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Series:Current Policy Perspectives 

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Tight credit conditions continue to constrain the housing recovery

The expansion of Federal Housing Administration lending has let households with imperfect credit or the inability to make a large down payment maintain access to mortgage borrowing. Rather than excluding such households, lenders have been applying strict underwriting conditions on all borrowers. Clarifying what constitutes approved lending may help relax credit conditions with minimal increase in risk.
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 141

Report
The equilibrium real policy rate through the lens of standard growth models

The long-run equilibrium real policy rate is a key concept in monetary economics and an important input into monetary policy decision-making. It has gained particular prominence lately as the Federal Reserve continues to normalize monetary policy. In this study, we assess the evolution, current level, and prospective values of this equilibrium rate within the framework of standard growth models. Our analysis considers as a baseline the single-sector Solow model, but it places more emphasis on the multi-sector neoclassical growth model, which better fits the data over the past three decades. ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-6

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Have US Households Depleted All the Excess Savings They Accumulated during the Pandemic?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, US households accumulated a historically high volume of personal savings. As the crisis waned, personal savings started to decline. Economists disagree on whether households have drained their excess savings, and they disagree on which income group is more likely to have done so. The lack of consensus stems from different assumptions about today’s long-term saving rate, which is used as a benchmark to define excess savings. If households need to set aside a higher share of their income now relative to before the pandemic, then pandemic-era excess savings have ...
Current Policy Perspectives

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What Is Driving Inflation—Besides the Usual Culprits?

The prices of services associated with low-skill workers have been a key driver of “supercore” inflation, which excludes food, energy prices, and shelter prices. Low-skill-services inflation seems to be tied to faster wage growth in those industries coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wage growth in low-skill services has begun to decline, suggesting that there may be lower inflation in these industries going forward. At the same time, wage growth in high-skill services has recently accelerated, suggesting that there may be higher inflation in these industries in the near future.
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
Costs and benefits of building faster payment systems: the U.K. experience and implications for the United States

This paper studies the economic cost-benefit analysis behind the decision by the United Kingdom on how to implement its Faster Payments Service (FPS), which allows consumers and businesses to rapidly transfer money between bank accounts, and draws implications for the U.S. payments system.
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-5

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How do speed and security influence consumers' payment behavior?

The Federal Reserve Financial Services (FRFS) strategic plan for 2012-2016 named improvements in the end-to-end speed and security of the payment system as two of its policy initiatives. End-to-end in this context means that for the first time end-users are explicitly included. Earlier versions of the strategy plan were circulated for public comment, and the feedback received by FRFS specifically identified a need for further research. This brief draws upon new data from the 2013 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice and employs econometric modeling and simulation to complement FRFS-commissioned ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-1

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Consumption Spending during the COVID-19 Pandemic

We use a novel empirical approach to decompose the impact of different economic, demographic, and COVID-19–related factors (such as lockdowns, case counts, and vaccination rates) on consumption spending on a week-by-week basis during the pandemic. This allows us to study how demographic and economic groups were differentially affected by the pandemic while crucially controlling for other factors. Our results imply that Hispanic and college-educated populations showed particularly large and persistent declines in relative spending. We also compute the relative importance of factors in ...
Current Policy Perspectives

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Uptake of the Main Street Lending Program

The Main Street Lending Program (Main Street) was one of several new credit facilities launched by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve published draft terms for Main Street on April 9, 2020, and the program started purchasing loan participations on July 6, 2020, with the goal of supporting lending to a wide range of small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the program’s draft terms were first circulated, pandemic-related ...
Current Policy Perspectives

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Did the Medicaid Expansion Crowd Out Other Payment Sources for Medications for Opioid Use Disorder? Evidence from Rhode Island

Using information from the all-payer claims database for Rhode Island covering more than three-quarters of health insurance enrollees in the state from April 2011 through May 2019, this paper offers new measures of the association between the Medicaid expansion and the rate of receipt of buprenorphine and methadone for opioid use disorder (OUD). These robust measures adjust for the extent to which new Medicaid payments for these medications that started in 2014 crowded out payments from either non-Medicaid insurance or from non-insurance subsidies for the treatment of opioid abuse. We find ...
Current Policy Perspectives

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Student loan debt and economic outcomes

This policy brief examines the impact of student loan debt on individuals' homeownership status and wealth accumulation, employing a rich set of financial and demographic variables that are not available in many of the existing studies that use credit bureau data. It is important to understand whether and, if so, how student loan debt affects households' economic decisions because student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt to become the second largest amount of household debt outstanding after mortgage debt.
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-7

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Bräuning, Falk 12 items

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