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Author:Kuester, Keith 

Working Paper
News and Uncertainty about COVID-19: Survey Evidence and Short-Run Economic Impact

A tailor-made survey documents consumer perceptions of the U.S. economy’s response to a large shock: the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey ran at a daily frequency between March 2020 and July 2021. Consumer perceptions regarding output and inflation react rapidly. Uncertainty is pervasive. A business-cycle model calibrated to the consumer views provides an interpretation. The rise in household uncertainty amplifies the pandemic recession by a factor of three. Different perceptions about monetary policy can explain why consumers and professional forecasters agree on the ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-12R

Working Paper
Floats, pegs and the transmission of fiscal policy

According to conventional wisdom, fiscal policy is more effective under a fixed than under a flexible exchange rate regime. In this paper the authors reconsider the transmission of shocks to government spending across these regimes within a standard New Keynesian model of a small open economy. Because of the stronger emphasis on intertemporal optimization, the New Keynesian framework requires a precise specification of fiscal and monetary policies, and their interaction, at both short and long horizons. The authors derive an analytical characterization of the transmission mechanism of ...
Working Papers , Paper 11-9

Working Paper
The role of labor markets for Euro area monetary policy

In this paper, we explore the role of labor markets for monetary policy in the euro area in a New Keynesian model in which labor markets are characterized by search and matching frictions.> We first investigate to which extent a more flexible labor market would alter the business cycle behavior and the transmission of monetary policy. We find that while a lower degree of wage rigidity makes monetary policy more effective, i.e. a monetary policy shock transmits faster onto inflation, the importance of other labor market rigidities for the transmission of shocks is rather limited. Second, ...
Working Papers , Paper 09-1

Working Paper
Insurance policies for monetary policy in the euro area

In this paper, the authors aim to design a monetary policy for the euro area that is robust to the high degree of model uncertainty at the start of monetary union and allows for learning about model probabilities. To this end, they compare and ultimately combine Bayesian and worst-case analysis using four reference models estimated with pre-EMU synthetic data. The authors start by computing the cost of insurance against model uncertainty, that is, the relative performance of worst-case or minimax policy versus Bayesian policy. While maximum insurance comes at moderate costs, they highlight ...
Working Papers , Paper 08-29

Working Paper
Doves for the Rich, Hawks for the Poor? Distributional Consequences of Monetary Policy

We build a New Keynesian business-cycle model with rich household heterogeneity. A central feature is that matching frictions render labor-market risk countercyclical and endogenous to monetary policy. Our main result is that a majority of households prefer substantial stabilization of unemployment even if this means deviations from price stability. A monetary policy focused on unemployment stabilization helps Main Street" by providing consumption insurance. It hurts Wall Street" by reducing precautionary saving and, thus, asset prices. On the aggregate level, household heterogeneity ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1167

Working Paper
Fiscal volatility shocks and economic activity

The authors study the effects of changes in uncertainty about future fiscal policy on aggregate economic activity. Fiscal deficits and public debt have risen sharply in the wake of the financial crisis. While these developments make fiscal consolidation inevitable, there is considerable uncertainty about the policy mix and timing of such budgetary adjustment. To evaluate the consequences of this increased uncertainty, the authors first estimate tax and spending processes for the U.S. that allow for time-varying volatility. They then feed these processes into an otherwise standard New ...
Working Papers , Paper 11-32

Working Paper
Monetary policy with heterogeneous agents

We build a New Keynesian model in which heterogeneous workers differ with regard to their employment status due to search and matching frictions in the labor market, their potential labor income, and their amount of savings. We use this laboratory to quantitatively assess who stands to win or lose from unanticipated monetary accommodation and who benefits most from systematic monetary stabilization policy. We find substantial redistribution effects of monetary policy shocks; a contractionary monetary policy shock increases income and welfare of the wealthiest 5 percent, while the remaining 95 ...
Working Papers , Paper 12-21

Working Paper
The elasticity of the unemployment rate with respect to benefits

If the Mortensen and Pissarides model with efficient bargaining is calibrated to replicate the fluctuations of unemployment over the business cycle, it implies a far too strong rise of the unemployment rate when unemployment benefits rise. This paper explores an alternative, right-to-manage bargaining scheme. This also generates the right degree of fluctuations of unemployment but at the same time implies a reasonable elasticity of unemployment with respect to benefits.
Working Papers , Paper 08-15

Working Paper
The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare

This paper develops a real business cycle model with labor market search and matching frictions, which endogenously links both the cyclical fluctuations and the mean level of unemployment to the aggregate business cycle risk. The key result of the paper is that business cycles are costly for all consumers, regardless of their wealth, yet that unemployment fluctuations themselves are not the source of these costs. Rather fluctuations over the cycle induce higher average unemployment rates as employment is non-linear in job-finding rates and past unemployment. The authors first show this result ...
Working Papers , Paper 08-31

Working Paper
Inflation dynamics with labour market matching: assessing alternative specifications

This paper reviews recent approaches to modeling the labour market and assesses their implications for inflation dynamics through both their effect on marginal cost and on price-setting behavior. In a search and matching environment, we consider the following modeling setups: right-to-manage bargaining vs. efficient bargaining, wage stickiness in new and existing matches, interactions at the firm level between price and wage-setting, alternative forms of hiring frictions, search on-the-job and endogenous job separation. We find that most specifications imply too little real rigidity and, so, ...
Working Papers , Paper 09-6

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