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Do Expansions in Health Insurance Affect Student Loan Outcomes?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is arguably the biggest policy intervention in health insurance in the United States since the passage of Medicaid and Medicare in 1965. The Act was signed into law in March 2010, and by 2016 approximately 20 to 24 million additional Americans were covered with health insurance. Such an extension of insurance coverage could affect not only medical bills, but also educational, employment, and broader financial outcomes. In this post, we take an initial look at the relationship between the ACA and higher education financing choices and outcomes. We find evidence that expansions in healthcare coverage may influence both the prevalence of student loans and loan repayment behavior. Specifically, our results suggest that individuals covered by ACA-related expansions are taking out slightly more loans and taking a longer time to start repayment.
AUTHORS: Maya Bidanda; Hundtofte , Sean; Pinkovskiy, Maxim L.; Chakrabarti, Rajashri
Changing Risk-Return Profiles
Are stock returns predictable? This question is a perennially popular subject of debate. In this post, we highlight some results from our recent working paper, where we investigate the matter. Rather than focusing on a single object like the forecasted mean or median, we look at the entire distribution of stock returns and find that the realized volatility of stock returns, especially financial sector stock returns, has strong predictive content for the future distribution of stock returns. This is a robust feature of the data since all of our results are obtained with real-time analyses using stock return data since the 1920s. Motivated by this result, we then evaluate whether the banking system appears healthier today, and if recent regulatory reforms have helped.
AUTHORS: Crump, Richard K.; Hundtofte , Sean; Giannone, Domenico
Deciphering Americans’ Views on Cryptocurrencies
Having witnessed the dramatic rise and fall in the value of cryptocurrencies over the past year, we wanted to learn more about what motivates people to participate in this market. To find out, we included a special set of questions in the May 2018 Survey of Consumer Expectations, a project of the New York Fed?s Center for Microeconomic Data. This blog post summarizes the results of that survey, shedding light on U.S. consumers? depth of participation in cryptocurrencies and their motives for entering this new market.
AUTHORS: Hundtofte , Sean; Lee, Michael Junho; Martin, Antoine; Reed Orchinik
Changing risk-return profiles
We show that realized volatility, especially the realized volatility of financial sector stock returns, has strong predictive content for the future distribution of market returns. This is a robust feature of the last century of U.S. data and, most importantly, can be exploited in real time. Current realized volatility has the most information content on the uncertainty of future returns, whereas it has only limited content about the location of the future return distribution. When volatility is low, the predicted distribution of returns is less dispersed and probabilistic forecasts are sharper. Given this finding on the importance of financial sector volatility not just to financial equity return uncertainty but to the broader market, we test for changes in the realized volatility of banks over a $50 billion threshold associated with more stringent Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) requirements. We find that the equity volatility of these large banks is differentially lower by 9 percentage points after Dodd-Frank compared to pre-crisis levels, controlling for changes over the same period for all banks and all large firms.
AUTHORS: Crump, Richard K.; Giannone, Domenico; Hundtofte , Sean
Does going easy on distressed banks help the macroeconomy?
During banking crises, regulators often relax their requirements and refrain from closing troubled banks. I estimate the real effects of such regulatory forbearance during the U.S. savings and loan crisis by comparing states' economic outcomes by the amount of forbearance they receive. As instruments, I use historical variation in deposit insurance of similar financial intermediaries (thrifts) and exploit geographic variation in principal supervisory agent (PSA). The evidence suggests a policy-induced real estate boom during forbearance (1982-89), followed by a bigger bust in real estate and real GDP. The relationship does not appear driven by the ex ante size, industry exposure, or systematic cyclicality of a state.
AUTHORS: Hundtofte , Sean