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Author:Liu, Zheng 

Journal Article
The Uncertainty Channel of the Coronavirus

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has severely disrupted economic activity through various supply and demand channels. The pandemic can also have pervasive economic impact by raising uncertainty. In the past, sudden and outsized spikes in uncertainty have led to large and protracted increases in unemployment and declines in inflation. These effects are similar to those resulting from declines in aggregate demand. Monetary policy accommodation, such as interest rate cuts, can help cushion the economy from such uncertainty shocks.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 07 , Pages 05

Working Paper
A Theory of Housing Demand Shocks

Aggregate housing demand shocks are an important source of house price fluctuations in the standard macroeconomic models, and through the collateral channel, they drive macroeconomic fluctuations. These reduced-form shocks, however, fail to generate a highly volatile price-to-rent ratio that comoves with the house price observed in the data (the ?price-rent puzzle?). We build a tractable heterogeneous-agent model that provides a microeconomic foundation for housing demand shocks. The model predicts that a credit supply shock can generate large comovements between the house price and the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2019-9

Working Paper
Optimal Monetary Policy and Capital Account Restrictions in a Small Open Economy

The recent financial crisis has led to large declines in world interest rates and surges of capital flows to emerging market economies. We examine the effectiveness and welfare implications of capital control policies in the face of such external shocks in a monetary DSGE model of a small open economy. We consider both optimal, time-varying restrictions on capital inflows and a simple capital account restriction, such as a constant tax on foreign debt holdings. We then compare the effectiveness of such capital account restrictions under alternative monetary regimes. We find that the optimal ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2013-33

Working Paper
Asymmetric expectation effects of regime shifts and the Great Moderation

We assess the quantitative importance of the expectation effects of regime shifts in monetary policy in a DSGE model that allows the monetary policy rule to switch between a ?bad? regime and a ?good? regime. When agents take into account such regime shifts in forming expectations, the expectation effect is asymmetric across regimes. In the good regime, the expectation effect is small despite agents? disbelief that the regime will last forever. In the bad regime, however, the expectation effect on equilibrium dynamics of inflation and output is quantitatively important, even if agents put a ...
Working Papers , Paper 653

Journal Article
Job uncertainty and Chinese household savings

China?s household saving rate has risen substantially during the past two decades. Research suggests that increased job uncertainty following reforms and massive layoffs in state-owned enterprises during the late 1990s contributed significantly to the increase. Facing higher unemployment risks after the reforms, workers in state-owned enterprises have tended to save more as a precaution. A recent study estimates that precautionary saving driven by the reforms explains about a third of Chinese urban household wealth accumulation from 1995 to 2002.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Uncertainty shocks are aggregate demand shocks

We study the macroeconomic effects of uncertainty shocks in a DSGE model with labor search frictions and sticky prices. In contrast to a real business cycle model, the model with search frictions implies that uncertainty shocks reduce potential output, because a job match represents a long-term employment relation and heightened uncertainty reduces the value of a match. In the sticky-price equilibrium, an uncertainty shock--regardless of its source--consistently acts like an aggregate demand shock because it raises unemployment and lowers inflation. We present empirical evidence--based on a ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2012-10

Working Paper
Land-price dynamics and macroeconomic fluctuations

We argue that positive co-movements between land prices and business investment are a driving force behind the broad impact of land-price dynamics on the macroeconomy. We develop an economic mechanism that captures the co-movements by incorporating two key features into a DSGE model: We introduce land as a collateral asset in firms? credit constraints and we identify a shock that drives most of the observed fluctuations in land prices. Our estimates imply that these two features combine to generate an empirically important mechanism that amplifies and propagates macroeconomic fluctuations ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2011-26

Working Paper
Can Pandemic-Induced Job Uncertainty Stimulate Automation?

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about the future of work. The pandemic may become recurrent, necessitating repeated adoptions of social distancing measures (voluntary or mandatory), creating substantial uncertainty about worker productivity. But robots are not susceptible to the virus. Thus, pandemic-induced job uncertainty may boost the incentive for automation. However, elevated uncertainty also reduces aggregate demand and reduces the value of new investment in automation. We assess the importance of automation in driving business cycle dynamics following an increase in job ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-19

Working Paper
A Theory of Housing Demand Shocks

Aggregate housing demand shocks are an important source of house price fluctuations in the standard macroeconomic models, and through the collateral channel, they drive macroeconomic fluctuations. These reduced-form shocks, however, fail to generate a highly volatile price-to-rent ratio that comoves with the house price observed in the data (the ?price-rent puzzle?). We build a tractable heterogeneous-agent model that provides a microeconomic foundation for housing demand shocks. The model predicts that a credit supply shock can generate large comovements between the house price and the ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2019-4

Journal Article
Boomer retirement: headwinds for U.S. equity markets?

Historical data indicate a strong relationship between the age distribution of the U.S. population and stock market performance. A key demographic trend is the aging of the baby boom generation. As they reach retirement age, they are likely to shift from buying stocks to selling their equity holdings to finance retirement. Statistical models suggest that this shift could be a factor holding down equity valuations over the next two decades.
FRBSF Economic Letter

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