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Author:Alvarez, Fernando 

Working Paper
Time-varying risk, interest rates and exchange rates in general equilibrium

Time-varying risk is the primary force driving nominal interest rate differentials on currency-denominated bonds. This finding is an immediate implication of the fact that exchange rates are roughly random walks. We show that a general equilibrium monetary model with an endogenous source of risk variation?a variable degree of asset market segmentation?can produce key features of actual interest rates and exchange rates. The endogenous segmentation arises from a fixed cost for agents to exchange money for assets. As inflation varies, the benefit of asset market participation varies, and that ...
Working Papers , Paper 627

Working Paper
Quantitative asset pricing implications of endogenous solvency constraints

The authors study the asset pricing implications of an economy where solvency constraints are determined to efficiently deter agents from defaulting. The authors present a simple example for which efficient allocations and all equilibrium elements are characterized analytically. The main model produces large equity premia and risk premia for long-term bonds with low risk aversion and a plausibly calibrated income process. The authors characterize the deviations from independence of aggregate and individual income uncertainty that produce equity and term premia.
Working Papers , Paper 99-5

Report
The Risk of Becoming Risk Averse: A Model of Asset Pricing and Trade Volumes

We develop a new general equilibrium model of asset pricing and asset trading volume in which agents? motivations to trade arise due to uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks to agents? risk tolerance. In response to these shocks, agents trade to rebalance their portfolios between risky and riskless assets. We study a positive question ? When does trade volume become a pricing factor? ? and a normative question ? What is the impact of Tobin taxes on asset trading on welfare? In our model, economies in which marketwide risk tolerance is negatively correlated with trade volume have a higher risk ...
Staff Report , Paper 577

Report
Money, interest rates, and exchange rates with endogenously segmented markets

This paper analyzes the effects of money injections on interest rates and exchange rates in a model in which agents must pay a Baumol-Tobin style fixed cost to exchange bonds and money. Asset markets are endogenously segmented because this fixed cost leads agents to trade bonds and money only infrequently. When the government injects money through an open market operation, only those agents that are currently trading absorb these injections. Through their impact on these agents? consumption, these money injections affect real interest rates and real exchange rates. We show that the model ...
Staff Report , Paper 278

Working Paper
The time consistency of monetary and fiscal policies

Are optimal monetary and fiscal policies time consistent in a monetary economy? Yes, but if and only if under commitment the Friedman rule of setting nominal interest rates to zero is optimal. This result is of applied interest because the Friedman rule is optimal for the standard preferences used in applied work, those consistent with the growth facts. (Replaced by Staff Report No: 305)
Working Papers , Paper 616

Report
The time consistency of monetary and fiscal policies

We show that optimal monetary and fiscal policies are time consistent for a class of economies often used in applied work, economies appealing because they are consistent with the growth facts. We establish our results in two steps. We first show that for this class of economies, the Friedman rule of setting nominal interest rates to zero is optimal under commitment. We then show that optimal policies are time consistent if the Friedman rule is optimal. For our benchmark economy in which the time consistency problem is most severe, the converse also holds: if optimal policies are time ...
Staff Report , Paper 305

Report
Sluggish responses of prices and inflation to monetary shocks in an inventory model of money demand

We examine the responses of prices and inflation to monetary shocks in an inventory-theoretic model of money demand. We show that the price level responds sluggishly to an exogenous increase in the money stock because the dynamics of households' money inventories leads to a partially offsetting endogenous reduction in velocity. We also show that inflation responds sluggishly to an exogenous increase in the nominal interest rate because changes in monetary policy affect the real interest rate. In a quantitative example, we show that this nominal sluggishness is substantial and persistent if ...
Staff Report , Paper 417

Working Paper
Search, self-insurance and job-security provisions

We construct a general equilibrium model to evaluate the quantitative effects of severance payments in the presence of contracting and reallocational frictions. Key elements of the model are: 1) establishment level dynamics, 2) imperfect insurance markets, and 3) variable search decisions. Contrary to previous studies that analyzed severance payments in frictionless environments, we find that severance payments reduce unemployment, produce negative insurance effects and improve levels.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-98-2

Working Paper
Labor market policies in an equilibrium search model

We explore to what extent differences in employment and unemployment across economies can be generated by differences in labor market policies. We use a version of the Lucas-Prescott equilibrium search model with undirected search and endogenous labor-force participation. Minimum wages, degree of unionization, firing taxes, and unemployment benefits are introduced and their effects analyzed. When the model is calibrated to US observations it reproduces several of the elasticities of employment and unemployment with respect to changes in policies reported in the empirical literature. We find ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-99-10

Working Paper
Money, interest rates, and exchange rates with endogenously segmented asset markets

This paper analyzes the effects of money injections on interest rates and exchange rates in a model in which agents must pay a Baumol-Tobin style fixed cost to exchange bonds and money. Asset markets are endogenously segmented because this fixed cost leads agents to trade bonds and money only infrequently. When the government injects money through an open market operation, only those agents that are currently trading absorb these injections. Through their impact on these agents? consumption, these money injections affect real interest rates and real exchange rates. We show that the model ...
Working Papers , Paper 605

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