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Author:Vigfusson, Robert J. 

Working Paper
How does the border affect productivity? evidence from American and Canadian manufacturing industries

This paper studies how much of productivity fluctuations are industry specific versus how much are country specific. Using data on manufacturing industries in Canada and the United States, the paper shows that the correlation between cross-border pairings of the same industry are more often highly correlated than previously thought. In addition, the paper confirms earlier findings that the similarity of input use can help describe the co-movement of productivity fluctuations across industries.
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 788

Report
The hitchhiker’s guide to missing import price changes and pass-through

A large body of empirical work has found that exchange rate movements have only modest effects on inflation. However, the response of an import price index to exchange rate movements may be underestimated because some import price changes are missed when constructing the index. We investigate downward biases that arise when items experiencing a price change are especially likely to exit or to enter the index. We show that, in theoretical pricing models, entry and exit have different implications for the timing and size of these biases. Using Bureau of Labor Statistics microdata, we derive ...
Staff Reports , Paper 537

Working Paper
Learning in the Oil Futures Markets: Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications

Using expectations embodied in oil futures prices, we examine how expectations are formed and how they affect the macroeconomic transmission of shocks. We show that an empirical framework in which investors form expectations by learning about the persistence of oil-price movements successfully replicates the fluctuations in oil-price futures since the late 1990s. We then embed this learning mechanism in a model with oil usage and storage. Estimating the model, we document that an increase in the persistence of TFP-driven fluctuations in oil demand largely account for investors' perceptions ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-33

Working Paper
Trade integration, competition, and the decline in exchange-rate pass-through

Over the past twenty years, U.S. import prices have become less responsive to the exchange rate. We propose that a significant portion of this decline is a result of increased trade integration. To illustrate this effect, we develop an open economy DGE model in which trade occurs along both the intensive and extensive margins. The key element we introduce into this environment is strategic complementarity in price setting. As a result, a firm's pricing decision depends on the prices set by its competitors. This feature implies that a foreign exporter finds it optimal to vary its markup in ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 864

Working Paper
Exchange rate pass-through to U.S. import prices: some new evidence

This paper documents a sustained decline in exchange rate pass-through to U.S. import prices, from above 0.5 during the 1980s to somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.2 during the last decade. This decline in the pass-through coefficient is robust to the measure of foreign prices that is included in the regression (i.e., CPI versus PPI), whether the estimation is done in levels or differences, and whether U.S. prices are included as an explanatory variable. Notably, the largest estimates of pass-through are obtained when commodity prices are excluded from the regression. In this case, the ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 833

Working Paper
Do oil prices help forecast U.S. real GDP? the role of nonlinearities and asymmetries

There is a long tradition of using oil prices to forecast U.S. real GDP. It has been suggested that the predictive relationship between the price of oil and one-quarter ahead U.S. real GDP is nonlinear in that (1) oil price increases matter only to the extent that they exceed the maximum oil price in recent years and that (2) oil price decreases do not matter at all. We examine, first, whether the evidence of in-sample predictability in support of this view extends to out-of-sample forecasts. Second, we discuss how to extend this forecasting approach to higher horizons. Third, we compare the ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1050

Working Paper
The Role of Oil Price Shocks in Causing U.S. Recessions

Although oil price shocks have long been viewed as one of the leading candidates for explaining U.S. recessions, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which oil price shocks explain recessions. We provide a formal analysis of this question with special attention to the possible role of net oil price increases in amplifying the transmission of oil price shocks. We quantify the conditional recessionary effect of oil price shocks in the net oil price increase model for all episodes of net oil price increases since the mid-1970s. Compared to the linear model, the cumulative effect of ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1114

Working Paper
Oil, Equities, and the Zero Lower Bound

From late 2008 to 2017, oil and equity returns were more positively correlated than in other periods. In addition, we show that both oil and equity returns became more responsive to macroeconomic news. We provide empirical evidence and theoretical justification that these changes resulted from nominal interest rates being constrained by the zero lower bound (ZLB). Although the ZLB alters the economic environment in theory, supportive empirical evidence has been lacking. Our paper provides clear evidence of the ZLB altering the economic environment, with implications for the effectiveness of ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-058

Journal Article
Forecasting China's Role in World Oil Demand

Although China?s growth has slowed recently, the country?s demand for oil could be entering a period of faster growth that could result in substantially higher oil prices. Because Americans buy and sell oil and petroleum products in the global market, global demand prospects influence the profitability of U.S. oil producers and the costs paid by U.S. consumers. Analysis based on the global relationship between economic development and oil demand illustrates the prospects for Chinese oil demand growth and the resulting opportunities and challenges for U.S. producers and consumers.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Discussion Paper
The Relationship Between Oil Prices and Inflation Compensation

In this note, we provide new empirical evidence supporting this conjecture that changes in the outlook for global economic activity explain the co-movement between oil prices and inflation compensation. In particular, we present an empirical strategy to identify changes in oil prices that are a response to economic activity (demand-induced) and changes in oil prices that are responding to oil-specific developments (supply-induced). Our main finding is that demand-induced oil price declines can explain most of the move in inflation compensation. As a consequence, economists would do well to ...
IFDP Notes , Paper 2016-04-06

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