How Do the Fed's MBS Purchases Affect Credit Allocation?
It is sometimes said that the Federal Reserve should not engage in “credit allocation.” But what does credit allocation actually mean? And how do current Fed policies affect the allocation of credit? In this post, we describe two separate ideas often associated with credit allocation. The first idea is that the Fed should not take credit risk, which taxpayers would ultimately have to bear. The second idea is that the Fed’s actions should not influence the flow of credit to particular sectors. We consider whether the Fed’s holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) could ...
How Do the Fed's MBS Holdings Affect the Economy?
In our previous post, we discussed the meaning of the term “credit allocation” and how it relates to the Federal Reserve’s holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). We concluded that the Fed’s MBS holdings do not pose significant credit risk but that the Fed does influence the relative market price of credit when it purchases agency MBS, and this indirectly influences decisions by investors. Today, we take the next step and discuss how the Fed’s MBS purchases affect the U.S. economy and, in particular, how the effect of MBS purchases can differ from the effect of ...
Monetary Policy Implementation with an Ample Supply of Reserves
Methods of monetary policy implementation continue to change. The level of reserve supply—scarce, abundant, or somewhere in between—has implications for the efficiency and effectiveness of an implementation regime. The money market events of September 2019 highlight the need for an analytical framework to better understand implementation regimes. We discuss major issues relevant to the choice of an implementation regime, using a parsimonious framework and drawing from the experience in the United States since the 2007-09 financial crisis. We find that the optimal level of reserve supply ...
Negative equity does not reduce homeowners’ mobility
Many researchers, policymakers, and pundits have argued that the housing crisis may harm labor markets because homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth are less likely to move to places that have productive job opportunities. I show that, in the available data, negative equity does not make homeowners less mobile. In fact, homeowners who have negative equity are slightly more likely to move than homeowners who have positive equity. Ferreira, Gyourko, and Tracy?s (2010) contrasting result that negative equity reduces mobility arises because they systematically drop some ...
Interstate migration has fallen less than you think: consequences of hot deck imputation in the Current Population Survey
We show that much of the recent reported decrease in interstate migration is a statistical artifact. Before 2006, the Census Bureau?s imputation procedure for dealing with missing data in the Current Population Survey inflated the estimated interstate migration rate. An undocumented change in the procedure corrected the problem starting in 2006, thus reducing the estimated migration rate. The change in imputation procedures explains 90 percent of the reported decrease in interstate migration between 2005 and 2006, and 42 percent of the decrease between 2000 (the recent high-water mark) and ...
Migration, Congestion Externalities, and the Evaluation of Spatial Investments
The direct benefits of infrastructure in developing countries can be large, but if new infrastructure induces in-migration, congestion of other local publicly provided goods may offset the direct benefits. Using the example of rural household electrification in South Africa, we demonstrate the importance of accounting for migration when evaluating welfare gains of spatial programs. We also provide a practical approach to computing welfare gains that does not rely on land prices. We develop a location choice model that incorporates missing land markets and allows for congestion in local land. ...
Heterogeneity and tests of risk sharing
How well do people share risk? Standard risk-sharing regressions assume that any variation in households? risk preferences is uncorrelated with variation in the cyclicality of income. I combine administrative and survey data to show that this assumption is questionable: Risk-tolerant workers hold jobs where earnings carry more aggregate risk. The correlation makes risk-sharing regressions in the previous literature too pessimistic. I derive techniques that eliminate the bias, apply them to U.S. data, and find that the effect of idiosyncratic income shocks on consumption is practically small ...
Do newspapers matter? Short-run and long-run evidence from the closure of The Cincinnati Post
The Cincinnati Post published its last edition on New Year?s Eve 2007, leaving the Cincinnati Enquirer as the only daily newspaper in the market. The next year, fewer candidates ran for municipal office in the Kentucky suburbs most reliant on the Post, incumbents became more likely to win re-election, and voter turnout and campaign spending fell. These changes happened even though the Enquirer at least temporarily increased its coverage of the Post?s former strongholds. Voter turnout remained depressed through 2010, nearly three years after the Post closed, but the other effects diminished ...
Modeling the evolution of age and cohort effects in social research
This paper proposes a new way of modeling age, period, and cohort effects that improves substantively and methodologically on the conventional linear model. The linear model suffers from a well-known identification problem: If we assume an outcome of interest depends on the sum of an age effect, a period effect, and a cohort effect, then it is impossible to distinguish these three separate effects because, for any individual, birth year = current year ? age. Less well appreciated is that the model also suffers from a conceptual problem: It assumes that the influence of age is the same in all ...
A sharp drop in interstate migration? not really