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Jel Classification:C30 

Working Paper
Assessing the Evidence on Neighborhood Effects from Moving to Opportunity

The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment randomly assigned housing vouchers that could be used in low-poverty neighborhoods. Consistent with the literature, I find that receiving an MTO voucher had no effect on outcomes like earnings, employment, and test scores. However, after studying the assumptions identifying neighborhood effects with MTO data, this paper reaches a very different interpretation of these results than found in the literature. I first specify a model in which the absence of effects from the MTO program implies an absence of neighborhood effects. I present theory and ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1506

Working Paper
Firm Dynamics and the Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations

What drives aggregate fluctuations? I test the granular hypothesis, according to which the largest firms in the economy drive aggregate dynamics, by estimating a dynamic factor model with firm-level data and controlling for the propagation of firm-level shocks using multi-firm growth model. Each time series, the growth rate of sales of a specific firm, is decomposed in an unobserved common macroeconomic component and in a residual that I interpret as an idiosyncratic firm-level component. The empirical results suggest that, once I control for aggregate shocks, idiosyncratic shocks do not ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1133

Working Paper
BGVAR: Bayesian Global Vector Autoregressions with Shrinkage Priors in R

This document introduces the R library BGVAR to estimate Bayesian global vector autoregressions (GVAR) with shrinkage priors and stochastic volatility. The Bayesian treatment of GVARs allows us to include large information sets by mitigating issues related to overfitting. This improves inference and often leads to better out-of-sample forecasts. Computational efficiency is achieved by using C++ to considerably speed up time-consuming functions. To maximize usability, the package includes numerous functions for carrying out structural inference and forecasting. These include generalized and ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 395

Working Paper
Identifying Global and National Output and Fiscal Policy Shocks Using a GVAR

The paper contributes to the growing Global VAR (GVAR) literature by showing how global and national shocks can be identified within a GVAR framework. The usefulness of the proposed approach is illustrated in an application to the analysis of the interactions between public debt and real output growth in a multi-country setting, and the results are compared to those obtained from standard single-country VAR analysis. We find that on average (across countries) global shocks explain about one-third of the long-horizon forecast error variance of output growth, and about one-fifth of the long-run ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 351

Working Paper
Asymptotically Valid Bootstrap Inference for Proxy SVARs

Proxy structural vector autoregressions identify structural shocks in vector autoregressions with external variables that are correlated with the structural shocks of interest but uncorrelated with all other structural shocks. We provide asymptotic theory for this identification approach under mild ?-mixing conditions that cover a large class of uncorrelated, but possibly dependent innovation processes, including conditional heteroskedasticity. We prove consistency of a residual-based moving block bootstrap for inference on statistics such as impulse response functions and forecast error ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-08

Journal Article
FRED-QD: A Quarterly Database for Macroeconomic Research

In this article, we present and describe FRED-QD, a large, quarterly frequency macroeconomic database that is currently available and regularly updated at https://research.stlouisfed.org/econ/mccracken/fred-databases/. The data provided are closely modeled to that used in Stock and Watson (2012a). As in our previous work on FRED-MD (McCracken and Ng, 2016), which is at a monthly frequency, our goal is simply to provide a publicly available source of macroeconomic "big data" that is updated in real time using the FRED® data service. We show that factors extracted from the FRED-QD dataset ...
Review , Volume 103 , Issue 1 , Pages 1-44

Working Paper
FRED-QD: A Quarterly Database for Macroeconomic Research

In this paper we present and describe a large quarterly frequency, macroeconomic database. The data provided are closely modeled to that used in Stock and Watson (2012a). As in our previous work on FRED-MD, our goal is simply to provide a publicly available source of macroeconomic “big data” that is updated in real time using the FRED database. We show that factors extracted from this data set exhibit similar behavior to those extracted from the original Stock and Watson data set. The dominant factors are shown to be insensitive to outliers, but outliers do affect the relative influence ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-005

Working Paper
How Persistent Are Unconventional Monetary Policy Effects?

Event studies show that the Federal Reserve's announcements of forward guidance and large Scale asset purchases had large and desired effects on asset prices but they do not tell us how long such effects last. Wright (2012) used a structural vector autoregression (SVAR) to argue that unconventional policies have very transient effects on bond yields, with half-lives of 3 to 6 months. The present paper shows, however, that the SVAR is very possibly misspecified, structurally unstable, forecasts very poorly and therefore delivers spurious inference. In addition, the implied in-sample return ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-4

Working Paper
How Persistent Are Unconventional Monetary Policy Effects?

Event studies show that the Federal Reserve’s announcements of forward guidance and large-scale asset purchases had large and desired effects on asset prices but these studies do not tell us how long such effects last. Wright (2012) used a structural vector autoregression (SVAR) to argue that unconventional policies have very transient effects on bond yields, with half-lives of 3 to 6 months. The present paper shows, however, that this inference is unsupported for several reasons. First, accounting for model uncertainty greatly lengthens the estimated persistence. Second, and more ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-04

Working Paper
How Persistent Are Unconventional Monetary Policy Effects?

This paper argues that one cannot precisely estimate the persistence of unconventional monetary policy (UMP) effects, especially with short samples and few observations. To make this point, we illustrate that the most influential model on the topic exhibits structural instability, and sensitivity to specification and outliers that render the conclusions unreliable. Restricted models that respect more plausible asset return predictability are more stable and imply that UMP shocks were persistent. Estimates of the dynamic effects of shocks should respect the limited predictability in asset ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-04

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