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Series:Policy Hub 

Discussion Paper
Assisting Firms during a Crisis: Benefits and Costs

Public and private efforts to reduce COVID-19 infection levels have led to a sharp drop in economic activity around the world. In an attempt to mitigate the damage to businesses, governments around the world have implemented a variety of financial programs to help firms. These programs have been criticized as interfering with markets, providing bailouts, and creating adverse incentives. In this article, I review both the rationale for government-provided assistance and the costs of providing that assistance from the perspective of how that aid effects the likely level and volatility of ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-10

Discussion Paper
Central Banks, Global Shocks, and Local Crises: Lessons from the Atlanta Fed's Response to the 1920–21 Recession

During late 1920, the president (then called "governor") and board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta were confronted with an unexpected, devastating collapse in the price of a commodity whose global production was concentrated in their district—cotton. Their judgment was that the fall in cotton prices was temporary and that its effects could be lessened with generous credit policies that did not conflict with the Federal Reserve Act. Other officials within the Federal Reserve System did not agree with this judgment, however, leading to a contentious policy debate and an ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-15

Discussion Paper
Consumer Behavior in a Health Crisis: What Happened with Cash?

In the United States, COVID-19 cases and currency in circulation both surged in March 2020. Did consumer choice play a role in the increase in currency in circulation? With fewer opportunities to shop and pay in person, why would consumers hold more cash? Data from the fall 2019 Survey and Diary of Consumer Payment Choice and interim rapid-response surveys in spring and late summer 2020 give some insights into consumer cash holdings and payments behavior.
Policy Hub , Paper 2021-1

Discussion Paper
Measuring and Managing COVID-19 Model Risk

One of the many lessons learned from the financial crisis is the increased awareness of model risk. In this article, I apply the best practices of model risk management found in SR 11-7 (which offers regulatory guidance on the best practices for managing model risk) to COVID-19 models. In particular, I investigate the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation's (IHME) model to see if it has been effectively challenged with a critical assessment of its conceptual soundness, ongoing monitoring, and outcomes analysis.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-07

Discussion Paper
Why Cash Transfers Are Good Policy in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an exceptionally large and negative impact on economic activity around the world. We show that cash transfers can be a useful policy tool during a pandemic. Cash transfers mitigate consumption inequality induced by the pandemic and provide incentives to individuals who are most negatively affected by lockdown policies to adhere to them.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-4

Discussion Paper
Wage Growth over Unemployment Spells

This article looks at the wage growth associated with a spell of unemployment during the past three recessions. Our main findings are threefold. First, half of all unemployed workers experience a lower hourly wage once they regain employment. Second, afteran unemployment spell, older workers and those without a college degree experience lower wage growth. Third, workers who regain employment in a different industry than they were in previously tend to experience a substantial wage decline. The analysis suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic not only led to unprecedented job losses, but it could ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-9

Discussion Paper
Wage Growth over Unemployment Spells

This article looks at the wage growth associated with a spell of unemployment during the past three recessions. Our main findings are threefold. First, half of all unemployed workers experience a lower hourly wage once they regain employment. Second, after an unemployment spell, older workers and those without a college degree experience lower wage rowth. Third, workers who regain employment in a different industry than they were in previously tend to experience a substantial wage decline. The analysis suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic not only led to unprecedented job losses, but it could ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-09

Discussion Paper
Changes in State Unemployment Insurance Rules during the COVID-19 Outbreak in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented expansion in unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility across states. While more than forty states had modified UI rules by the end of March, not all states responded in the same way. In this article, I summarize the changes to state UI rules in response to the crisis and explore factors that have contributed to the variation in states’ responses.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-2

Discussion Paper
Measuring and Managing COVID-19 Model Risk

One of the many lessons learned from the financial crisis is the increased awareness of model risk. In this article, I apply the best practices of model risk management found in SR 11-7 (which offers regulatory guidance on the best practices for managing model risk) to COVID-19 models. In particular, I investigate the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) model to see if it has been effectively challenged with a critical assessment of its conceptual soundness, ongoing monitoring, and outcomes analysis.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-7

Discussion Paper
Remittances and COVID-19: A Tale of Two Countries

Looking at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers' remittances flowing from the United States, this article focuses on the experiences of two countries, El Salvador and Mexico, which account for approximately 30 percent of all immigrants currently residing in the United States. Following the second quarter's economic lockdown, transfers to these countries experienced perplexing dynamics. Specifically, remittances to El Salvador witnessed a record 40 percent sudden drop, while Mexico recorded an unexpected 35 percent increase. We discuss some of the narratives proposed to explain this ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-12

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