Productivity shocks, investment, and the real interest rate
I analyze the effects of a favorable shift in expected future productivity on the current level of investment and the real interest rate. In a standard RBC model, an increase in expected future productivity raises the real rate, but decreases the current level of investment for plausible parameter values of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution in consumption. However, it is shown that such a conclusion is unwarranted when nominal rigidities are introduced into the analysis. In contrast with the flexible-price case, the favorable shift in future productivity can lead to an increase in ...
The Michigan Surveys of Consumers and consumer spending
We provide summary measures for a broad set of questions from the Michigan Surveys of Consumers. These measures summarize consumers' attitudes and expectations with respect to income, wealth, prices, and interest rates. They contain information that goes beyond the information captured by the Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, which is constructed from five questions in the same survey. We show that the summary measures have some explanatory power for aggregate consumption behavior over the period from 1987 to the present, even when controlling for economic fundamentals. The explanatory ...
Monetary policy and regional house-price appreciation
This paper examines the link between monetary policy and house-price appreciation by exploiting the fact that monetary policy is set at the national level, but has different effects on state-level activity in the United States. This differential impact of monetary policy provides an exogenous source of variation that can be used to assess the effect of monetary policy on state-level housing prices. Policy accommodation equivalent to 100 basis points on an equilibrium real federal funds rate basis raises housing prices by about 2.5 percent over the next two years. However, the estimated effect ...
Wage setting patterns and monetary policy: international evidence
Systematic differences in the timing of wage setting decisions among industrialized countries provide an ideal framework to study the importance of wage rigidity in the transmission of monetary policy. The Japanese Shunto presents the best-known case of bunching in wage setting decisions: From February to May, most firms set wages that remain in place until the following year; wage rigidity, thus, is relatively higher immediately after the Shunto. Similarly, in the United States, a large fraction of firms adjust wages in the last quarter of the calendar year. In contrast, wage agreements in ...
Do real-time Okun's law errors predict GDP data revisions?
Using U.S. real-time data, we show that changes in the unemployment rate unexplained by Okun's Law have significant predictive power for GDP data revisions. A positive (negative) error in Okun's Law in real time implies that GDP will be later revised to show less (more) growth than initially estimated by the statistical agency. The information in Okun's Law errors about the true state of real economic activity also helps to improve GDP forecasts in the near term. Our findings add a new dimension to the interpretation of real-time Okun's Law errors, as they show that these errors can convey ...
A response to Cogley and Sbordone's comment on “Closed-Form Estimates of the New Keynesian Phillips Curve with Time-Varying Trend Inflation”
In their 2010 comment (which we refer to as CS10), Cogley and Sbordone argue that: (1) our estimates are not entirely closed form, and hence are arbitrary; (2) we cannot guarantee that our estimates are valid, while their estimates (Cogley and Sbordone 2008, henceforth CS08) always are; and (3) the estimates in CS08, in terms of goodness of fit, are just as good as other, much different estimates in our paper. We show in this reply that the exact closed-form estimates are virtually the same as the "quasi" closed-form estimates. Our estimates are consistent with the implicit assumptions ...
Exchange rates and the prices of manufacturing products imported into the United States
Local-currency prices of foreign products do not usually respond one-for-one to changes in the exchange rate. The extent and pervasiveness of this incomplete "pass-through" of exchange rates to import prices has long been debated. Yet, despite the abundance of empirical research on the relationship between exchange rates and import prices, there is little systematic evidence on the time-series dimension of pass-through that encompasses the most recent years. ; In this article, the author provides some updated estimates of the responsiveness of U.S. import prices to changes in the exchange ...
Japan's approach to monetary policy
The goal of monetary policy as conducted by the Bank of Japan is to contribute to the sound development of the national economy through the pursuit of price stability. The objective of price stability, however, is not precisely defined as it has been for other central banks. Following the implementation of the new Bank of Japan Law in 1998, the monetary policy framework is characterized by central bank independence, the primacy of the price stability objective, instrument independence, and policy decisions made by a monetary policy committee with regular meetings and published minutes. At its ...
Empirical estimates of changing inflation dynamics
This paper provides an array of empirical evidence bearing on potentially important changes in the dynamics of U.S. inflation. We examine the overall performance of Phillips curves relative to some well-known benchmarks, the efficiency with which the Federal Reserve's Greenbook forecasts of inflation use real activity information, and shifts in the key determinants of the reduced-form "triangle model" of inflation. We develop a structural model-based interpretation of observed reduced-form shifts and conduct a reduced-form assessment of the relationship between core and headline measures of ...
Fiscal retrenchment and the level of economic activity
I analyze the effects of an expected future reduction in government spending on the current level of economic activity. In a closed-economy dynamic general equilibrium setup with nominal rigidities, it is shown that expected future cuts in government spending generate an increase in current GDP. Nominal rigidities are an essential feature for the emergence of such a result. With perfect flexible prices but in an otherwise identical setup, an expected future decline in government spending entails no increase in the current level of economic activity.