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Author:Ramnath, Shanthi 

Newsletter
Financial life after the death of a spouse

The death of a spouse results in a considerable decline in average income for the surviving spouse. The Social Security survivors benefits program compensates the surviving spouse, most often a woman, for almost all of the lost income, allowing them to work less, but many widows who are not yet eligible for the program struggle to meet their financial needs.
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 438 , Pages 5

Newsletter
Financial Life After the Death of a Spouse

The death of a spouse results in a considerable decline in average income for the surviving spouse. The Social Security survivors benefits program compensates the surviving spouse, most often a woman, for almost all of the lost income, allowing them to work less, but many widows who are not yet eligible for the program struggle to meet their financial needs.
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 438

Working Paper
The properties of income risk in privately held businesses

Our paper represents the first attempt in the literature to estimate the properties of business income risk from privately held businesses in the US. Using a new, large, and confidential panel of US income tax returns for the period 1987-2009, we extensively document the empirical stylized facts about the evolution of various business income risk measures over time. We find that business income is much riskier than labor income, not only because of the probability of business exit, but also because of higher income fluctuations, conditional on no exit. We show that business income is less ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2012-69

Journal Article
The acceleration in U.S. total productivity after 1995: the role of information technology

Under standard conditions, total factor productivity (TFP) growth measures the pace of innovation or technological change in the economy. This article focuses on the period since the mid-1990s, when TFP accelerated. The authors find that most of the acceleration is accounted for by industries that use, rather than sectors that produce, information technology.
Economic Perspectives , Volume 28 , Issue Q I , Pages 52-67

Newsletter
Information technology and the U.S. productivity acceleration

Chicago Fed Letter , Issue Sep

Newsletter
Homeowners insurance and climate change

Over the past 25 years, the U.S. has experienced a sharp increase in climate-related disasters totaling billions of dollars in damages. For those whose homes are destroyed, the financial impact can be devastating. Fortunately, many have some of their losses covered by homeowners insurance. In 2017—a particularly costly year in terms of weather-related damages—insurers reported around $68 billion in losses from homeowners insurance claims. Still, with the number and intensity of climate-related disasters on the rise, it is important for us to understand the degree to which homes are ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 460 , Pages 6

Newsletter
How vulnerable are insurance companies to a downturn in the municipal bond market?

As the U.S. economy remains weakened by the Covid-19 pandemic, concern persists for the health and resilience of the municipal bond market. Municipal bonds (muni bonds) are debt securities issued by state and local governments to raise money and are generally considered to be safe investments. However, the recent slowdown in economic activity due to Covid-19 created significant stress on state and local government budgets, leading to a heightened risk for municipal bond downgrades and possibly even defaults. In this Chicago Fed Letter, we examine to what extent property and casualty (P&C) and ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 451 , Pages 7

Newsletter
What is Business Interruption Insurance and How is it Related to the Covid-19 Pandemic?

After nonessential businesses shut down their operations to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus in March 2020, many business owners looked to their property insurance policies for relief. Such policies often include business interruption (BI) insurance, which covers income losses if a business is forced to close. Given the shelter-in-place orders issued by state and local governments, BI coverage was assumed by many to apply. For example, Greg Wells, the chief executive of Atlantic Coast Athletic Clubs (ACAC), told the Washington Post: “That’s what you have this type of insurance for. ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 440 , Pages 5

Newsletter
What is business interruption insurance and how it is related to the Covid-19 pandemic?

After nonessential businesses shut down their operations to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus in March 2020, many business owners looked to their property insurance policies for relief. Such policies often include business interruption (BI) insurance, which covers income losses if a business is forced to close. Given the shelter-in-place orders issued by state and local governments, BI coverage was assumed by many to apply. For example, Greg Wells, the chief executive of Atlantic Coast Athletic Clubs (ACAC), told the Washington Post: “That’s what you have this type of insurance for. ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 440 , Pages 5

Working Paper
Taxes and International Risk Sharing

We examine the extent to which differences in international tax rates may account for the small correlations of per capita consumption fluctuations across countries. Theory implies a close relationship between relative consumption growth, and consumption and capital income tax rate differentials. We find strong empirical evidence for this relationship. Idiosyncratic output fluctuations account for the majority of cross country consumption growth variability, but trends in tax differentials are informative about the dynamic evolution of international risk sharing. In particular, adjusting for ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1110

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