Measuring housing services inflation
Recent papers have questioned the accuracy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' methodology for measuring implicit rents for owner-occupied housing. The authors propose cross-checking the BLS statistics by using data on owner-occupied and rental housing from the American Housing Survey. A hedonic approach that explicitly calculates capitalization rates appears to be a feasible one for developing a methodologically consistent measure of the rental cost of owner-occupied housing.
Climate Shocks in the Anthropocene Era: Should Net Domestic Product Be Affected by Climate Disasters
The monetary costs of weather and climate disasters in the U.S. have grown rapidly from 1980 to 2022, rising more than 5 percent in real terms annually. Much of this real growth in costs is likely due to climate change. Regardless of its cause, these costs imply a faster depreciation of real assets. We argue that the expected depreciation from these events could be included in the consumption of fixed capital, leading to lower levels, and slightly lower growth rates, for net domestic product (NDP). We use Poisson pseudo-maximum-likelihood regressions to estimate this expectation and to ...
Underestimating advertising: innovation and unpriced entertainment
Leonard Nakamura states that despite consumers? lack of respect for advertising, it nonetheless plays a significant role in the economy. For one thing, it helps consumers find out about new products, and new products have been rising in economic importance. It also plays a role in subsidizing broadcast entertainment and news programs. Ultimately, Nakamura shows that although advertising contributes to consumer welfare, its contribution is missing from our measures of output.
Closing troubled financial institutions: what are the issues?
Brewing bubbles: how mortgage practices intensify housing booms
Even before the Great Recession, housing market bubbles have been associated with severe financial crises around the world. Why do these booms and busts occur? Leonard Nakamura explains that part of the answer may lie with how mortgage lending practices appear to respond to rising and falling house prices in somewhat unexpected ways.
Transactions accounts and loan monitoring
The authors provide evidence that transactions accounts help financial intermediaries monitor borrowers by offering lenders a continuous stream of data on borrowers? account balances. This information is most readily available to commercial banks, but other intermediaries, such as finance companies, also have access to such information at a cost. Using a unique set of data that includes monthly and annual information on small-business borrowers at an anonymous Canadian bank, the authors find a significant relationship between loans becoming troubled and the number of prior borrowings in ...
Evidence of Accelerating Mismeasurement of Growth and Inflation in the U.S. in the 21st Century
Corporate equity market values, profitability, and intangible investment have reached high proportions of income. Are these investments and their outcomes evidence of a wellfunctioning society? We do not see the rapid growth in aggregate measures of output that would justify these investments and rewards. And why did the yield curve invert as the U.S. federal funds rate reached 2⅜ percent in early 2019, if the inflation rate was near 2 percent? We present the broad case that mismeasurement of growth and prices accelerated in the U.S. during the 21st century and may be responsible for the ...
Learning in the marketplace: free entry is free riding
The mismeasured personal saving rate is still useful: using real-time data to improve forecasting
People make decisions based on information. Often, with hindsight, they could have made better choices. Economics faces a similar problem: Economic data, when first released, are often inaccurate and may subsequently be revised. In "The Mismeasured Personal Saving Rate Is Still Useful: Using Real-Time Data to Improve Forecasting," Leonard Nakamura uses the U.S. personal saving rate - a statistic that has often been initially low, then substantially revised upward - to discuss how modern economic statistical techniques can improve forecasting.