Evaluating international economic policy with the Federal Reserve's global model
FRB/Global is a large-scale macroeconomic model developed and maintained by the Board's staff. This article provides a historical perspective on the development of the model, gives an overview of its structure, and highlights its dynamic properties with three simulation experiments: a reduction in U.S. government purchases; a depreciation of the U.S. dollar; and an increase in the price of oil exported by OPEC. The article illustrates other uses of FRB/Global by examining the spillover effects of fiscal and monetary policy under alternative European monetary policy regimes.
Border prices and retail prices
We analyze retail prices and at-the-dock (import) prices of specific items in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) CPI and IPP databases, using both databases simultaneously to identify items that are identical in description at the dock and when sold at retail. This identification allows us to measure the distribution wedge associated with bringing traded goods from the point of entry into the United States to their retail outlet. We find that overall U.S. distribution wedges are 50-70%, around 10 to 20 percentage points higher than that reported in the literature. We discuss the ...
How Well Does Economic Uncertainty Forecast Economic Activity?
Despite the enormous reach and influence of the literature on economic and economic policy uncertainty, one surprisingly under-researched topic has been the forecasting performance of economic uncertainty measures. We evaluate the ability of seven popular measures of uncertainty to forecast in-sample and out-of-sample over real and financial outcome variables. We also evaluate predictive content over different quantiles of the GDP growth distribution. Real-time data and estimation considerations are highly consequential, and we devote considerable attention to them. Four main findings ...
Measuring Monetary Policy Uncertainty: The Federal Reserve, January 1985-January 2016
In this note we focus on the U.S. over the period January 1985 to January 2016, but have also constructed measures over a longer time period and for other central banks/economies.
Identifying the effects of monetary policy shocks on exchange rates using high frequency data
This paper proposes a new approach to identifying the effects of monetary policy shocks in an international vector autoregression. Using high-frequency data on the prices of Fed Funds futures contracts, we measure the impact of the surprise component of the FOMC-day Federal Reserve policy decision on financial variables, such as the exchange rate and the foreign interest rate. We show how this information can be used to achieve identification without having to make the usual strong assumption of a recursive ordering.
Exchange rate pass-through to U.S. import prices: some new evidence
This paper documents a sustained decline in exchange rate pass-through to U.S. import prices, from above 0.5 during the 1980s to somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.2 during the last decade. This decline in the pass-through coefficient is robust to the measure of foreign prices that is included in the regression (i.e., CPI versus PPI), whether the estimation is done in levels or differences, and whether U.S. prices are included as an explanatory variable. Notably, the largest estimates of pass-through are obtained when commodity prices are excluded from the regression. In this case, the ...
Monetary Policy Uncertainty
We construct new measures of uncertainty about Federal Reserve policy actions and their consequences - monetary policy uncertainty (MPU) indexes. We show that, under a variety of VAR identification schemes, positive shocks to uncertainty about monetary policy robustly raise credit spreads and reduce output. The effects are of comparable magnitude to those of conventional monetary policy shocks. We evaluate the usefulness of our MPU indexes, and examine the influence of Fed communication. Our analysis suggests that policy rate normalization that is accompanied by reduced uncertainty can help ...
Monetary policy's role in exchange rate behavior
While much empirical work has addressed the role of monetary policy shocks in exchange rate behavior, conclusions have been clouded by the lack of plausible identifying assumptions. We apply a recently developed inference procedure allowing us to relax dubious identifying assumptions. This work overturns some earlier results and strengthens others: i) Contrary to earlier findings of "delayed overshooting," the peak exchange rate effect of policy shocks may come nearly immediately after the shock; ii) In every otherwise reasonable identification, monetary policy shocks lead to large ...
How wide is the border?
Failures of the law of one price explain much of the variation in real C.P.I. exchange rates. We use C.P.I. data for U.S. cities and Canadian cities for 14 categories of consumer prices to examine the nature of the deviations from the law of one price. The distance between cities explains a significant amount of the variation in the prices of similar goods in different cities. But, the variation of the price is much higher for two cities located in different countries than for two equidistant cities in the same country. By our most conservative measure, crossing the border adds as much to the ...
Capital controls and the international transmission of U.S. money shocks
In this paper we assess whether capital controls effectively insulate countries from U.S. monetary shocks, looking simultaneously at a large range of country experiences in a unified estimation framework. We estimate the effect of identified U.S. monetary shocks on the exchange rate and foreign country interest rates, and test whether countries with less open capital accounts exhibit systematically smaller responses. We find essentially no evidence in favor of this notion. Other country factors such as the exchange rate regime or degree of dollarization explain more of the cross-country ...