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Author:Wang, J. Christina 

Conference Paper
Financial innovations, idiosyncratic risk, and the joint evolution of real and financial volatilities

This paper presents a model in which financial innovations explain three widely discussed stylized facts regarding trends in economic volatility over the past two decades. Aggregate volatility of real variables such as output has fallen. In particular, the covariance between firm and industry activities has declined, and so has employment volatility for the majority of firms. In contrast, the volatility of quantities of financial variables has increased at both the firm and aggregate level. The model links these outcomes to a single hypothesized cause: advances in financial technology brought ...
Proceedings , Issue Nov

Report
Why has the cyclicality of productivity changed?: what does it mean?

Historically, U.S. labor productivity (output per hour) and total factor productivity (TFP) rose in booms and fell in recessions. Different models of business cycles explain this procyclicality differently. Traditional Keynesian models relied on "factor hoarding," that is, variations in how intensively labor and capital were utilized over the business cycle. Real business cycle (RBC) models instead posit that procyclical technology shocks drive the business cycle. Since the mid-1980s, however, the procyclicality of productivity has waned. TFP has been roughly acyclical with respect to ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-6

Working Paper
Real output of bank services: what counts is what banks do, not what they own

The measurement of bank output, a difficult and contentious issue, has become even more important in the aftermath of the devastating financial crisis of recent years. In this paper, we argue that models of banks as processors of information and transactions imply a quantity measure of bank service output based on transaction counts instead of balances of loans and deposits. Compiling new and comparable output measures for the United States and a range of European countries, we show that our counts-based output series exhibit significantly different growth patterns from those of our ...
Working Papers , Paper 11-1

Discussion Paper
TIPS scorecard: are TIPS accomplishing what they were supposed to accomplish?: can they be improved?

In September 1997, the U.S. Treasury developed the TIPS market in order to achieve three important policy objectives: (1) to provide consumers with a class of assets that allows for hedging against real interest rate risk, (2) to provide holders of nominal contracts a means of hedging against inflation risk, and (3) to provide everyone with a reliable indicator of the term structure of expected inflation. This paper evaluates progress toward the achievement of these objectives and analyzes prospective ways to better meet these objectives in the future, by, for example, extending the maturity ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 09-8

Discussion Paper
Risk bearing, implicit financial services, and specialization in the financial industry

What is the output of financial institutions? And how can we measure their nominal and, more importantly, real value, especially since many financial services are provided without explicit charges? This paper summarizes the theoretical result that, to correctly impute the nominal value of implicit financial service output, the ?user cost of money? framework needs to be extended to take account of the systematic risk in financial instruments. This extension is easy to implement in principle: One can continue using the current imputation procedure, and the only change needed is to adjust the ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 06-3

Working Paper
How Magic a Bullet Is Machine Learning for Credit Analysis? An Exploration with FinTech Lending Data

FinTech online lending to consumers has grown rapidly in the post-crisis era. As argued by its advocates, one key advantage of FinTech lending is that lenders can predict loan outcomes more accurately by employing complex analytical tools, such as machine learning (ML) methods. This study applies ML methods, in particular random forests and stochastic gradient boosting, to loan-level data from the largest FinTech lender of personal loans to assess the extent to which those methods can produce more accurate out-of-sample predictions of default on future loans relative to standard regression ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-16

Report
Corporate Debt Maturity and Monetary Policy

Do firms lengthen the maturity of their borrowing following a flattening of the Treasury yield curve that results from monetary policy operations? We explore this question separately for the years before and during the zero lower bound (ZLB) period, recognizing that the same change in the yield curve slope signifies different states of the economy and monetary policy over the two regimes. We find that the answer is robustly yes for the pre-ZLB period: Firms extended the maturity of their bond issuance by nearly three years in response to a policy-induced reduction of 1 percentage point in the ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Briefing
The impact of policy uncertainty on U. S. employment: industry evidence

The anemic pace of the recovery of the U. S. economy from the Great Recession has frequently been blamed on heightened uncertainty, much of which concerns the nation?s fiscal policy. Intuition suggests that increased policy uncertainty likely has different impacts on different industries, to the extent that industries differ in their exposure to government policies. This study utilizes industry data to explore whether policy uncertainty indeed affects the dynamics of employment, and particularly its impact on industry employment, during this recovery. This analysis focuses on heterogeneity ...
Public Policy Brief

Working Paper
The cost of fiscal policy uncertainty: industry evidence of its impact on the labor market

The anemic pace of the recovery of the U.S. economy from the Great Recession has frequently been blamed on heightened uncertainty, much of which concerns the nation's fiscal policy. Intuition suggests that increased policy uncertainty likely has different impacts on industries with different exposure to government actions. Such heterogeneity can help identify the effect of shocks due to policy uncertainty. This study uses industry data to explore whether policy uncertainty indeed affects the dynamics of employment during this recovery, and particularly whether it has a differential impact on ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-22

Report
A Helping Hand to Main Street Where and When It Was Needed

This paper investigates the lending activity of the Main Street Lending Program, which the Federal Reserve established at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. Main Street was the largest (by total principal outstanding) of the Federal Reserve's emergency credit and liquidity facilities. The authors find fairly robust evidence that Main Street accomplished its key goal of directing more funds where and when they were most needed. Businesses located in states with more severe declines in commercial activity (as proxied by mobility indicators) and higher infection rates obtained a ...
Current Policy Perspectives

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