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Author:Johannsen, Benjamin K. 

Discussion Paper
The Neutral Rate and the Summary of Economic Projections

This note uses information provided in the quarterly Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) of FOMC meeting participants to extract estimates of the neutral federal funds rate--defined as the value of the federal funds rate that is "neither expansionary nor contractionary if the economy were operating near its potential"--in the short and longer run.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2016-11-28

Working Paper
Monetary Policy and the Predictability of Nominal Exchange Rates

This paper documents two facts about countries with floating exchange rates where monetary policy controls inflation using a short-term interest rate. First, the current real exchange rate predicts future changes in the nominal exchange rate at horizons greater than two years both in sample and out of sample. This predictability improves with the length of the horizon. Second, the real exchange rate is virtually uncorrelated with future inflation rates both in the short run and in the long run. We show that a large class of open-economy models is consistent with these findings and that, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-037

Working Paper
Understanding the New Normal : The Role of Demographics

Since the onset of the Great Recession, the U.S. economy has experienced low real GDP growth and low real interest rates, including for long maturities. We show that these developments were largely predictable by calibrating an overlapping-generation model with a rich demographic structure to observed and projected changes in U.S. population, family composition, life expectancy, and labor market activity. The model accounts for a 1?percentage point decline in both real GDP growth and the equilibrium real interest rate since 1980?essentially all of the permanent declines in those variables ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-080

Working Paper
When are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Uncertainty Large?

Using a new-Keynesian model with endogenous capital accumulation, I show that uncertainty about fiscal policy can cause large declines in consumption, investment, and output when the zero lower bound (ZLB) binds, but has modest effects when the monetary authority is not constrained by the ZLB. I study uncertainty about the level of government spending and uncertainty about tax rates on consumption, wages, capital income, and investment. In my model, uncertainty about government spending and the wage tax rate has particularly large effects. I show that the effects of fiscal policy uncertainty ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-40

Working Paper
A Time Series Model of Interest Rates With the Effective Lower Bound

Modeling interest rates over samples that include the Great Recession requires taking stock of the effective lower bound (ELB) on nominal interest rates. We propose a flexible time? series approach which includes a ?shadow rate??a notional rate that is less than the ELB during the period in which the bound is binding?without imposing no?arbitrage assumptions.{{p}}The approach allows us to estimate the behavior of trend real rates as well as expected future interest rates in recent years.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-033

Discussion Paper
Oil, Equities, and a "Nonbinding" Zero Lower Bound: The Monetary Policy Response to COVID-19

We analyze the recent behavior of oil and equity prices in the context of our earlier work, Datta, et al. (2021), which focuses on the previous zero lower bound (ZLB) episode, in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. We find that the correlation between oil and equity returns and the responsiveness of these returns to macroeconomic surprises are perhaps elevated relative to normal times but somewhat moderated relative to the previous ZLB episode.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2021-04-14

Working Paper
Supply-Side Effects of Pandemic Mortality: Insights from an Overlapping-Generations Model

We use an overlapping generation model to explore the implications of mortality during pandemics for the economy's productive capacity. Under current epidemiological projections for the progression of COVID-19, our model suggests that mortality will have, in itself, at most small effects on output and factor prices. The reason is that projected mortality is small in proportion to the population and skewed toward individuals who are retired from the labor force. That said, we show that if the spread of COVID-19 is not contained, or if the ongoing pandemic were to follow a mortality pattern ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-060

Working Paper
Inflation Experience and Inflation Expectations: Dispersion and Disagreement Within Demographic Groups

Using consumption data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, I document persistent differences across demographic groups in the dispersion of household-specific rates of inflation. Using survey data on inflation expectations, I show that demographic groups with greater dispersion in experienced inflation also disagree more about future inflation. I argue that these results can be rationalized from the perspective of an imperfect information model in which idiosyncratic inflation experience serves as a signal about aggregate inflation. These empirical regularities pose a challenge to several ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-89

Working Paper
Macroeconomic Implications of Inequality and Income Risk

We explore the long-run relationship between income risk, inequality, and the macroeconomy in an overlapping-generations model in which households face uncertain streams of labor income and returns on their savings. To manage those risks, households can apportion their savings to a bond, whose return is safe and identical across households, and a productive asset, whose return is uncertain and can differ persistently across households. We find that greater polarization in households' labor income and returns on their savings generally accentuates households' demand for risk-free assets and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-073

Working Paper
Strengthening the FOMC’s Framework in View of the Effective Lower Bound and Some Considerations Related to Time-Inconsistent Strategies

We analyze the framework for monetary policy in view of the effective lower bound (ELB). We find that the ELB is likely to bind in most future recessions and propose some ways that theoretical models imply that the framework could be strengthened. We also discuss ways that commitment strategies, which are not part of the framework, may improve economic outcomes. These policies can suffer from a time-inconsistency problem, which we analyze.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-067

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