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Author:Tang, Jenny 

Working Paper
The dollar during the global recession: US monetary policy and the exorbitant duty
We document that during the Global Recession, US monetary policy easings triggered the ?exorbitant duty? of the United States, the issuer of the world?s dominant currency, by causing a dollar appreciation and a transfer of wealth from the United States to the rest of the world. This dollar appreciation runs counter to the predictions of standard macroeconomic models and works through two channels: (i) a flight-to-safety effect which lowered the expected excess returns of holding safe US government debt relative to foreign debt and (ii) lowered expected future inflation in the United States relative to other countries. We show that the signaling channel of monetary policy, whereby US policy easings are perceived to signal weaker future growth, can reconcile the novel empirical findings that we document.
AUTHORS: Tang, Jenny; Stavrakeva, Vania
DATE: 2018-10-01

Working Paper
Tariff passthrough at the border and at the store: evidence from US trade policy
We use micro data collected at the border and at retailers to characterize the effects brought by recent changes in US trade policy ? particularly the tariffs placed on imports from China ? on importers, consumers, and exporters. We start by documenting that the tariffs were almost fully passed through to the total prices paid by importers, suggesting that the tariffs? incidence has fallen largely on the United States. Since we estimate the response of prices to exchange rates to be far more muted, the recent depreciation of the Chinese renminbi is unlikely to alter this conclusion. Next, using product-level data from several large multinational retailers, we demonstrate that the impact of the tariffs on retail prices is more mixed. Some affected product categories have seen sharp price increases, but the difference between affected and unaffected products is generally quite modest, suggesting that retail margins have fallen. These retailers? imports increased after the initial announcement of possible tariffs, but before their full implementation, so the intermediate passthrough of tariffs to their prices may not persist. Finally, in contrast to the case of foreign exporters facing US tariffs, we show that US exporters lowered their prices on goods subjected to foreign retaliatory tariffs compared to exports of non-targeted goods.
AUTHORS: Neiman, Brent; Tang, Jenny; Cavallo, Alberto; Gopinath, Gita
DATE: 2019-11-01

Working Paper
Exchange rates and monetary policy
In this paper we confront the data with the financial-market folk wisdom that monetary policy is one of the key drivers of nominal exchange rates. Focusing on measures of conventional and unconventional monetary policy, we find that monetary policy surprises and changes in expectations about future monetary policy can explain a sizable fraction of the variation in exchange rate changes for certain currency pairs. However, our results show that expected excess returns account for most of this variation. We also find that the importance unconventional monetary policy plays for explaining exchange rate changes is larger in the period since the United States hit the zero lower bound in December 2008. In contrast, the importance of conventional monetary policy is lower during this period due to a decrease in the volatility of monetary policy surprises. Meanwhile, the marginal response of exchange rate changes relative to conventional policy surprises actually has strengthened due to a change in the relationship between these surprises and expected excess returns.
AUTHORS: Stavrakeva, Vania; Tang, Jenny
DATE: 2015-10-29

Working Paper
FOMC communication and interest rate sensitivity to news
In this paper, I examine whether communications by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) play a role in determining the types of macroeconomic news that financial markets pay attention to. To do so, I construct novel measures of the intensity with which FOMC statements and meeting minutes discussed labor relative to other topics. I find that these labor topic intensity measures are related to the amount by which interest rates? response to labor-related news exceeds their response to all other news. This relationship is especially strong for interest rates of longer maturities and is also present for short-term interest rate expectations over various horizons.
AUTHORS: Tang, Jenny
DATE: 2017-10-01

Working Paper
Uncertainty and the signaling channel of monetary policy
A growing body of evidence supports the view that monetary policy actions communicate information about the state of the economy to an imperfectly informed public. Therefore, it is important for policymakers to understand the implications of this signaling channel for optimal policy as well as for the value of central bank communication. This paper studies, both theoretically and empirically, a setting where such a monetary policy signaling channel arises because the policymaker has more information about economic fundamentals than private agents have. In this environment, policy actions taken in response to fundamentals provide a signal to rational private agents about those fundamentals.
AUTHORS: Tang, Jenny
DATE: 2013-10-13

Working Paper
News-driven uncertainty fluctuations
We embed a news shock, a noisy indicator of the future state, in a two-state Markov-switching growth model. Our framework, combined with parameter learning, features rich history-dependent uncertainty dynamics. We show that bad news that arrives during a prolonged economic boom can trigger a ?Minsky moment??a sudden collapse in asset values. The effect is greatly amplified when agents have a preference for early resolution of uncertainty. We leverage survey recession probability forecasts to solve a sequential learning problem and estimate the full posterior distribution of model primitives. We identify historical periods in which uncertainty and risk premia were elevated because of news shocks.
AUTHORS: Song, Dongho; Tang, Jenny
DATE: 2018-01-01

Working Paper
Inflation Thresholds and Inattention
Inflation expectations are key to economic activity, and in the current economic climate of a heated labor market, they are central to the policy debate. At the same time, a growing literature on inattention suggests that individuals, and therefore individual behavior, may not be sensitive to changes in inflation when it is low. This paper explores evidence of such inattention by constructing three different measures based on the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers 1-year ahead inflation expectations. Exploring inflation thresholds of 2, 3, and 4 percent, our findings are consistent with the inattention hypothesis.
AUTHORS: Bracha, Anat; Tang, Jenny
DATE: 2019-09-01

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