The limits of forward guidance
The viability of forward guidance as a monetary policy tool depends on the horizon over which it can be communicated and its influence on expectations over that horizon. We develop and estimate a model of imperfect central bank communications and use it to measure how effectively the Fed has managed expectations about future interest rates and the influence of its communications on macroeconomic outcomes. Standard models assume central banks have perfect control over expectations about the policy rate up to an arbitrarily long horizon and this is the source of the so-called ?forward guidance ...
Aggregate employment fluctuations with microeconomic asymmetries
We provide a simple explanation for the observation that the variance of job destruction is greater than the variance of job creation: job creation is costlier at the margin than job destruction. As Caballero  has argued, asymmetric employment adjustment costs at the establishment level need not imply asymmetric volatility of aggregate job flows. We construct an equilibrium model in which (S,s)-type employment policies respond endogenously to aggregate shocks. The microeconomic asymmetries in the model can dampen the response of total job creation to an aggregate shock and cause it to be ...
Welfare implications of the transition to high household debt
Aggressive deregulation of the mortgage market in the early 1980s triggered innovations that greatly reduced the required home equity of U.S. households. This allowed households to cash-out a large part of accumulated equity, which equaled 71 percent of GDP in 1982. A borrowing surge followed: Household debt increased from 43 to 62 percent of GDP in the 1982- 2000 period. What are the welfare implications of such a reform for borrowers and savers? This paper uses a calibrated general equilibrium model of lending from the wealthy to the middle class to evaluate these effects quantitatively.
Understanding aggregate job flows
The authors describe how evidence on aggregate job flows challenges standard business cycle theory and discuss recent developments in business cycle theory aimed at accounting for the evidence.
A conversation with 590 nascent entrepreneurs
This paper summarizes interviews from 1998 with 590 individuals trying to create a business centered around five questions: ?Who are you??, ?What are you trying to accomplish??, ?What have you and others put into the business??, ?What have you accomplished??, ?What remains to be done?? There is a great deal of heterogeneity across these Nascent entrepreneurs, but they tend to have more education than the general population. Growing up in a family in which one or both parents had a business does not seem to be an important determinant of entry into entrepreneurship for males, while it seems to ...
Last-in first-out oligopoly dynamics
This paper extends the static analysis of oligopoly structure into an infinite- horizon setting with sunk costs and demand uncertainty. The observation that exit rates decline with firm age motivates the assumption of last-in first- out dynamics: An entrant expects to produce no longer than any incumbent. This selects an essentially unique Markov-perfect equilibrium. With mild restrictions on the demand shocks, a sequence of thresholds describes firms? equilibrium entry and survival decisions. Bresnahan and Reiss?s (1993) empirical analysis of oligopolists? entry and exit assumes that such ...
How the U.S. economy resembles a (very) big business
This article presents basic tools for measuring different business lines? contributions to the U.S. economy?s business cycles, and it applies these to measure the exposure of a large conglomerate to macroeconomic risks.
Open Mouth Operations
We examine the standard New Keynesian economy?s Ramsey problem written in terms of instrument settings instead of allocations. Its standard formulation makes two instruments available: the path of current and future interest rates, and an ?open mouth operation? which selects one of the many equilibria consistent with the chosen interest rates. Removing the open mouth operation by imposing a finite commitment horizon yields pathological policy advice that relies on the model's forward guidance puzzle.
Very Simple Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: Empirics
This paper develops an econometric model of firm entry, competition, and exit in oligopolistic markets. The model has an essentially unique symmetric Markov-perfect equilibrium, which can be computed very quickly. We show that its primitives are identified from market-level data on the number of active firms and demand shifters, and we implement a nested fixed point procedure for its estimation. Estimates from County Business Patterns data on U.S. local cinema markets point to tough local competition. Sunk costs make the industry's transition following a permanent demand shock last 10 to 15 ...