Supply-side policies and the zero lower bound
This paper examines how supply-side policies may play a role in fighting a low aggregate demand that traps an economy at the zero lower bound (ZLB) of nominal interest rates. Future increases in productivity or reductions in mark-ups triggered by supply-side policies generate a wealth effect that pulls current consumption and output up. Since the economy is at the ZLB, increases in the interest rates do not undo this wealth effect, as we will have in the case outside the ZLB. The authors illustrate this mechanism with a simple two-period New Keynesian model. They discuss possible objections ...
Estimating dynamic equilibrium models with stochastic volatility
We propose a novel method to estimate dynamic equilibrium models with stochastic volatility. First, we characterize the properties of the solution to this class of models. Second, we take advantage of the results about the structure of the solution to build a sequential Monte Carlo algorithm to evaluate the likelihood function of the model. The approach, which exploits the profusion of shocks in stochastic volatility models, is versatile and computationally tractable even in large-scale models, such as those often employed by policy-making institutions. As an application, we use our algorithm ...
Bargaining Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations
We argue that social and political risk causes signiﬁcant aggregate ﬂuctuations by changing bargaining power. To that end, we document signiﬁcant changes in the capital share after large political events, such as political realignments, modiﬁcations in collective bargaining rules, or the end of dictatorships, in a sample of developed and emerging economies. These policy changes are associated with signiﬁcant ﬂuctuations in output. Using a Bayesian proxy-VAR estimated with U.S. data, we show how distribution shocks cause movements in output and unemployment. To quantify the ...
The "Matthew Effect" and Market Concentration: Search Complementarities and Monopsony Power
This paper develops a dynamic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous firms that face search complementarities in the formation of vendor contracts. Search complementarities amplify small differences in productivity among firms. Market concentration fosters monopsony power in the labor market, magnifying profits and further enhancing the output share of high-productivity firms. The combination of search complementarities and monopsony power induce a strong "Matthew effect" that endogenously generates superstar firms out of uniform idiosyncratic productivity distributions. Reductions in ...
Fortune or virtue: time-variant volatilities versus parameter drifting
This paper compares the role of stochastic volatility versus changes in monetary policy rules in accounting for the time-varying volatility of U.S. aggregate data. Of special interest to the authors is understanding the sources of the great moderation of business cycle fluctuations that the U.S. economy experienced between 1984 and 2007. To explore this issue, the authors build a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with both stochastic volatility and parameter drifting in the Taylor rule and they estimate it non-linearly using U.S. data and Bayesian methods. ...
Can currency competition work?
Can competition work among privately issued fiat currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum? Only sometimes. To show this, we build a model of competition among privately issued fiat currencies. We modify the current workhorse of monetary economics, the Lagos-Wright environment, by including entrepreneurs who can issue their own fiat currencies in order to maximize their utility. Otherwise, the model is standard. We show that there exists an equilibrium in which price stability is consistent with competing private monies but also that there exists a continuum of equilibrium trajectories with the ...
Nonlinear adventures at the zero lower bound
Motivated by the recent experience of the U.S. and the Eurozone, the authors describe the quantitative properties of a New Keynesian model with a zero lower bound (ZLB) on nominal interest rates, explicitly accounting for the nonlinearities that the bound brings. Besides showing how such a model can be efficiently computed, the authors found that the behavior of the economy is substantially affected by the presence of the ZLB. In particular, the authors document 1) the unconditional and conditional probabilities of hitting the ZLB; 2) the unconditional and conditional probabilty distributions ...
Political Distribution Risk and Aggregate Fluctuations
We argue that political distribution risk is an important driver of aggregate fluctuations. To that end, we document significant changes in the capital share after large political events, such as political realignments, modifications in collective bargaining rules, or the end of dictatorships, in a sample of developed and emerging economies. These policy changes are associated with significant fluctuations in output and asset prices. Using a Bayesian proxy-VAR estimated with U.S. data, we show how distribution shocks cause movements in output, unemployment, and sectoral asset prices. To ...
Tracking Business Conditions in Delaware
To meet the need for a gauge of current regional conditions at high frequency, we have built a real-time daily index to monitor business conditions in Delaware. What are the current conditions in the First State? How have these conditions evolved since the 1990s?
Fiscal volatility shocks and economic activity
The authors study the effects of changes in uncertainty about future fiscal policy on aggregate economic activity. Fiscal deficits and public debt have risen sharply in the wake of the financial crisis. While these developments make fiscal consolidation inevitable, there is considerable uncertainty about the policy mix and timing of such budgetary adjustment. To evaluate the consequences of this increased uncertainty, the authors first estimate tax and spending processes for the U.S. that allow for time-varying volatility. They then feed these processes into an otherwise standard New ...