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Series:Finance and Economics Discussion Series  Bank:Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 

Working Paper
The usefulness of core PCE inflation measures

This paper examines a number of alternative PCE price inflation measures including overall PCE inflation, PCE inflation excluding food and energy, trimmed mean PCE inflation, component-smoothed inflation, variance-weighted inflation, inflation with weights based on disaggregated regressions, and survey measures of inflation expectations. When averaging across a handful of specifications based on the primary uses of a core inflation measure three conclusions arise: 1. Inflation rates for nearly all the measures best track ex-post trend inflation or predict future overall inflation when they ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2011-56

Working Paper
Pricing systemic crises: monetary and fiscal policy when savers are uncertain

The return on assets depends on the joint behavior of all savers; if all sell the asset simultaneously, then there will be a financial "Armageddon." We assume that risk-neutral savers' information about aggregate investment is too vague to form precise probability estimates, so they have Knightian uncertainty, and thus act to maximize their minimum payoff. Savers invest in a risky asset (economy-wide production) and in a riskless asset (government bonds). In times of high uncertainty, savers hold too many government bonds, lowering output. A monetary policy of lowering the risk-free rate ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1999-33

Working Paper
Does Intergenerational Mobility Increase Corporate Profits?

We find that firms located in areas with higher intergenerational mobility are more profitable. Building off the work of Chetty and Hendren (2018a and 2018b)?who provide measures of intergenerational mobility for all commuting zones (essentially, metropolitan areas) within the U.S.?we are the first to show the positive association between intergenerational mobility and corporate profitability. Our regressions compare firms in the same industry at the same point in time and fully control for time-varying state-level shocks. As such, our findings cannot be explained by either differences in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-081

Working Paper
Financial integration, entrepreneurial risk and global dynamics

How does financial integration impact capital accumulation, current-account dynamics, and cross-country inequality? This paper investigates this question within a two-country, general-equilibrium, incomplete-markets model that focuses on the importance of idiosyncratic entrepreneurial risk---a risk that introduces, not only a precautionary motive for saving, but also a wedge between the interest rate and the marginal product of capital. Our contribution is then to show that this friction provides a simple explanation for the emergence of global imbalances, a simple resolution to the empirical ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2010-54

Working Paper
Payday lending regulation

To date the debate over payday lending has focused on whether access to such lending is on net beneficial or harmful to consumer welfare. However, payday loans are not one product but many, and different forms of lending may have different welfare implications. The current diversity in payday lending stems from the diverse ways in which states have regulated the industry. This paper attempts to quantify the effects that various regulatory approaches have had on lending terms and usage. Using a novel institutional dataset of over 56 million payday loans, covering 26 states for nearly 6 years, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2013-62

Working Paper
Why and when do spot prices of crude oil revert to futures price levels?

Recent studies of crude oil price formation emphasize the role of interest rates and convenience yield (the adjusted spot-futures spread), confirming that spot prices mean-revert and normally exceed discounted futures. However, these studies don't explain why such "backwardation" is normal. Also, models derived in these studies typically explain only about 1 percent of daily returns, suggesting other factors are important, too. In this paper, I specify a structural oil-market model that links returns to convenience yield, inventory news, and revisions of expected production cost (growth ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2005-30

Working Paper
When Can Trend-Cycle Decompositions Be Trusted?

In this paper, we examine the results of GDP trend-cycle decompositions from the estimation of bivariate unobserved components models that allow for correlated trend and cycle innovations. Three competing variables are considered in the bivariate setup along with GDP: the unemployment rate, the inflation rate, and gross domestic income. We find that the unemployment rate is the best variable to accompany GDP in the bivariate setup to obtain accurate estimates of its trend-cycle correlation coefficient and the cycle. We show that the key feature of unemployment that allows for precise ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-099

Working Paper
The finances of American households in the past three recessions: evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances

The downturn in economic activity in the U.S. that began in December 2007 (as determined by researchers with the National Bureau of Economic Research) has been noticeably deeper and has already lasted considerably longer than the prior two recessions--those beginning in July 1990 and in March 2001. In addition, a key difference between the current and the past two recessions is the extent to which consumer spending and residential investment have dropped since late 2007--that is, the extent to which the household sector appears to have "led" the drop in aggregate economic activity in this ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2010-06

Working Paper
Commercial lending and distance: evidence from Community Reinvestment Act data

Innovations such as credit scoring have increased the ability of banks to lend to distant business borrowers, which could expand the geographic market for small business loans. However, if this effect is limited to a few large banks, the market may become segmented and lending distance at local banks actually decreases. This paper, using a new data source and a spatial econometric model, empirically estimates the relationship between distance and commercial lending and how this relationship is evolving over time. We find distance is negatively associated with the likelihood of a local ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2004-24

Working Paper
Quantitative monetary easing and risk in financial asset markets

In this paper, we empirically examine the portfolio-rebalancing effects stemming from the policy of "quantitative monetary easing" recently undertaken by the Bank of Japan when the nominal short-term interest rate was virtually at zero. Portfolio-rebalancing effects resulting from the open market purchase of long-term government bonds under this policy have been statistically significant. Our results also show that the portfolio-rebalancing effects were beneficial in that they reduced risk premiums on assets with counter-cyclical returns, such as government and high-grade corporate bonds. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2004-57

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