The effect of tax changes on consumer spending
Many supporters of the tax cut enacted this summer viewed it as an important stimulus to consumer spending. But an analysis of the effects of earlier income tax cuts suggests that the consumer response to such initiatives is, in fact, quite variable. Two conclusions stand out: First, consumers will be more likely to boost spending if the change in tax liabilities is permanent. Second, consumers will wait to increase spending until a tax change affects their take-home pay.
Industry restructuring measures and productivity: evidence from the 1980s
This paper analyzes the empirical relationship between corporate restructuring and productivity. We estimate neoclassical production functions and factor demand functions to analyze the importance of restructuring in improving resource allocation and productivity. We find, at most, restructuring may have spurred the substitution of capital for labor in some industries, helping to set the stage for increased labor productivity. However, there is little evidence that restructurings, themselves, aided in the improvement of true technological progress.
Trends and developments in the economy of Puerto Rico
A two-year-long economic downturn and a persistent income gap with the U.S. mainland contribute to an uncertain outlook for Puerto Rico. Still, the commonwealth possesses a skilled and educated workforce, a favorable business climate, and the benefits of U.S. legal and financial structures - advantages that could encourage the development of new industries and create the potential for sustained growth.
The determinants of private saving
The predictive abilities of the New York Fed's Empire State Manufacturing Survey
Business surveys often give early signals of the direction and magnitude of economic activity. One release, the relatively new Empire State Manufacturing Survey, is demonstrating an ability to provide information ahead of U.S. production and employment trends. In fact, the predictive power of this survey appears to be at least equal to that of two established manufacturing surveys. This issue is part of the Second District Highlights series.
Housing activity, home values, and consumer spending
The current expansion has seen record-high levels of transactions in housing, extraordinary growth in the aggregate value of owner-occupied housing, and large increases in the amount of funds realized from the refinancing of mortgage debt. Many analysts thus have pointed to the strong housing market and rising home prices as a major pillar supporting recent economic growth and have expressed concern that a contraction in housing activity and values could pose a significant risk to consumer spending and real economic growth. This paper explores the channels by which the housing market may ...
Do alternative measures of GDP affect its interpretation?
Gross domestic product's high correlation with unemployment and inflation makes it a key measure of the U.S. economy. Yet the somewhat arbitrary nature of the GDP construction process complicates interpretation and measurement of the indicator. A study of an alternative measure of GDP designed to address the published series' limitations finds that the adjusted measure differs in its representation of the long-term trend--but not the short-term fluctuations--of GDP. The published series' relevance as an indicator is therefore robust to some of the arbitrariness of its construction.