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Author:Lubik, Thomas A. 

Working Paper
Monetary Policy Tradeoffs and the Federal Reserve's Dual Mandate

Some key structural features of the U.S. economy appear to have changed in the recent decades, making the conduct of monetary policy more challenging. In particular, there is high uncertainty about the levels of the natural rate of interest and unemployment as well as about the effect of economic activity on inflation. At the same time, a prolonged period of below-target inflation has raised concerns about the unanchoring of inflation expectations at levels below the Federal Open Market Committee’s inflation target. In addition, a low natural rate of interest increases the probability of ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-066

Journal Article
Time-Varying Parameter Vector Autoregressions: Specification, Estimation, and an Application

Time-varying parameter vector autoregressions (TVP-VARs) have become a popular tool to study the dynamics of macroeconomic time series. In this article, we discuss the specification and estimation of this class of models with a focus on implementability. We provide a step-by-step guide for researchers interested in utilizing this methodology in their own research. Specifically, we discuss how to use Bayesian Gibbs-sampling techniques to easily conduct inference.
Economic Quarterly , Issue 4Q , Pages 323-352

Briefing
Is the output gap a faulty gauge for monetary policy?

Policymakers look to the output gap as a measure of how the economy is performing. However, different methods of computing the output gap can lead to vastly different results, rendering it a potentially poor guide.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Jan

Briefing
The Burns Disinflation of 1974

Economists often describe the Great Inflation of the 1970s as a failure of the monetary policy actions of the Federal Reserve under Chairman Arthur Burns. According to conventional wisdom, when Paul Volcker became chairman of the Fed in 1979, he implemented changes that ushered in a period of disinflation. This Economic Brief challenges this standard narrative in two ways. First, it argues that the ?Volcker disinflation? had its roots in 1974. And second, Volcker?s actions were the culmination of a gradual shift in policy that began under Burns rather than an abrupt shift.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue November

Working Paper
Inventories, inflation dynamics, and the New Keynesian Phillips curve

We introduce inventories into an otherwise standard New Keynesian model and study the implications for inflation dynamics. Inventory holdings are motivated as a means to generate sales for demand-constrained firms. We derive various representations of the New Keynesian Phillips curve with inventories and show that one of these specifications is observationally equivalent to the standard model with respect to the behavior of inflation when the model's cross-equation restrictions are imposed. However, the driving variable in the New Keynesian Phillips curve - real marginal cost - is ...
Working Paper , Paper 10-01

Briefing
Public and Private Debt after the Pandemic and Policy Normalization

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, public debt has increased dramatically and private debt seems likely to increase as well. High indebtedness could influence the effectiveness of monetary policy and lead to political pressure for the Federal Reserve to maintain low interest rates for an extended period of time.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue 20-06 , Pages 6

Briefing
How Should the Fed Interpret Slow Wage Growth?

During the current recovery, policymakers have debated whether slow wage growth indicates labor market "slack" that is not adequately reflected in the unemployment rate alone. The relationship?or lack thereof?between the unemployment rate and wage growth has challenged macroeconomists for decades. Empirical studies using micro data find that individual wages are procyclical, but attempting to use aggregate measures of wage growth to determine the level of "slack" in the labor market would be highly difficult and potentially misleading.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue February

Journal Article
How Likely Is the Zero Lower Bound?

We estimate the probability that the federal funds rate will be at or below the zero lower bound over a ten-year time horizon. We do so by specifying and estimating a time-varying parameter vector autoregressive model for key US macroeconomic aggregates. Based on the estimated model, we generate a distribution of future outcomes from which we compute such probabilities. We find that the zero lower bound probability ranges between 15 percent and 30 percent in the longer term depending on the specific measure used. In the near term, this probability is effectively zero. Robustness checks for ...
Economic Quarterly , Issue 1Q , Pages 41-54

Working Paper
Indeterminacy and Imperfect Information

We study equilibrium determination in an environment where two kinds of agents have different information sets: The fully informed agents know the structure of the model and observe histories of all exogenous and endogenous variables. The less informed agents observe only a strict subset of the full information set. All types of agents form expectations rationally, but agents with limited information need to solve a dynamic signal extraction problem to gather information about the variables they do not observe. We show that for parameter values that imply a unique equilibrium under full ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-17

Working Paper
Is There News in Inventories?

This paper identifies total factor productivity (TFP) news shocks using standard VAR methodology and documents a new stylized fact: in response to news about future increases in TFP, inventories rise and comove positively with other major macroeconomic aggregates. The authors show that the standard theoretical model used to capture the effects of news shocks cannot replicate this fact when extended to include inventories. To explain the empirical inventory behavior, they develop a framework that relies on the presence of knowledge capital accumulated through a learning-by-doing process. The ...
Working Paper , Paper 20-03

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