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Working Paper
Asset price declines and real estate market illiquidity: evidence from Japanese land values

We develop an overlapping generations model of the real estate market in which search frictions and a debt overhang combine to generate price persistence and illiquidity. Illiquidity stems from heterogeneity in agent real estate valuations. The variance of agent valuations determines how quickly prices adjust following a shock to fundamentals. We examine the predictions of the model by studying price depreciation in Japanese land values subsequent to the 1990 stock market crash. Commercial land values fell much more quickly than residential land values. As we would posit that the variance of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2004-16

Working Paper
Rational and near-rational bubbles without drift

This paper derives a general class of intrinsic rational bubble solutions in a standard Lucas-type asset pricing model. I show that the rational bubble component of the price-dividend ratio can evolve as a geometric random walk without drift. The volatility of bubble innovations depends exclusively on fundamentals. Starting from an arbitrarily small positive value, the rational bubble expands and contracts over time in an irregular, wholly endogenous fashion, always returning to the vicinity of the fundamental solution. I also examine a near-rational solution in which the representative agent ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2007-10

Working Paper
Properties of the vacancy statistic in the discrete circle covering problem

Holst (1985) introduced a discrete spacings model that is related to the Bose-Einstein distribution and obtained the distribution of the number of vacant slots in an associated circle covering problem. We correct his expression for its probability mass function, obtain the first two moments, and describe their limiting properties. We also discuss an application of our results to a study of contagion in banking networks.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2013-05

Working Paper
Bad Jobs and Low Inflation

We study a model in which firms compete to retain and attract workers searching on the job. A drop in the rate of on-the-job search makes such wage competition less likely, reducing expected labor costs and lowering inflation. This model explains why inflation has remained subdued over the last decade, which is a conundrum for general equilibrium models and Phillips curves. Key to this success is the observed slowdown in the recovery of the employment-to-employment transition rate in the last five years, which is interpreted by the model as a decline in the share of employed workers searching ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2020-09

Working Paper
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Asian American Employment

This paper documents that the employment of Asian Americans with no college education has been especially hard hit by the economic crisis associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This cannot be explained by differences in demographics or in job characteristics, and the pattern does not apply to the 2008 economic crisis. We find some evidence that the effect is larger in occupations with more interpersonal tasks. Asian American employment is also harder hit unconditional on education. This suggests that different selection into education levels across ethnic groups alone cannot explain the main ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-19

Working Paper
Regional Consumption Responses and the Aggregate Fiscal Multiplier

We use regional variation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009-2012) to analyze the effect of government spending on consumer spending. Our consumption data come from household-level retail purchases in Nielsen and auto purchases from Equifax credit balances. We estimate that a $1 increase in county-level government spending increases consumer spending by $0.18. We translate the regional consumption responses to an aggregate fiscal multiplier using a multi-region, New Keynesian model with heterogeneous agents and incomplete markets. Our model successfully generates the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2018-4

Working Paper
Monitoring Banking System Fragility with Big Data

The need to monitor aggregate financial stability was made clear during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, and, of course, the need to monitor individual financial firms from a microprudential standpoint remains. In this paper, we propose a procedure based on mixed-frequency models and network analysis to help address both of these policy concerns. We decompose firm-specific stock returns into two components: one that is explained by observed covariates (or fitted values), the other unexplained (or residuals). We construct networks based on the co-movement of these components. Analysis ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2018-1

Working Paper
How did schooling laws improve long-term health and lower mortality?

Although it is well known that there is a strong association between education and health much less is known about how these factors are connected, and whether the relationship is causal. Lleras-Muney (2005) provides perhaps the strongest evidence that education has a causal effect on health. Using state compulsory school laws as instruments, Lleras-Muney finds large effects of education on mortality. We revisit these results, noting they are not robust to state time trends, even when the sample is vastly expanded and a coding error rectified. We employ a dataset containing a broad array of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-06-23

Working Paper
The Fed's Response to Economic News Explains the “Fed Information Effect”

High-frequency changes in interest rates around FOMC announcements are a standard method of measuring monetary policy shocks. However, some recent studies have documented puzzling effects of these shocks on private-sector forecasts of GDP, unemployment, or inflation that are opposite in sign to what standard macroeconomic models would predict. This evidence has been viewed as supportive of a “Fed information effect” channel of monetary policy, whereby an FOMC tightening (easing) communicates that the economy is stronger (weaker) than the public had expected. We show that these empirical ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-06

Working Paper
Measuring the natural rate of interest redux

Persistently low real interest rates have prompted the question whether low interest rates are here to stay. This essay assesses the empirical evidence regarding the natural rate of interest in the United States using the Laubach-Williams model. Since the start of the Great Recession, the estimated natural rate of interest fell sharply and shows no sign of recovering. These results are robust to alternative model specifications. If the natural rate remains low, future episodes of hitting the zero lower bound are likely to be frequent and long-lasting. In addition, uncertainty about the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2015-16

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