Fraud deterrence in dynamic Mirrleesian economies
Social and private insurance schemes rely on legal action to deter fraud and tax evasion. This observation guides the authors to introduce a random state verification technology in a dynamic economy with private information. With some probability, an agent's skill level becomes known to the planner, who prescribes a punishment if the agent is caught misreporting. The authors show how deferring consumption can ease the provision of incentives. As a result, the marginal benefit may be below the marginal cost of investment in the constrained-efficient allocation, suggesting a subsidy on savings. ...
China's Exchange Rate Policies and U.S. Financial Markets
Exchange rate stabilization or currency ?pegs? are among the most prevalent interventions in international financial markets. Removing a peg to a safer currency can make the home currency more risky and less attractive to investors. When a country with market influence removes its peg from a safer country, the risk associated with holding either currency can be affected. Analyzing the effects of a scenario that changes a peg of the renminbi from the U.S. dollar to a basket of currencies suggests that China?s interest rates increase while U.S. interest rates decrease.
Macroeconomic Drivers and the Pricing of Uncertainty, Inflation, and Bonds
This paper analyzes a new stylized fact: According to financial market prices, the correlation between uncertainty shocks, as measured by changes in the VIX, and changes in break-even inflation rates has declined and turned negative over the past quarter century. It rationalizes this uncertainty-inflation correlation within a standard New Keynesian model with a lower bound on interest rates combined with a decline in the natural rate of interest. With a lower natural rate, the likelihood of the lower bound binding increased and the effects of uncertainty on the economy became more pronounced. ...
Effects of Asset Valuations on U.S. Wealth Distribution
Net household wealth is highly unequal across U.S. households, and the types of assets people hold tend to change according to their position along the distribution of wealth. The pattern of household portfolios shows that the top 1% of households hold most of their wealth in stocks, while home values are most important for the wealth of the bottom half of the distribution. Higher growth in equity values relative to real estate values therefore tends to widen the wealth distribution, as experienced during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Social Cost of Near-Rational Investment
We show that the stock market may fail to aggregate information even if it appears to be efficient, and that the resulting decrease in the information content of prices may drastically reduce welfare. We solve a macroeconomic model in which information about fundamentals is dispersed and households make small, correlated errors when forming expectations about future productivity. As information aggregates in the market, these errors amplify and crowd out the information content of stock prices. When prices reflect less information, the conditional variance of stock returns rises, causing an ...
What to expect from the lower bound on interest rates: evidence from derivatives prices
This paper analyzes the effects of the lower bound for interest rates on the distributions of inflation and interest rates. We study a stylized New Keynesian model where the policy instrument is subject to a lower bound to motivate the empirical analysis. Two equilibria emerge: In the “target equilibrium,” policy is unconstrained most or all of the time, whereas in the “liquidity trap equilibrium,” policy is mostly or always constrained. We use options data on future interest rates and inflation to study whether the decrease in the natural real rate of interest leads to forecast ...
Tying down the anchor: monetary policy rules and the lower bound on interest rates
This paper uses a standard New Keynesian model to analyze the effects and implementation of various monetary policy frameworks in the presence of a low natural rate of interest and a lower bound on interest rates. Under a standard inflation-targeting approach, inflation expectations will be anchored at a level below the inflation target, which in turn exacerbates the deleterious effects of the lower bound on the economy. Two key themes emerge from our analysis. First, the central bank can eliminate this problem of a downward bias in inflation expectations by following an average-inflation ...
Economic Forecasts with the Yield Curve
The term spread?the difference between long-term and short-term interest rates?is a strikingly accurate predictor of future economic activity. Every U.S. recession in the past 60 years was preceded by a negative term spread, that is, an inverted yield curve. Furthermore, a negative term spread was always followed by an economic slowdown and, except for one time, by a recession. While the current environment is somewhat special?with low interest rates and risk premiums?the power of the term spread to predict economic slowdowns appears intact.
Market Assessment of COVID-19
News about the COVID-19 public health crisis has affected asset prices to varying degrees across sectors of the U.S. economy. Stocks in the utilities, real estate, and energy sectors initially suffered the worst sector-specific shocks, while the information technology, health-care, and telecommunications sectors fared relatively better. Businesses with higher financial leverage saw larger declines in their valuations. A simultaneous repricing of credit derivatives suggests concerns about insolvency contributed to the valuation declines. Although some stocks are recovering from the initial ...
Has the Dollar Become More Sensitive to Interest Rates?
Interest rates in the United States have diverged from the rates of other countries over the past few years. Some commentators have voiced concerns that, as a result, exchange rates might be more sensitive to unanticipated changes in U.S. interest rates now than they were historically. However, an examination of market-based measures of policy expectations finds no convincing evidence that the U.S. dollar has become more sensitive since 2014.