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Author:Armenter, Roc 

Journal Article
Does the U.S. trade more widely than it appears?
Given the importance of international trade for economic growth, why in any given year do few U.S. firms export their wares, and why are most U.S. goods not traded with most countries? Roc Armenter presents some intriguing evidence suggesting the U.S. does export most of its products to most countries, just not very often.
AUTHORS: Armenter, Roc
DATE: 2014

Journal Article
Output gaps: uses and limitation
The concept of resource slack is central to understanding the dynamics between employment, output, and inflation. But what amount of slack is consistent with price stability? To answer this question, economists define baseline values for unemployment and output known as the natural rate of unemployment and potential output. The concepts of output and employment gaps can be useful to economists in several ways. First, they often guide the inflation forecasts of Federal Reserve staff and other researchers and market participants. Second, some economists argue that employment gaps are a useful guide for policy aimed at achieving maximum sustainable employment and price stability. In ?Output Gaps: Uses and Limitation,? Roc Armenter briefly discusses two important examples of sophisticated measures of resource slack that are grounded in economic theory: the nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment and the output gap measure published quarterly by the Congressional Budget Office.
AUTHORS: Armenter, Roc
DATE: 2011

Working Paper
On the use of market-based probabilities for policy decisions
This paper seeks to delimit conditions so that market-based probabilities provide all the information the policymaker needs to arrive at the best possible decision. Although there are practical considerations regarding how to derive market-based probabilities from financial prices, the author confines the discussion to a theoretical analysis that assumes no impediment to obtaining the market-based probabilities.
AUTHORS: Armenter, Roc
DATE: 2015-12-14

Working Paper
A Model of the Federal Funds Market: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
The landscape of the federal funds market changed drastically in the wake of the Great Recession as large-scale asset purchase programs left depository institutions awash with reserves, and new regulations made it more costly for these institutions to lend. As traditional levers for implementing monetary policy became less effective, the Federal Reserve introduced new tools to implement the target range for the federal funds rate, changing this landscape even more. In this paper, we develop a model that is capable of reproducing the main features of the federal funds market, as observed before and after 2008, in a single, unified framework. We use this model to quantitatively evaluate the evolution of interest rates and trading volume in the federal funds market as the supply of aggregate reserves shrinks. We find that these outcomes are highly sensitive to the dynamics of the distribution of reserves across banks.
AUTHORS: Afonso, Gara M.; Lester, Benjamin; Armenter, Roc
DATE: 2018-02-21

Working Paper
Excess Reserves and Monetary Policy Implementation
In response to the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve resorted to several unconventional policies that drastically altered the landscape of the federal funds market. The current environment, in which depository institutions are flush with excess reserves, has forced policymakers to design a new operational framework for monetary policy implementation. We provide a parsimonious model that captures the key features of the current federal funds market along with the instruments introduced by the Federal Reserve to implement its target for the federal funds rate. We use this model to analyze the factors that determine rates and volumes under the new implementation framework and to study the effects of changes in the policy rates and other shocks to the economic environment. We also calibrate the model and use it as a quantitative benchmark for applied analysis, with a particular emphasis on understanding the role of the overnight reverse repurchase agreement facility in supporting the federal funds rate.
AUTHORS: Armenter, Roc; Lester, Benjamin
DATE: 2016-11-29

Working Paper
The macroeconomics of firms' savings
The authors document that the U.S. non-financial corporate sector became a net lender in the 2000s, using aggregate and firm-level data. They develop a structural model with investment, debt, and equity. Debt is fiscally advantageous but subject to a no-default borrowing constraint. Equity allows the firm to suspend dividends when the cash flow is negative. Firms accumulate financial assets for precautionary reasons, yet value equity as partial insurance against shocks. The calibrated model replicates the prevalence of net savings in the period 2000-2007 and attributes the rise in corporate savings over the past 40 years to lower dividend taxes.
AUTHORS: Armenter, Roc; Hnatkovska, Viktoria
DATE: 2011

Working Paper
The Perils of Nominal Targets
A monetary authority can be committed to pursuing an inflation, price-level, or nominal-GDP target yet systematically fail to achieve the prescribed goal. Con- strained by the zero lower bound on the policy rate, the monetary authority is unable to implement its objectives when private-sector expectations stray far enough from the target. Low-inflation expectations become self-fulfilling, resulting in an additional Markov equilibrium in which the monetary authority falls short of the nominal target, average output is below its efficient level, and the policy rate is typically low. Introducing a stabilization goal for long-term nominal rates can implement a unique Markov equilibrium without fully compromising stabilization policy.
AUTHORS: Armenter, Roc
DATE: 2016-11-10

Working Paper
Excess reserves and monetary policy normalization
REVISED 8/14/16: In response to the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve resorted to several unconventional policies that drastically altered the landscape of the federal funds market. The current environment, in which depository institutions are flush with excess reserves, has forced policymakers to design a new operational framework for monetary policy implementation. We provide a parsimonious model that captures the key features of the current federal funds market, along with the instruments introduced by the Federal Reserve to implement its target for the federal funds rate. We use this model to analyze the factors that determine rates and volumes as well as to identify the conditions such that monetary policy implementation will be successful. We also calibrate the model and use it as a quantitative benchmark for applied analysis, with a particular emphasis on understanding how the market is likely to respond as policymakers raise the target rate.
AUTHORS: Armenter, Roc; Lester, Benjamin
DATE: 2015-09-15

Working Paper
Sustainable monetary policy and inflation expectations
The author shows that the short-term nominal interest rate can anchor private-sector expectations into low inflation more precisely, into the best equilibrium reputation can sustain. He introduces nominal asset markets in an infinite horizon version of the Barro-Gordon model. The author then analyzes the subset of sustainable policies compatible with any given asset price system at date t = 0. While there are usually many sustainable inflation paths associated with a given set of asset prices, the best sustainable inflation path is implemented if and only if the short-term nominal bond is priced at a certain discount rate. His results suggest that policy frameworks must also be evaluated on their ability to coordinate expectations.
AUTHORS: Armenter, Roc
DATE: 2010

Working Paper
Economies of scale and the size of exporters
Exporters are few-less than one-fifth among U.S. manufacturing firms-and are larger than non-exporting firms-about 4-5 times more total sales per firm. These facts are often cited as support for models with economies of scale and firm heterogeneity as in Melitz (2003). The authors find that the basic Melitz model cannot simultaneously match the size and share of exporters given the observed distribution of total sales. Instead exporters are expected to be between 90 and 100 times larger than non-exporters. It is easy to reconcile the model with the data. However, a lot of variation independent of firm size is needed to do so. This suggests that economies of scale play only a minor role in determining a firm's export status. The authors show that the augmented model also has markedly different implications in the event of a trade liberalization. Most of the adjustment is through the intensive margin and productivity gains due to reallocation are halved.
AUTHORS: Armenter, Roc; Koren, Miklos
DATE: 2009

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