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Author:Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben 

Working Paper
Clustered Housing Cycles
Using a panel of U.S. city-level building permits data, we estimate a Markov-switching model of housing cycles that allows for idiosyncratic departures from a national housing cycle. These departures occur for clusters of cities that experience simultaneous housing contractions. We find that cities do not form housing regions in the traditional geographic sense. Instead, similarities in factors affecting the demand for housing (such as average winter temperature and the unemployment rate) appear to be more important determinants of cyclical comovements than similarities in factors affecting the supply for housing (such as housing density and the availability of developable land).
AUTHORS: Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben; Owyang, Michael T.; Rubio, Margarita
DATE: 2015-10-22

Working Paper
A State-Level Analysis of Okun’s Law
Okun?s law is an empirical relationship that measures the correlation between the deviation of the unemployment rate from its natural rate and the deviation of output growth from its potential. In this paper, we estimate Okun?s coefficients for each U.S. state and examine the potential factors that explain the heterogeneity of the estimated Okun relationships. We find that indicators of more flexible labor markets (higher levels of education achievement in the population, lower rate of unionization, and a higher share of nonmanufacturing employment) are important determinants of the differences in Okun?s coefficient across states. Finally, we show that Okun?s relationship is not stable across specifications, which can lead to inaccurate estimates of the potential determinants of Okun?s coefficient.
AUTHORS: Sinclair, Tara M.; Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben; Owyang, Michael T.; Guisinger, Amy Y.
DATE: 2015-10-21

Journal Article
U.S. migration over the life cycle
Migration incentives for working-age and retired individuals are quite different and are sensitive to the level of human capital within the family.
AUTHORS: Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben
DATE: 2009

Journal Article
The effects of education on health
In the United States, wide disparity exists in the health of individuals with different levels of education
AUTHORS: Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben; Martinek, Christopher J.
DATE: 2011

Journal Article
City growth and industry employment reallocation
Cities initially more specialized in older technologies may have had more difficulty adapting to newer technologies because skills in initially dominant industries were not useful to new industries.
AUTHORS: Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben; Martinek, Christopher J.
DATE: 2010

Journal Article
Regional aggregation in forecasting: an application to the Federal Reserve’s Eighth District
Hernndez-Murillo and Owyang (2006) showed that accounting for spatial correlations in regional data can improve forecasts of national employment. This paper considers whether the predictive advantage of disaggregate models remains when forecasting subnational data. The authors conduct horse races among several forecasting models in which the objective is to forecast regional- or state-level employment. For some models, the objective is to forecast using the sum of further disaggregated employment (i.e., forecasts of metropolitan statistical area [MSA]-level data are summed to yield state-level forecasts). The authors find that the spatial relationships between states have sufficient predictive content to overcome small increases in the number of estimated parameters when forecasting regional-level data; this is not always true when forecasting state- and regional-level data using the sum of MSA-level forecasts.
AUTHORS: Engemann, Kristie M.; Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben; Owyang, Michael T.
DATE: 2011

Journal Article
Experiments in financial liberalization: the Mexican banking sector
Since the liberalization of its trade in the mid-1980s, Mexico has pursued an aggressive globalization strategy, which today makes it the country with the most free trade agreements in the world. This liberalization strategy has also included the banking sector, particularly since 1997, when all restrictions to the entry of foreign banks were removed. The history of the banking sector in Mexico includes episodes of nationalization in 1982, privatization in 1992, and near-complete failure in 1995. Since then, however, the Mexican government has undertaken a series of bold reforms that have contributed to the modernization of its financial system. This paper documents the evolution of Mexico's banking sector starting from its nationalization in 1982 and culminating with the increased entry of foreign banks in recent years that has driven the recovery of bank credit to the private sector.
AUTHORS: Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben
DATE: 2007

Journal Article
The impact of inflation and unemployment on subjective personal and country evaluations
The authors use data from the Gallup World Poll to analyze what determines individual assessments of past, present, and future personal and country well-being. These measures allow the analysis of two dimensions of happiness data not previously examined in the literature: the better-than-average effect and optimism. The authors find that individuals tend to evaluate their personal well-being as being better than their country's and tend to expect that their future well-being will improve. The authors also analyze the impact of inflation and unemployment on these subjective measures and find that both variables have a negative effect on individuals' assessments of past and present well-being for themselves and their country; in contrast with other studies, however, they do not find that the effect of unemployment is significantly different from that of inflation.
AUTHORS: Gandelman, Nestor; Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben
DATE: 2009

Journal Article
Risk Aversion at the Country Level
This article estimates the coefficient of relative risk aversion for 75 countries using data on self-reports of personal well-being from the 2006 Gallup World Poll. The analysis suggests that the coefficient of relative risk aversion varies closely around 1, which corresponds to a logarithmic utility function. The authors conclude that their results support the use of the log utility function in numerical simulations of economic models.
AUTHORS: Gandelman, Nestor; Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben
DATE: 2015

Journal Article
Strategic interaction in tax policies among states
Competition among governments differs in several aspects from competition among private agents, in terms of both its positive and normative implications. In this paper we test empirically for strategic interaction among U.S. states in the determination of tax rates on capital income using spatial econometric methods. We find that states have a positively sloped reaction function to the tax policies of rival states. This result has important implications for the comparative statics of the equilibrium configuration of tax rates, because changes in local exogenous variables have cascading effects into other competing states? tax-setting policies. We also find that a state?s size has a positive effect on tax rates.
AUTHORS: Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben
DATE: 2003

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