Evidence on the Link between Firm-Level and Aggregate Inventory Behavior
This paper describes the finished goods inventory behavior of more than 700 U.S. manufacturing firms between 1985-93 using a new Census Bureau longitudinal data base. Three key results emerge. First, there is a broad mix of production-smoothing and production-bunching firms, with about two-fifths smoothing production. Second, firm-level inventory adjustment speeds are about an order of magnitude larger than aggregate adjustment speeds due to econometric aggregation bias. Finally, accounting for time variation in the inventory adjustment speed due to fluctuations in firm size improves the fit ...
Monetary policy, housing investment, and heterogeneous regional markets
This paper quantifies the importance of heterogeneity in regional housing markets for the conduct of monetary policy using a new model called an aggregation VAR (AVAR). The model integrates a national financial market with regional housing markets, imposing all exact aggregation conditions. Monetary policy is transmitted to the real economy through the mortgage rate. The AVAR model is based on linear VARs, but its aggregate impulse responses exhibit two nonlinearities: (1) time variation stemming from aggregation over heterogeneous regions, and (2) state dependence on initial economic ...
Gross job flows and firms
This paper extends the work of Dunne, Roberts, and Samuelson  and Davis, Haltiwanger, and Schuh  on gross job flows among manufacturing plants. Gross job creation, destruction, and reallocation have been shown to be important in understanding the birth, growth, and death of plants, and the relation of plant life cycles to the business cycle. However, little is known about job flows between firms or how job flows among plants occur within firms (corporate restructuring). We use information on company organization from the Longitudinal Research Database (LRD) to investigate the ...
Explaining adoption and use of payment instruments by U. S. consumers
The way that consumers make payments is changing rapidly and attracts important current policy interest. This paper develops and estimates a structural model of adoption and use of payment instruments by U.S. consumers. We use a cross-section of data from the Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, a new survey of consumer behavior. We evaluate substitution and income effects. Our simulations shed light on the consumer response to the 2011 regulation of interchange fees on debit cards imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the proposed settlement between Visa and MasterCard and the Department ...
Interest sensitivity and volatility reductions: cross-section evidence
As has been widely observed, the volatility of GDP has declined since the mid-1980s compared with prior years. One leading explanation for this decline is that monetary policy improved significantly in the later period. We utilize a cross-section of 2-digit manufacturing and trade industries to further investigate this explanation. Since a major channel through which monetary policy operates is variation in the federal funds rate, we hypothesized that industries that are more interest sensitive should have experienced larger declines in the variance of their outputs in the post-1983 period. ...
The 2012 diary of consumer payment choice
This paper describes the results, content, and methodology of the 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC), the first edition of a survey that measures payment behavior through the daily recording of U.S. consumers? spending by type of payment instrument. A diary makes it possible to collect detailed information on individual payments, including dollar amount, device (if any) used to make the payment (computer, mobile phone, etc.), and payee type (business, person, government). This edition of the DCPC included about 2,500 participants and was conducted in October 2012. During that month, ...
Who gains and who loses from credit card payments?: theory and calibrations
Merchant fees and reward programs generate an implicit monetary transfer to credit card users from non-card (or ?cash?) users because merchants generally do not set differential prices for card users to recoup the costs of fees and rewards. On average, each cash-using household pays $151 to card-using households and each card-using household receives $1,482 from cash users every year. Because credit card spending and rewards are positively correlated with household income, the payment instrument transfer also induces a regressive transfer from low-income to high-income households in general. ...
Why are (some) consumers (finally) writing fewer checks?: the role of payment characteristics
Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. payment system has been undergoing a transformation featuring a significant decline in the use of paper checks that has been quite uneven across consumers and not well understood. This paper estimates econometric models of consumers? adoption (extensive margin) and use (intensive margin) of checks plus six other common U.S. payment instruments, using a comprehensive new data source on consumer payment choice. We find that payment characteristics are the most important determinants of payment instrument use. Plausible changes in the relative convenience and cost ...
Consumer revolving credit and debt over the life cycle and business cycle
Despite the centrality of credit and debt in the financial lives of Americans, little is known about how U.S. consumers' access and utilization of credit changes in the short and long term, and how these changes are related to changes in U.S. consumers' debt. This paper uses data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), which contains a 5 percent sample of every credit account in the United States from 1999 to 2014 from the credit reporting agency Equifax. It examines how changing credit availability, debt, and utilization over the business cycle and the life ...
Job reallocation and the business cycle: new facts for an old debate