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Series:Working Papers  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland 

Working Paper
A Theory of Intrinsic Inflation Persistence

We propose a novel theory of intrinsic inflation persistence by introducing trend inflation and variable elasticity of demand in a model with staggered price and wage setting. Under nonzero trend inflation, the variable elasticity generates intrinsic persistence in inflation through a measure of price dispersion stemming from staggered price setting. It also introduces intrinsic persistence in wage inflation under staggered wage setting, which affects price inflation. With the theory we show that inflation exhibits a persistent, hump-shaped response to a monetary policy shock. We also show ...
Working Papers , Paper 201916

Working Paper
The Politics of Flat Taxes

We study the political determination of flat tax systems using a workhorse macroeconomic model of inequality. There is significant variation in preferred tax policy across the wealth and income distribution. The majority voting outcome features (i) zero labor income taxation, (ii) simultaneous use of capital income and consumption taxation, and (iii) essentially zero transfers. This policy is supported by a coalition of low- and middle-wealth households. Zero labor income taxation is supported by households with below average wealth, while the middle-wealth households prefer to keep the ...
Working Papers , Paper 201442R2

Working Paper
Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Stability Revisited

A large literature has established that the Fed? change from a passive to an active policy response to inflation led to US macroeconomic stability after the Great Inflation of the 1970s. This paper revisits the literature?s view by estimating a generalized New Keynesian model using a full-information Bayesian method that allows for equilibrium indeterminacy and adopts a sequential Monte Carlo algorithm. The model empirically outperforms canonical New Keynesian models that confirm the literature?s view. Our estimated model shows an active policy response to inflation even during the Great ...
Working Papers , Paper 201914

Working Paper
The Politics of Flat Taxes

We study the determination of flat tax systems using a workhorse macroeconomic model of inequality. Our first result is that, despite the multidimensional policy space, equilibrium policies are typically unique (up to a fine grid numerical approximation). The majority voting outcome features (i) zero labor income taxation, (ii) simultaneous use of capital income and consumption taxation, and (iii) generally low transfers. We discuss the role of three factors?the initial heterogeneity in sources of income, the mobility of income and wealth, and the forward-looking aspect of voting?in ...
Working Papers , Paper 201442R

Working Paper
Firms, Skills, and Wage Inequality

We present a model with search frictions and heterogeneous agents that allows us to decompose the overall increase in US wage inequality in the last 30 years into its within- and between-firm and skill components. We calibrate the model to evaluate how much of the overall rise in wage inequality and its components is explained by different channels. Output distribution per firm-skill pair more than accounts for the observed increase over this period. Parametric identification implies that the worker-specific component is responsible for 85 percent of this, compared to 15 percent that is ...
Working Papers , Paper 201706R

Working Paper
A New Look at Historical Monetary Policy and the Great Inflation through the Lens of a Persistence-Dependent Policy Rule

The origins of the Great Inflation, a central 20th century U.S. macroeconomic event, remain contested. Prominent explanations are poor forecasts or deficient activity gap estimates. An alternative view: the FOMC was unwilling to fight inflation, perhaps due to political pressures. Our findings, based on a novel approach, support the latter view. New econometric tools allow us to credibly identify the particular activity gap, if any, in use. Persistence-dependent unemployment (gap) responses in the 1970s were essentially the same pre- and post-Volcker. Conversely, FOMC behavior vis--vis ...
Working Papers , Paper 201814R

Working Paper
Multiperiod Loans, Occasionally Binding Constraints, and Monetary Policy: A Quantitative Evaluation

We study the implications of multiperiod mortgage loans for monetary policy, considering several realistic modifications?fixed interest rate contracts, a lower bound constraint on newly granted loans, and the possibility of the collateral constraint to become slack?to an otherwise standard DSGE model with housing and financial intermediaries. We estimate the model in its nonlinear form and argue that all these features are important to understand the evolution of mortgage debt during the recent US housing market boom and bust. We show how the nonlinearities associated with the two constraints ...
Working Papers , Paper 201910

Working Paper
Finding a Stable Phillips Curve Relationship: A Persistence-Dependent Regression Mode

We establish that the Phillips curve is persistence-dependent: inflation responds differently to persistent versus moderately persistent (or versus transient) fluctuations in the unemployment gap. Previous work fails to model this dependence, so it finds numerous “inflation puzzles”—such as missing inflation/disinflation—noted in the literature. Our model specification eliminates these puzzles; for example, the Phillips curve has not weakened, and inflation is not “stubbornly low” at present. The model’s coefficients are stable, and it provides accurate conditional recursive ...
Working Papers , Paper 201909R

Working Paper
Variation in the Phillips Curve Relation across Three Phases of the Business Cycle

We use recently developed econometric tools to demonstrate that the Phillips curve unemployment rate?inflation rate relationship varies in an economically meaningful way across three phases of the business cycle. The first (?bust phase?) relationship is the one highlighted by Stock and Watson (2010): A sharp reduction in inflation occurs as the unemployment rate is rising rapidly. The second (?recovery phase?) relationship occurs as the unemployment rate subsequently begins to fall; during this phase, inflation is unrelated to any conventional unemployment gap. The final (?overheating phase?) ...
Working Papers , Paper 201909

Working Paper
The Effect of Possible EU Diversification Requirements on the Risk of Banks’ Sovereign Bond Portfolios

Recent policy discussion includes the introduction of diversification requirements for sovereign bond portfolios of European banks. In this paper, we evaluate the possible effects of these constraints on risk and diversification in the sovereign bond portfolios of the major European banks. First, we capture the dependence structure of European countries? sovereign risks and identify the common factors driving European sovereign CDS spreads by means of an independent component analysis. We then analyze the risk and diversification in the sovereign bond portfolios of the largest European banks ...
Working Papers , Paper 201912

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