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Series:Finance and Economics Discussion Series 

Working Paper
Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest : International Trends and Determinants

U.S. estimates of the natural rate of interest ? the real short-term interest rate that would prevail absent transitory disturbances ? have declined dramatically since the start of the global financial crisis. For example, estimates using the Laubach-Williams (2003) model indicate the natural rate in the United States fell to close to zero during the crisis and has remained there through the end of 2015. Explanations for this decline include shifts in demographics, a slowdown in trend productivity growth, and global factors affecting real interest rates. This paper applies the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-073

Working Paper
Plant shutdowns, compositional effects, and procyclical labor productivity: the stylized facts for auto assembly plants

Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 94-13

Working Paper
Exchange rates, optimal debt composition, and hedging in small open economies

This paper develops a model of the firm's choice between debt denominated in local currency and that denominated in foreign currency in a small open economy characterized by exchange rate risk and hedging possibilities. The model shows that the currency composition of debt and the level of hedging are endogenously determined as optimal firms' responses to a tradeoff between the lower cost of borrowing in foreign debt and the higher risk of such borrowing due to exchange rate uncertainty. Both the composition of debt and the level of hedging depend on common factors such as foreign exchange ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2008-18

Working Paper
Determinants of savings and loan failure rates: estimates of a time- varying proportional hazard function

Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 207

Working Paper
Making the Cobb-Douglas functional form an efficient nonparametric estimator through localization

Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 94-31

Working Paper
Identifying monetary policy with a model of the federal funds rate

With a stochastic general equilibrium model, we highlight the role of both monetary policy and banks in determining the relationship between the federal funds rate and bank reserves. Monetary policy consists of a stochastic upward-sloping supply schedule for reserves, along with a discount window and open-market operations that are consistent with this schedule. The demand schedule for reserves by banks is downward sloping in the federal runds rate, so shifts in the supply schedule lead to a negative relationship between total reserves and the federal funds rate (a liquidity effect). Shifts ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 93-24

Working Paper
GSEs, mortgage rates, and the long-run effects of mortgage securitization

Our paper compares mortgage securitization undertaken by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) with that undertaken by private markets, with an emphasis on how each type of mortgage securitization affects mortgage rates. We build a model illustrating that market structure, government sponsorship, and the characteristics of the mortgages securitized are all important determinants of mortgage rates. We find that GSEs generally--but not always--lower mortgage rates, particularly when the GSEs behave competitively, because the GSEs' implicit government backing allows them to sell securities ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2001-26

Working Paper
Restraining the Leviathan: property tax limitations in Massachusetts

We examine the effects of Proposition 2-1/2--a property tax limitation law approved by Massachusetts voters in 1980--and assess voter satisfaction with these effects. We find that the proposition had a smaller effect on local revenues and spending than expected, as a result of both amendments to the law and a strong economy. Voters in 1980 believed there was significant waste in local government, partly because of an inability to monitor local officials. Proposition 2-1/2 curbed these agency losses, but direct local override votes and municipal expenditure patterns imply that the proposition ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1997-47

Working Paper
Around and around: the expectations hypothesis

We show how to construct arbitrage-free models of the term structure of interest rates in which various expectations hypotheses can hold. McCulloch (1993) provided a Gaussian non-Markovian example of the unbiased expectations hypothesis (U--EH), thereby contradicting the assertion by Cox, Ingersoll, and Ross (CIR, 1981) that only the so-called local expectations hypothesis could hold. We generalize that example in three ways: (i) We characterize the U--EH in terms of forward rates; (ii) we extend this characterization to a class of expectations hypotheses that includes all of those considered ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 96-17

Working Paper
Nationwide branching and its impact on market structure, quality and bank performance

Based on a sample for 1993-1999, this paper examines the effects of nationwide branching, following the Riegle-Neal Act, on various aspects of banking markets and bank service and performance. While concentration at the regional level has increased dramatically, deregulation has left almost intact the market structure of urban markets, which have between two to three dominant firms--controlling over half of a market's deposits--in 1999 just as they did in 1993. A significant portion of the observed increase in bank quality can be traced to the implementation of nationwide branching. By ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2003-35

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