setting where firms choose when to acquire costly information about different types of shocks, strategic complementarities in pricing generate planning complementarities. This results in firms optimally updating their information about monetary policy shocks less frequently than about idiosyncratic shocks. When calibrated to match frequent ...
Staff Reports , Paper 698

Report
Slow recoveries and unemployment traps: monetary policy in a time of hysteresis

We analyze monetary policy in a model where temporary shocks can permanently scar the economy's productive capacity. Unemployed workers? skill losses generate multiple steady-state unemployment rates. When monetary policy is constrained by the zero bound, large shocks reduce hiring to a point where the economy recovers slowly at best?at worst, it falls into a permanent unemployment trap. Since monetary policy is powerless to escape such traps ex post, it must avoid them ex ante. The model quantitatively accounts for the slow U.S. recovery following the Great Recession, and suggests that lack ...
Staff Reports , Paper 831

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