Mobility and Engagement Following the SARS-Cov-2 Outbreak
We develop a Mobility and Engagement Index (MEI) based on a range of mobility metrics from Safegraph geolocation data, and validate the index with mobility data from Google and Unacast. We construct MEIs at the county, MSA, state and nationwide level, and link these measures to indicators of economic activity. According to our measures, the bulk of sheltering-in-place and social disengagement occurred during the week of March 15 and simultaneously across the U.S. At the national peak of the decline in mobility in early April, localities that engaged in a 10% larger decrease in mobility than ...
Dallas Fed Mobility and Engagement Index Gives Insight into COVID-19’s Economic Impact
To gain insight into the economic impact of the pandemic, we developed an index of mobility and engagement, based on geolocation data collected from a large sample of mobile devices.
Inflation, slack, and Fed credibility
It is generally agreed that slack has some impact on inflation. There is much less agreement on what form the relationship takes and whether it is stable enough to reliably help predict inflation. This analysis focuses on the Great Moderation period. We find that slack (as measured by the unemployment rate) and changes in slack are negatively correlated with changes in inflation and also deviations of inflation from long-forward inflation expectations.> ; These relationships could have been exploited to produce forecasts of trimmed mean PCE inflation more accurate than rule-of-thumb ...
How bad was it? The costs and consequences of the 2007–09 financial crisis
The 2007?09 financial crisis was associated with a huge loss of economic output and financial wealth, psychological consequences and skill atrophy from extended unemployment, an increase in government intervention, and other significant costs. Assuming the financial crisis is to blame for these associated ills, an estimate of its cost is needed to weigh against the cost of policies intended to prevent similar episodes. We conservatively estimate that 40 to 90 percent of one year's output ($6 trillion to $14 trillion, the equivalent of $50,000 to $120,000 for every U.S. household) was foregone ...
Equity Regulation and U.S. Venture Capital Investment
There is a growing consensus that the long-run per capita growth rate of the U.S. economy has drifted lower since the early 2000s, consistent with a perceived slowdown in business dynamism. One factor that may have contributed to this is a downshift in venture capital investment and its failure to recover in line with stock prices, as pre-2003 patterns would suggest. Critics have argued that this is associated with the increased regulatory burden for publically traded firms to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). There is inconclusive evidence of SOX deterring firms from becoming ...
The Zero Lower Bound and Estimation Accuracy
During the Great Recession, many central banks lowered their policy rate to its zero lower bound (ZLB), creating a kink in the policy rule and calling into question linear estimation methods. There are two promising alternatives: estimate a fully nonlinear model that accounts for precautionary savings effects of the ZLB or a piecewise linear model that is much faster but ignores the precautionary savings effects. Repeated estimation with artificial datasets reveals some advantages of the nonlinear model, but they are not large enough to justify the longer estimation time, regardless of the ...
Complementarity and Macroeconomic Uncertainty
Macroeconomic uncertainty—the conditional volatility of the unforecastable component of a future value of a time series—shows considerable variation in the data. A typical assumption in business cycle models is that production is Cobb-Douglas. Under that assumption, this paper shows there is usually little, if any, endogenous variation in output uncertainty, and first moment shocks have similar effects in all states of the economy. When the model departs from Cobb-Douglas production and assumes capital and labor are gross complements, first-moment shocks have state-dependent effects and ...
The Production Process Drives Fluctuations in Output and Uncertainty
If economic developments drive most of the changes in uncertainty—rather than the reverse—then the direct effect of a change in uncertainty on economic activity is much smaller than previous research has shown.
U.S. Economic Rebound Uneven amid Resurgent Local COVID-19 Outbreaks
A full recovery to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity appears unlikely until the virus is under control.
America’s Missing Workers Are Primarily Middle Educated
The labor force participation rate has fallen since 2008, partly due to an aging population and despite a more highly educated one. After accounting for aging, those whose highest educational attainment is a high school diploma, some college or an associate degree have primarily driven the participation decrease.