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Series:Economic Commentary 

Journal Article
Labor Market Tightness across the United States since the Great Recession

Though labor market statistics are often reported and discussed at the national level, conditions can vary quite a bit across individual states. We explore differences in these conditions before and after the Great Recession using a ratio of the number of unemployed workers to job vacancies. We show that the intensity of the adverse effects of the recession and the strength of the recovery varied geographically at all points in the process. We also demonstrate that wage growth is delayed until the ratio of unemployed workers to job vacancies returns to prerecession levels.
Economic Commentary , Volume 2018 , Issue 01 , Pages 6

Journal Article
Using Economic Experiments to Improve Contingent Convertible Capital Bonds

This Commentary describes experiments conducted to study alternative designs for a new type of financial security, CoCo bonds, that is being used in some European countries to manage the risk of financial crises. CoCo bonds are bank-issued debt that converts to equity when a trigger is breached. The conversion into equity serves to recapitalize a bank during financial distress, precisely when it is hardest to raise capital. The types of trigger used for all CoCos issued thus far are defined in terms of book capital. The experiments we conducted explore the effects of using triggers that are ...
Economic Commentary , Volume 2018 , Issue 02 , Pages 6

Journal Article
A new approach to gauging inflation expectations

This Economic Commentary explains a relatively new method of uncovering inflation expectations, real interest rates, and an inflation-risk premium. It provides estimates of expected inflation from one month to 30 years, an estimate of the inflation-risk premium, and a measure of real interest rates, particularly a short (one-month) rate, which is not readily available from the TIPS market. Calculations using the method suggest that longer-term inflation expectations remain near historic lows. Furthermore, the inflation-risk premium is also low, which in the model means that inflation is not ...
Economic Commentary , Issue Aug , Pages 4

Journal Article
Are the New Basel III Capital Buffers Countercyclical? Exploring the Option of a Rule-Based Countercyclical Buffer

Countercyclical capital regulation can reduce the procyclicality of the banking system and dampen aggregate economic fluctuations. I describe two new capital buffers introduced in Basel III and discuss why their countercyclical effects may be small. If over time regulators want to increase the degree of countercyclicality of capital regulation, they might consider adopting a rule-based countercyclical buffer, that is, a buffer that is automatically lowered during recessions according to a rule. I present a conservative example of such a rule and its effects on capital requirements over the ...
Economic Commentary , Volume 2018 , Issue 03 , Pages 6

Journal Article
College Endowments

This Economic Commentary documents the large dispersion in the value of college endowments across institutions and also shows how endowment values have changed over time. It also provides information on the number of institutions that may be affected by the new federal "endowment tax" and how that number may fluctuate over time.
Economic Commentary , Volume 2018 , Issue 04 , Pages 6

Journal Article
Can Yield Curve Inversions Be Predicted?

An inverted Treasury yield curve?a yield curve where short-term Treasury interest rates are higher than long-term Treasury interest rates?is a good predictor of recessions. Because of this, economists and policymakers often assess the risk of a yield curve inversion when the yield curve is flattening. I study the forecastability of yield curve inversions. Professional forecasters did not predict the beginning of the yield curve inversions prior to the 1990?1991, 2001, and 2008?2009 recessions. In all three cases, professional forecasters failed to predict the magnitude of the rise in ...
Economic Commentary , Volume 2018 , Issue 06 , Pages 6

Journal Article
The foreign savings glut: inordinate savers or thriving traders?

In the years prior to our recent economic crisis, foreign savings poured into the United States. Did foreign traders who happened to acquire dollars from American trade deficits merely choose to keep these funds in dollar-denominated assets? Or, did foreigners decide to increase their savings inordinately and place those funds in dollar-denominated assets? The answer is key to the debate about the sources of liquidity that paved the way to our recent economic problems.
Economic Commentary , Volume 2010 , Issue 03 , Pages 4

Journal Article
How much U.S. technological innovation begins in universities?

Technological progress has been the key to improved living standards, but how and where do new ideas get their start? The answer might give us some insight into how we can support greater innovation. Some suggest universities have been an important source of innovative technology. A look at the people involved in the development of patented technologies can give an idea of how much innovation originates in universities.
Economic Commentary , Volume 2007 , Issue Apr 15 , Pages 4

Journal Article
Are some prices in the CPI more forward looking than others? We think so

Some of the items that make up the Consumer Price Index change prices frequently, while others are slow to change. We explore whether these two sets of prices - sticky and flexible - provide insight on different aspects of the inflation process. We find that sticky prices appear to incorporate expectations about future inflation to a greater degree than prices that change on a frequent basis, while flexible prices respond more powerfully to economic conditions?economic slack. Importantly, our sticky-price measure seems to contain a component of inflation expectations, and that component may ...
Economic Commentary , Volume 2010 , Issue 02 , Pages 6

Journal Article
Gaps versus growth rates in the Taylor Rule

There are many possible formulations of the Taylor rule. We consider two that use different measures of economic activity to which the Fed could react, the output gap and the growth rate of GDP, and investigate which captures past movements of the fed funds rate more closely. Looking at these rules through the lens of a partial-adjustment Taylor rule, we conclude that the gap rule does a better job of explaining the actual funds rate data, and provides a better rule-of-thumb for understanding historical monetary policy.
Economic Commentary , Volume 2012 , Issue 17 , Pages 4

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Humpage, Owen F. 48 items

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