Does the time inconsistency problem make flexible exchange rates look worse than you think?
Lack of commitment in monetary policy leads to the well known Barro-Gordon inflation bias. In this paper, we argue that two phenomena associated with the time inconsistency problem have been overlooked in the exchange rate debate. We show that, absent commitment, independent monetary policy can also induce expectation traps-that is, welfare-ranked multiple equilibria-and perverse policy responses to real shocks-that is, an equilibrium policy response that is welfare inferior to policy inaction. Both possibilities imply higher macroeconomic volatility under flexible exchange rates than under ...
Size Is Not All: Distribution of Bank Reserves and Fed Funds Dynamics
As a consequence of the Federal Reserve?s large-scale asset purchases from 2008-14, banks? reserve balances at the Fed have increased dramatically, rising from $10 billion in March 2008 to more than $2 trillion currently. In that new environment of abundant reserves, the FOMC put in place a framework for controlling the fed funds rate, using the interest rate that it offered to banks and a different, lower interest rate that it offered to non-banks (and banks). Now that the Fed has begun to gradually reduce its asset holdings, aggregate reserves are shrinking as well, and an important ...
Endogenous productivity and development accounting
Cross-country data reveal that the per capita incomes of the richest countries exceed those of the poorest countries by a factor of thirty-five. We formalize a model with embodied technical change in which newer, more productive vintages of capital coexist with older, less productive vintages. A reduction in the cost of investment raises both the quantity and productivity of capital simultaneously. The model induces a simple relationship between the relative price of investment goods and per capita income. Using cross-country data on the prices of investment goods, we find that the model does ...
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 ...
Can U.S. monetary policy fall (again) into an expectation trap?
We provide a tractable model to study monetary policy under discretion. We restrict our analysis to Markov equilibria. We find that for all parametrizations with an equilibrium inflation rate of about 2 percent, there is a second equilibrium with an inflation rate just above 10 percent. Thus, the model can simultaneously account for the low and high inflation episodes in the United States. We carefully characterize the set of Markov equilibria along the parameter space and find our results to be robust, suggesting that expectation traps are more than just a theoretical curiosity.
A bit of a miracle no more: the decline of the labor share
Why has labor's share of national income been declining steeply? How income is divided between labor and capital has implications for inequality and long-run economic growth. But as Roc Armenter explains, measuring labor's share is not so straightforward.
The rise of corporate savings
Over the past few decades, several developed economies have experienced large changes in how much households and firms save. In fact, a sharp increase in firms? savings behavior has changed the net position of the (nonfinancial) corporate sector vis--vis the rest of the economy. ; Why have firms in the business of producing goods or services become lenders? This is quite at odds with traditional models of corporate finance, which suggest that firms issue debt and equity to fund their operations and finance their investment projects. But successful firms appear to accumulate financial assets ...
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.
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 ...
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.