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Working Paper
An empirical examination of the price-dividend relation with dividend management
Some recent empirical evidence suggests that stock prices are not properly modelled as the present discounted value of expected dividends. In this paper we estimate a present value model of stock price that is capable of explaining the observed long-term trends in stock prices. The model recognizes that firm managers control cash dividend payments. The model estimates indicate that stock price movements may be explained by managerial behavior.
AUTHORS: Ackert, Lucy F.; Hunter, William C.
DATE: 2000

Working Paper
CEO overconfidence and dividend policy
We develop a model of the effect of CEO overconfidence on dividend policy and empirically examine many of its predictions. Consistent with our main prediction, we find that the level of dividend payout is lower in firms managed by overconfident CEOs. We document that this reduction in dividends associated with CEO overconfidence is greater in firms with lower growth opportunities, lower cash flow, and greater information asymmetry. We also show that the magnitude of the positive market reaction to a dividend-increase announcement is lower for firms managed by overconfident CEOs. Our overall results are consistent with the predictions of our model.
AUTHORS: Deshmukh, Sanjay; Goel, Anand M.; Howe, Keith M.
DATE: 2009

Working Paper
Aggregation and the PPP puzzle in a sticky-price model
We study the purchasing power parity (PPP) puzzle in a multi-sector, two-country, sticky- price model. Across sectors, firms differ in the extent of price stickiness, in accordance with recent microeconomic evidence on price setting in various countries. Combined with local currency pricing, this leads sectoral real exchange rates to have heterogeneous dynamics. We show analytically that in this economy, deviations of the real exchange rate from PPP are more volatile and persistent than in a counterfactual one-sector world economy that features the same average frequency of price changes, and is otherwise identical to the multi-sector world economy. When simulated with a sectoral distribution of price stickiness that matches the microeconomic evidence for the U.S. economy, the model produces a half-life of deviations from PPP of 39 months. In contrast, the half-life of such deviations in the counterfactual one-sector economy is only slightly above one year. As a by-product, our model provides a decomposition of this difference in persistence that allows a structural interpretation of the different approaches found in the empirical literature on aggregation and the real exchange rate. In particular, we reconcile the apparently conflicting findings that gave rise to the "PPP Strikes Back debate" (Imbs et al. 2005a,b and Chen and Engel 2005).
AUTHORS: Nechio, Fernanda; Carvalho, Carlos
DATE: 2010

Working Paper
Determinants of access to external finance: evidence from Spanish firms
Access to external finance is a key determinant of a firm's ability to develop, operate and expand. To date, the literature has examined a variety of macroeconomic and microeconomic factors that influence firm financing. In this paper, we examine access by Spanish firms to external financing, both from bank and non-bank sources. We use dynamic panel data estimation techniques to estimate our models over a sample of 60,000 firms during the period from 1992 to 2002. We find that Spanish firms are quite dependent on short-term non-bank financing (such as trade credit), which makes up about 65 percent of total firm debt. Our results indicate that this type of financing is less sensitive to firm characteristics than short-term bank financing. However, we also find that short-term bank debt seems to be accessed more during economic expansions, which may suggest a substitution away from non-bank financing as firm conditions improve. Short-term bank debt also seems to be accessed more as funding rates rise, possibly again suggesting a substitution away from higher-priced non-bank alternatives. Using data from the Spanish Credit Register maintained by the Banco de Espana, we find that the impact of funding costs on access to external financing, whether from banks or non-banks, is affected by the nature of borrowing firms' bank relationships and collateral. In particular, we provide evidence of a potential hold-up problem in loan markets. Moreover, collateral plays a key role in making long-term finance available to firms.
AUTHORS: Lopez, Jose A.; Saurina, Jesus; Raquel Lago González
DATE: 2007

Working Paper
Financial choice in a non-Ricardian model of trade
We join the new trade theory with a model of choice between bank and bond financing to show the differential effects of financial policy on the distribution of firm size, welfare, aggregate output, gains from trade, and the real exchange rate in a small open economy. Increasing bank efficiency and reducing bond transaction costs both increase welfare but have opposite effects on the extensive margin of trade, aggregate exports, and the real exchange rate. Increasing the degree of trade openness increases firms' relative demand for bond versus bank financing. We identify a financial switching channel for gains from trade where increasing access to export markets allows firms to overcome high fixed costs of bond issuance to secure a lower marginal cost of capital.
AUTHORS: Valderrama, Diego; Russ, Katheryn N.
DATE: 2009

Working Paper
Assessing nominal income rules for monetary policy with model and data uncertainty
Nominal income rules for monetary policy have long been debated, but two issues are of particular recent interest. First, there are questions about the performance of such rules over a range of plausible empirical models-especially models with and without rational inflation expectations. Second, there are questions about the performance of these rules in real time using the type of data that is actually available contemporaneously to policymakers rather than final revised data. This paper determines optimal monetary policy rules in the presence of such model uncertainty and real-time data uncertainty and finds only a limited role for nominal output growth.
AUTHORS: Rudebusch, Glenn D.
DATE: 2000

Working Paper
Implications of Labor Market Frictions for Risk Aversion and Risk Premia
A flexible labor margin allows households to absorb shocks to asset values with changes in hours worked as well as changes in consumption. This ability to absorb shocks along both margins can greatly alter the household?s attitudes toward risk, as shown in Swanson (2012). The present paper analyzes how frictional labor markets affect that analysis. Risk aversion is higher: 1) in recessions, 2) in countries with more frictional labor markets, and 3) for households that have more difficulty finding a job. These predictions are consistent with empirical evidence from a variety of sources. Traditional, fixed-labor measures of risk aversion show no stable relationship to the equity premium in a standard real business cycle model with search frictions, while the closed-form expressions derived in the present paper match the equity premium closely.
AUTHORS: Swanson, Eric T.
DATE: 2013

Working Paper
Semiparametric Estimates of Monetary Policy Effects: String Theory Revisited
We develop flexible semiparametric time series methods that are then used to assess the causal effect of monetary policy interventions on macroeconomic aggregates. Our estimator captures the average causal response to discrete policy interventions in a macro-dynamic setting, without the need for assumptions about the process generating macroeconomic outcomes. The proposed procedure, based on propensity score weighting, easily accommodates asymmetric and nonlinear responses. Application of this estimator to the effects of monetary restraint shows the Fed to be an effective inflation fighter. Our estimates of the effects of monetary accommodation, however, suggest the Federal Reserve?s ability to stimulate real economic activity is more modest. Estimates for recent financial crisis years are similar to those for the earlier, pre-crisis period.
AUTHORS: Kuersteiner, Guido M.; Angrist, Joshua D.; Jordà, Òscar
DATE: 2013-08-01

Working Paper
Mortgage Choice in the Housing Boom: Impacts of House Price Appreciation and Borrower Type
The U.S. housing boom during the first part of the past decade was marked by rapid house price appreciation and greater access to mortgage credit for lower credit-rated borrowers. The subsequent collapse of the housing market and the high default rates on residential mortgages raise the issue of whether the pace of house price appreciation and the mix of borrowers may have affected the influence of fundamentals in housing and mortgage markets. This paper examines that issue in connection with one aspect of mortgage financing, the choice among fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. This analysis is motivated in part by the increased use of adjustable-rate mortgage financing, notably among lower credit-rated borrowers, during the peak of the housing boom. Based on analysis of a large sample of loan level data, we find strong evidence that house price appreciation dampened the influence of a number of fundamentals (mortgage pricing terms and other interest rate related metrics) that previous research finds to be important determinants of mortgage financing choices. With regard to the mix of borrowers, the evidence indicates that, while low risk-rated borrowers were affected on the margin more by house price appreciation, on balance those borrowers tended be at least as responsive to fundamentals as high risk-rated borrowers. The higher propensity of low credit-rated borrowers to choose adjustable-rate financing compared with high credit-rated borrowers in the housing boom appears to have been related to borrower credit risk metrics. Given the evidence related to loan pricing terms, other interest rate metrics and fixed effects, the relation of credit risk to mortgage financing choice seems more consistent with considerations such as credit constraints, risk preferences, and mortgage tenor than just a systematic lack of financial sophistication among higher credit risk borrowers.
AUTHORS: Takhtamanova, Yelena; Furlong, Frederick T.; Lang, David
DATE: 2014-01

Working Paper
Monetary Policy Expectations at the Zero Lower Bound
Obtaining monetary policy expectations from the yield curve is difficult near the zero lower bound (ZLB). Standard dynamic term structure models, which ignore the ZLB, can be misleading. Shadow-rate models are better suited for this purpose, because they account for the distributional asymmetry in projected short rates induced by the ZLB. Besides providing better interest rate fit and forecasts, our shadow-rate models deliver estimates of the future monetary policy liftoff from the ZLB that are closer to survey expectations. We also document significant improvements for inference about monetary policy expectations when macroeconomic factors are included in the term structure model.
AUTHORS: Bauer, Michael D.; Rudebusch, Glenn D.
DATE: 2013

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