Real-time measurement of business conditions
We construct a framework for measuring economic activity at high frequency, potentially in real time. We use a variety of stock and flow data observed at mixed frequencies (including very high frequencies), and we use a dynamic factor model that permits exact filtering. We illustrate the framework in a prototype empirical example and a simulation study calibrated to the example.
Optimal fiscal and monetary policy when money is essential
We study optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an environment where explicit frictions give rise to valued money, making money essential in the sense that it expands the set of feasible trades. Our main results are in stark contrast to the prescriptions of earlier flexible-price Ramsey models. Two especially important findings emerge from our work: the Friedman Rule is typically not optimal and inflation is stable over time. Inflation is not a substitute instrument for a missing tax, as is sometimes the case in standard Ramsey models. Rather, the inflation tax is exactly the right tax to use ...
Sticky prices versus monetary frictions: an estimation of policy trade-offs
We develop a two-sector monetary model with a centralized and decentralized market. Activities in the centralized market resemble those in a standard New Keynesian economy with price rigidities. In the decentralized market agents engage in bilateral exchanges for which money is essential. The model is estimated and evaluated based on postwar U.S. data. We document its money demand properties and determine the optimal long-run inflation rate that trades off the New Keynesian distortion against the distortion caused by taxing money and hence transactions in the decentralized market. We find ...
Housing Wealth and Consumption: The Role of Heterogeneous Credit Constraints
We quantify the role of heterogeneity in households’ financial constraints in explaining the large decline in consumption between 2006 and 2009. Using household-level data, we show that in addition to a direct effect of changes in house prices, there are sizable indirect effects from general equilibrium feedback and bank health. About 60% of the aggregate response of consumption to changes in house prices is explained by ex-ante and ex-post financial constraints, where only a specific set of households face binding ex-post financial constraints as a result of declining house prices. We find ...
Piecewise-Linear Approximations and Filtering for DSGE Models with Occasionally Binding Constraints
We develop an algorithm to construct approximate decision rules that are piecewise-linear and continuous for DSGE models with an occasionally binding constraint. The functional form of the decision rules allows us to derive a conditionally optimal particle ﬁlter (COPF) for the evaluation of the likelihood function that exploits the structure of the solution. We document the accuracy of the likelihood approximation and embed it into a particle Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm to conduct Bayesian estimation. Compared with a standard bootstrap particle ﬁlter, the COPF signiﬁcantly ...
Real Rigidities, Firm Dynamics, and Monetary Nonneutrality: The Role of Demand Shocks
We propose a parsimonious framework for real rigidities, in the form of strategic complementarities, that can generate real and nominal dynamics and match key features of the data across several literatures. Existing menu-cost models featuring strategic complementarities require unrealistically volatile shocks to idiosyncratic productivity to be consistent with pricing moments. We develop a simple menu-cost model with strategic complementarities along with idiosyncratic productivity and demand shocks that are disciplined by the data. This approach allows us to overcome previous criticism from ...
Improving GDP measurement: a measurement-error perspective
We provide a new and superior measure of U.S. GDP, obtained by applying optimal signal-extraction techniques to the (noisy) expenditure-side and income-side estimates. Its properties -- particularly as regards serial correlation -- differ markedly from those of the standard expenditure-side measure and lead to substantially-revised views regarding the properties of GDP.
Improving GDP measurement: a forecast combination perspective
Two often-divergent U.S. GDP estimates are available, a widely-used expenditure-side version GDPE, and a much less widely-used income-side version GDI . The authors propose and explore a "forecast combination" approach to combining them. They then put the theory to work, producing a superior combined estimate of GDP growth for the U.S., GDPC. The authors compare GDPC to GDPE and GDPI , with particular attention to behavior over the business cycle. They discuss several variations and extensions.
Money and capital: a quantitative analysis
We study the effects of money (anticipated inflation) on capital formation. Previous papers on this topic adopt reduced-form approaches, putting money in the utility function or imposing cash in advance, but use otherwise frictionless models. We follow a literature that is more explicit about the frictions making money essential. This introduces several new elements, including a two-sector structure with centralized and decentralized markets, stochastic trading opportunities, and bargaining. We show how these elements matter qualitatively and quantitatively. Our numerical results differ from ...
Search, money and capital: a neoclassical dichotomy
Recent work has reduced the gap between search-based monetary theory and mainstream macroeconomics by incorporating into the search model some centralized markets as well as some decentralized markets where money is essential. This paper takes a further step towards this integration by introducing labor, capital and neoclassical firms. The resulting framework nests the search-theoretic monetary model and a standard neoclassical growth model as special cases. Perhaps surprisingly, it also exhibits a dichotomy: one can determine the equilibrium path for the value of money independently of the ...