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Time-varying oil price volatility and macroeconomic aggregates
We illustrate the theoretical relation among output, consumption, investment, and oil price volatility in a real business-cycle model. The model incorporates demand for oil by a firm, as an intermediate input, and by a household, used in conjunction with a durable good. We estimate a stochastic volatility process for the real price of oil over the period 1986?2011 and utilize the estimated process in a nonlinear approximation of the model. For realistic calibrations, an increase in oil price volatility produces a temporary decrease in durable spending, while precautionary savings motives lead ...
Understanding State and Local Government Spending over the Business Cycle
State and local (S&L) government spending is essential for providing public services and infrastructure and accounts for more than 10 percent of GDP. How this sector responds during a recession can play an important role in shaping the overall economic recovery.Huixin Bi, Chaitri Gulati, and Nora Traum document how S&L government expenditures have evolved over the business cycle since the 1950s. They find that from 1950 to the mid-1980s, S&L spending followed no uniform pattern after recessions: spending was sometimes procyclical (declining during recessions) and sometimes countercyclical ...
Sovereign Risk and Fiscal Information: A Look at the U.S. State Default of the 1840s
This paper examines how newspaper reporting affects government bond prices during the U.S. state default of the 1840s. Using unsupervised machine learning algorithms, the paper first constructs novel ``fiscal information indices'' for state governments based on U.S. newspapers at the time. The impact of the indices on government bond prices varied over time. Before the crisis, the entry of new western states into the bond market spurred competition: more state-specific fiscal news imposed downward pressure on bond prices for established states in the market. During the crisis, more ...
Unconventional Monetary Policy and Local Fiscal Policy
Following the onset of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve employed an unconventional monetary policy that directly intervened in municipal bond markets. We characterize the fiscal and macroeconomic implications of such central bank actions in a New Keynesian model of a monetary union. We assume that state and local governments are subject to a loan-in-advance constraint, reflecting that with lumpy cash flows, they often finance a fraction of expenditures by issuing short-term bonds. The municipal debt is held by financial intermediaries, who alsosupply credit to the private sector. Direct ...