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Author:Mertens, Karel 

Working Paper
The Dynamic Effects of Personal and Corporate Income Tax Changes in the United States: Reply to Jentsch and Lunsford

In this reply to a comment by Jentsch and Lunsford, we show that, when focusing on the relevant impulse responses, the evidence for economic and statistically significant macroeconomic effects of tax changes in Mertens and Ravn (2013) remains present for a range of asymptotically valid inference methods.
Working Papers , Paper 1805

Blog
Real-Time Population Survey Suggests U.S. Job Losses Slowed in Early May

Survey results for the week of May 10 suggest further declines in employment and an increase in unemployment relative to the week of April 26 – May 2, though both changes are within the survey’s margin of error.
Dallas Fed Economics

Working Paper
Do Monetary Policy Announcements Shift Household Expectations?

We use a decade of daily survey data from Gallup to study how monetary policy influences households' beliefs about economic conditions. We first document that public confidence in the state of the economy reacts instantaneously to certain types of macroeconomic news. Next, we show that surprises to the Federal Funds target rate are among the news that have statistically significant and instantaneous effects on economic confidence. Specifically, we find that a surprise increase in the target rate robustly leads to an immediate decline in household confidence, at odds with previous findings ...
Working Papers , Paper 1906

Working Paper
Work from Home After the COVID-19 Outbreak

Based on rich novel survey data, we document that 35.2 percent of the US workforce worked entirely from home in May 2020, up from 8.2 percent in February. Highly educated, high-income and white workers were more likely to shift to working from home and maintain employment following the pandemic. Individuals working from home daily before the pandemic lost employment at similar rates as daily commuters. This suggests that, apart from the potential for home-based work, demand conditions also mattered for job losses. We find that 71.7 percent of workers that could work from home effectively did ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017

Cost of Texas’ 2021 Deep Freeze Justifies Weatherization

Our analysis indicates winterizing for extreme winter weather events appears financially reasonable.
Dallas Fed Economics

Working Paper
Distributional Considerations for Monetary Policy Strategy

We show that makeup strategies, such as average inflation targeting and price-level targeting, can be more effective than a flexible inflation targeting strategy in overcoming the obstacles created by the effective lower bound in a heterogeneous agent New Keynesian (HANK) model. We also show that the macroeconomic stabilization benefits from such alternative strategies can be substantially larger in a HANK environment than in a representative agent New Keynesian model. We argue that gains in employment outcomes from switching to an alternative strategy would generate disproportionate ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-073

Blog
Real-Time Survey to Provide Timelier Labor Market Data in Era of COVID-19

An effective economic policy response to the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis requires timely and accurate information on its impact. To help reduce the information gap, we introduce the Real-Time Population Survey.
Dallas Fed Economics

Discussion Paper
Monitoring Real Activity in Real Time: The Weekly Economic Index

Economists are well-practiced at assessing real activity based on familiar aggregate time series, like the unemployment rate, industrial production, or GDP growth. However, these series represent monthly or quarterly averages of economic conditions, and are only available at a considerable lag, after the month or quarter ends. When the economy hits sudden headwinds, like the COVID-19 pandemic, conditions can evolve rapidly. How can we monitor the high-frequency evolution of the economy in “real time”?
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200330b

Working Paper
U.S. Economic Activity During the Early Weeks of the SARS-Cov-2 Outbreak

This paper describes a weekly economic index (WEI) developed to track the rapid economic developments associated with the response to the novel Coronavirus in the United States. The WEI shows a strong and sudden decline in economic activity starting in the week ending March 21, 2020. In the most recent week ending April 4, the WEI indicates economic activity has fallen further to -8.89% scaled to 4-quarter growth in GDP.
Working Papers , Paper 2011

Working Paper
The Near Term Growth Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

This note uses existing empirical estimates of the macroeconomic effects of tax changes to project the near term impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on US GDP growth. Applying recent reduced form estimates of tax multipliers with the projected revenue impact of the Act yields a level of GDP that is predicted to be 1.3% higher by 2020, with most of the growth front-loaded in 2018. Accounting for the composition of the Act in terms of its individual and corporate provisions leads to a similar GDP increase by 2020, but with stronger growth in 2018 and a partial reversal in the following years. ...
Working Papers , Paper 1803

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