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Author:Atkeson, Andrew 

Report
On the need for a new approach to analyzing monetary policy

We present a pricing kernel that summarizes well the main features of the dynamics of interest rates and risk in postwar U.S. data and use it to uncover how the pricing kernel has moved with the short rate. Our findings imply that standard monetary models miss an essential link between the central bank instrument and the economic activity that monetary policy is intended to affect, and thus we call for a new approach to monetary policy analysis. We sketch a new approach using an economic model based on our pricing kernel. The model incorporates the key relationships between policy and risk ...
Staff Report , Paper 412

Working Paper
The optimal degree of discretion in monetary policy

How much discretion is it optimal to give the monetary authority in setting its policy? We analyze this mechanism design question in an economy with an agreed-upon social welfare function that depends on the randomly fluctuating state of the economy. The monetary authority has private information about that state. In the model, well-designed rules trade off society's desire to give the monetary authority flexibility to react to its private information against society's need to guard against the standard time inconsistency problem arising from the temptation to stimulate the economy with ...
Working Papers , Paper 626

Conference Paper
The optimal degree of monetary policy discretion

Proceedings

Report
A Parsimonious Behavioral SEIR Model of the 2020 COVID Epidemic in the United States and the United Kingdom

I present a behavioral epidemiological model of the evolution of the COVID epidemic in the United States and the United Kingdom over the past 12 months. The model includes the introduction of a new, more contagious variant in the UK in early fall and the US in mid December. The model is behavioral in that activity, and thus transmission, responds endogenously to the daily death rate. I show that with only seasonal variation in the transmission rate and pandemic fatigue modeled as a one-time reduction in the semi-elasticity of the transmission rate to the daily death rate late in the year, the ...
Staff Report , Paper 619

Working Paper
Putty-clay capital and energy

We evaluate the ability of models with putty-clay capital and stochastic energy prices to account for the dynamics of energy use and output. Economists have noted a close relationship between changes in the price of energy and changes in output. Moreover, they have documents that this relationship is asymmetric: energy price increases are associated with large output charges while energy prices decreases are associated with small output changes. Finally, following energy price changes, energy use adjusts slowly over time. Standard models with putty-putty capital fail to reproduce the features ...
Working Papers , Paper 548

Working Paper
On the need for a new approach to analyzing monetary policy

Working Papers , Paper 662

Working Paper
External and Public Debt Crises

The recent debt crises in Europe and the U.S. states feature similar sharp increases in spreads on government debt but also show important differences. In Europe, the crisis occurred at high government indebtedness levels and had spillovers to the private sector. In the United States, state government indebtedness was low, and the crisis had no spillovers to the private sector. We show theoretically and empirically that these different debt experiences result from the interplay between differences in the ability of governments to interfere in private external debt contracts and differences in ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2015-5

Report
The advantage of transparency in monetary policy instruments

Monetary policy instruments differ in tightness - how closely they are linked to inflation - and transparency - how easily they can be monitored. Tightness is always desirable in a monetary policy instrument; when is transparency? When a government cannot commit to follow a given policy. We apply this argument to a classic question: Is the exchange rate or the money growth rate the better monetary policy instrument? We show that if the instruments are equally tight and a government cannot commit to a policy, then the exchange rate's greater transparency gives it an advantage as a monetary ...
Staff Report , Paper 297

Report
Four Stylized Facts about COVID-19

We document four facts about the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide relevant for those studying the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on COVID-19 transmission. First: across all countries and U.S. states that we study, the growth rates of daily deaths from COVID-19 fell from a wide range of initially high levels to levels close to zero within 20-30 days after each region experienced 25 cumulative deaths. Second: after this initial period, growth rates of daily deaths have hovered around zero or below everywhere in the world. Third: the cross section standard deviation of growth rates ...
Staff Report , Paper 611

Conference Paper
The transition to a new economy after the Second Industrial Revolution

During the Second Industrial Revolution, 1860?1900, many new technologies, including electricity, were invented. After this revolution, however, several decades passed before these new technologies diffused and measured productivity growth increased. We build a quantitative model of technology diffusion which we use to study this transition to a new economy. We show that the model implies both slow diffusion and a delay in growth similar to that in the data. Our model casts doubt, however, on the conjecture that this experience is a useful parallel for understanding the productivity paradox ...
Proceedings , Issue Nov

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