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Author:Higgins, Amy 

Working Paper
Do Low-Income Rental Housing Programs Complement Each Other? Evidence from Ohio
We characterize rental subsidy use in units developed with construction subsidies and explore whether the subsidy overlap responds to needs unmet by a tenant-based program alone. We present a subsidy allocation model allowing for program complementarity to guide our analysis of multiple subsidy use in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units. Findings for Ohio in 2011 suggest that rental assistance in LIHTC exhibits some degree of subsidy complementarity, particularly, when serving very poor households with special housing needs. We also find that very low income voucher holders who face a less affordable market or a potential gain in neighborhood quality are attracted to use their voucher in a LIHTC unit. However, our analysis finds a significant portion of households in LIHTC units that could seemingly be housed in the private rental market, signaling some degree of inefficient allocation of subsidies.
AUTHORS: Barkley, Brett; Richter, Francisca; Higgins, Amy
DATE: 2014-11-19

Working Paper
Tracking Trend Inflation: Nonseasonally Adjusted Variants of the Median and Trimmed-Mean CPI 
We make five contributions. We demonstrate that extant trimmed-mean and median CPI construction procedures depart from Bureau of Labor Statistics index construction procedures, and that the departures don?t make much of a difference. We produce nonseasonally adjusted variants of the trimmed-mean CPI and median CPI, and demonstrate that these are useful real-time estimates of trend inflation; the NSA median CPI outperforms the median CPI, but both SA and NSA variants of the median and the trimmed-mean CPI easily dominate the so-called ?core? CPI. We introduce superior ex post measures of trend inflation. We demonstrate that a small amount of time-series averaging reaps large rewards. Finally, we discuss using model-averaging as a new direction for simple and robust trend inflation indicators.
AUTHORS: Verbrugge, Randal; Higgins, Amy
DATE: 2015-11-06

Journal Article
Is a Nonseasonally Adjusted Median CPI a Useful Signal of Trend Inflation?
Since controlling inflation is a central monetary policy goal, monetary policymakers focus intently on inflation signals. But they face a major difficulty: inflation data contain a lot of transitory shocks. The presence of the transitory ?noise? in inflation data makes it difficult to detect early warnings of sustained movements. Responding to these transitory shocks would be a bad idea, because doing so would translate into policy swings and reversals and introduce uncertainty and volatility into the economy. Instead, policymakers attempt to respond to the sustained movements in inflation?that is, to underlying trend inflation. Discerning the underlying trend in the midst of the noisy inflation data is a challenging task.
AUTHORS: Verbrugge, Randal; Higgins, Amy
DATE: 2015-11




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