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Author:Foerster, Andrew 

Journal Article
Why Is the Fed’s Balance Sheet Still So Big?

The Federal Reserve?s balance sheet is significantly larger today than it was before the financial crisis of 2008?2009. Rising demand for currency due to greater economic activity is partly responsible for this increase. The balance sheet will also need to remain large because the Federal Reserve now implements monetary policy in a regime of ample reserves, using a different set of tools than in the past to achieve its interest rate target.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
The Highs and Lows of Productivity Growth

Productivity growth shows evidence of switching between long periods of high and low average growth. Estimates suggest that the United States has been in the low-growth regime since 2004. Assuming this low growth continues, productivity growth in the year 2025 would be 0.6%. By dropping this assumption and allowing for a switch to consistent higher growth, an alternative estimate forecasts that the distribution of possible productivity growth across quarters could average about 1.1% in 2025.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 21 , Pages 5

Working Paper
Communicating Monetary Policy Rules

Despite the ubiquity of inflation targeting, central banks communicate their frameworks in a variety of ways. No central bank explicitly expresses their conduct via a policy rule, which contrasts with models of policy. Central banks often connect theory with their practice by publishing inflation forecasts that can, in principle, implicitly convey their reaction function. We return to this central idea to show how a central bank can achieve the gains of a rule-based policy without publicly stating a specific rule. The approach requires central banks to specify an inflation target, inflation ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2021-12

Working Paper
Perturbation methods for Markov-switching DSGE models

This paper develops a general perturbation methodology for constructing high-order approximations to the solutions of Markov-switching DSGE models. We introduce an important and practical idea of partitioning the Markov-switching parameter space so that a steady state is well defined. With this definition, we show that the problem of finding an approximation of any order can be reduced to solving a system of quadratic equations. We propose using the theory of Grobner bases in searching all the solutions to the quadratic system. This approach allows us to obtain all the approximations and ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2013-01

Working Paper
Optimal Monetary Policy Regime Switches

An economy that switches between high and low growth regimes creates incentives for the monetary authority to change its rule. As lower growth tends to produce lower real interest rates, the monetary authority has an incentive to increase the inflation target and increase the degree of inertia in setting rates in an attempt to keep the nominal rate positive. An optimizing monetary authority therefore responds to permanently lower growth by slightly increasing both the inflation target and inertia; focusing solely on the inflation target ignores a key margin of adjustment. With repeated growth ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2019-3

Working Paper
Estimating Macroeconomic Models of Financial Crises: An Endogenous Regime-Switching Approach

We estimate a workhorse DSGE model with an occasionally binding borrowing constraint. First, we propose a new specification of the occasionally binding constraint, where the transition between the unconstrained and constrained states is a stochastic function of the leverage level and the constraint multiplier. This specification maps into an endogenous regime-switching model. Second, we develop a general perturbation method for the solution of such a model. Third, we estimate the model with Bayesian methods to fit Mexico's business cycle and financial crisis history since 1981. The estimated ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-10

Working Paper
Learning about Regime Change

Total factor productivity (TFP) and investment specific technology (IST) growth both exhibit regime-switching behavior, but the regime at any given time is difficult to infer. We build a rational expectations real business cycle model where the underlying TFP and IST regimes are unobserved. We then develop a general perturbation solution algorithm for a wide class of models with unobserved regime-switching. Using our method, we show that learning about regime-switching alters the responses to regime shifts and intra-regime shocks, increases asymmetries in the responses, generates forecast ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-15

Working Paper
Aggregate Implications of Changing Sectoral Trends

We fi nd disparate trend variation in TFP and labor growth across major U.S. production sectors over the post-WWII period. When aggregated, these sector-specif c trends imply secular declines in the growth rate of aggregate labor and TFP. We embed this sectoral trend variation into a dynamic multi-sector framework in which materials and capital used in each sector are produced by other sectors. The presence of capital induces important network effects from production linkages that amplify the consequences of changing sectoral trends on GDP growth. Thus, in some sectors, changes in TFP and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2019-16

Journal Article
Sudden Stops and COVID-19: Lessons from Mexico’s History

The COVID-19 pandemic produced a sharp contraction in capital flows in emerging markets during the spring of 2020. Such contractions are known as “sudden stops” and historically have been associated with significant downturns in a country’s economic activity. Evidence from Mexico’s financial crisis history suggests that sudden stops tend to exhibit a common pattern: the crisis lasts one to two years before a rapid but partial recovery, followed by years of protracted stagnation.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 33 , Pages 01-05

Journal Article
The Effects of Permanent and Transitory Shocks under Imperfect Information

We study an economic environment affected by shocks that may be either permanent or transitory in nature. Contrary to the standard perfect information setup, we assume that households cannot distinguish between the two types of shocks. We describe how to solve the model under this imperfect information assumption in the context of the one-sector neoclassical model. We show that the solution involves a recasting of the driving process in terms of estimates of the exogenous states and forecast errors made by households rather than the states themselves. Given observations on the driving ...
Economic Quarterly , Issue 2Q , Pages 41-59



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