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Working Paper
International Stock Comovements with Endogenous Clusters

We use an endogenous cluster factor model to examine international stock return comovements of country-industry portfolios. Our model allows country-industry portfolio comovements to be driven by a global and a cluster component, with the cluster membership endogenously determined. Results indicate that country-industry portfolios tend to cluster mainly within geographical areas that can include one or more countries. The cluster component was the main driver of country-industry portfolio returns for most of the sample, except from mid-2000 to mid-2010s when the global component had a more ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-038

Working Paper
International Stock Comovements with Endogenous Clusters

We examine international stock return comovements of country-industry portfolios. Our model allows comovements to be driven by a global and a cluster component, with the cluster membership endogenously determined. Results indicate that country-industry portfolios tend to cluster mainly within geographical areas that can include one or more countries. The cluster compositions substantially changed over time, with the emergence of clusters among European countries from the early 2000s. The cluster component was the main driver of country-industry portfolio returns for most of the sample, except ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-038

Working Paper
The Nonlinear Effects of Uncertainty Shocks

We consider the effects of uncertainty shocks in a nonlinear VAR that allows uncertainty to have amplification effects. When uncertainty is relatively low, fluctuations in uncertainty have small, linear effects. In periods of high uncertainty, the effect of a further increase in uncertainty is magnified. We find that uncertainty shocks in this environment have a more pronounced effect on real economic variables. We also conduct counterfactual experiments to determine the channels through which uncertainty acts. Uncertainty propagates through both the household consumption channel and through ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-035

Journal Article
The Nonlinear Effects of Uncertainty Shocks

We consider the effects of uncertainty shocks in a nonlinear VAR that allows uncertainty to have amplification effects. When uncertainty is relatively low, fluctuations in uncertainty have small, linear effects. In periods of high uncertainty, the effect of a further increase in uncertainty is magnified. We find that uncertainty shocks in this environment have a more pronounced effect on real economic variables. We also conduct counterfactual experiments to determine the channels through which uncertainty acts. Uncertainty propagates through both the household consumption channel and through ...
Working Papers , Volume 24 , Issue 4

Working Paper
How to Starve the Beast: Fiscal Policy Rules

Countries have widely imposed fiscal rules designed to constrain government spending and ensure fiscal responsibility. This paper studies the effectiveness and welfare implications of revenue, deficit and debt rules when governments are discretionary and profligate. The optimal prescription is a revenue ceiling coupled with a balance budget requirement. For the U.S., the optimal revenue ceiling is about 15% of output, 3 percentage points below the postwar average. Most of the benefits can still be reaped with a milder constraint or escape clauses during adverse times. Imposing a single fiscal ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-026

Working Paper
Mortgage Prepayment, Race, and Monetary Policy

This paper documents large differences in mortgage prepayment behavior across racial and ethnic groups in the United States, which have significant implications for monetary policy, inequality, and pricing. Using a novel data set that combines administrative data on mortgage performance with information on race and ethnicity, we show that Black and Hispanic white borrowers have significantly lower prepayment rates compared with Non-Hispanic white borrowers, holding income, credit score, and equity constant. This gap is on the order of 50 percent and largely reflects different sensitivities ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-7

Working Paper
Real Effects of Foreign Exchange Risk Migration: Evidence from Matched Firm-Bank Microdata

When firms trade forward contracts with banks to protect foreign currency cash flows against exchange rate movements, foreign exchange risk migrates to the banking sector. We show how this migrated risk may induce systemic repercussions with severe implications for the real economy. For identification, we exploit the Brexit referendum in June 2016 as a quasi-natural experiment in combination with detailed microdata on forward contracts and the credit register in Germany. Before the referendum, firms substantially increased their use of derivatives in response to the heightened uncertainty; ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-8

Working Paper
Consumer Payment Choice for Bill Payments

Why do US consumers pay their bills the way they do? Using data from a recent diary of consumer payment behavior, we find that the type of bill consumers are paying and how they are paying (online or automatically) are important factors in determining the payment method, in addition to the dollar value of the bill and the demographic and income profile of the individual who is paying. In contrast, dollar value and demographic attributes are found to be the most important factors determining the payment instrument chosen for purchases. Consumer choices for bill payments are somewhat ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-9

Working Paper
Anatomy of Corporate Credit Spreads: The Great Recession vs. COVID-19

We compare the evolution of corporate credit spreads during the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. The two crises featured increases of similar magnitudes in the median and cross-sectional dispersion of credit spreads, but the pandemic was short-lived and different sectors were affected. The micro-data reveal larger differences between the two episodes: the Great Recession featured an increase in the across-firm dispersion, and leverage was an important predictor of credit spreads. Differently, the COVID-19 crisis displayed a larger increase in within-firm dispersion, and funding ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-035

Working Paper
Optimal Taxes Under Private Information: The Role of the Inflation

We consider an overlapping generation framework with search and private information to study optimal taxation. Agents sequentially trade in markets that are characterized by different frictions and trading protocols. In frictional decentralized markets, agents receive shocks that determine if they are going to be consumers or producers. Shocks are private information. Mechanism design is used to solve for the constrained optimal allocation. We then study whether a government can replicate the constrained optimal allocation with an array of policy instruments including fiat money. We show that ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-014

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