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Jel Classification:C32 

Working Paper
Estimates of r* Consistent with a Supply-Side Structure and a Monetary Policy Rule for the U.S. Economy

We estimate the natural rate of interest (r*) using a semi-structural model of the U.S. economy that jointly characterizes the trend and cyclical factors of key macroeconomic variables such as output, the unemployment rate, inflation, and short- and long-term interest rates. We specify a monetary policy rule and an equation that characterizes the 10-year Treasury yield to exploit the information provided by both interest rates to infer r*. However, the use of a monetary policy rule with a sample that spans the Great Recession and its aftermath poses a challenge because of the effective lower ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-085

Working Paper
Cross-Sectional Factor Dynamics and Momentum Returns

This paper proposes and implements an inter-temporal model wherein aggregate consumption and asset-specific dividend growths jointly move with two mean-reverting state variables. Consumption beta varies through time and cross sectionally due to variation in half-lives and stationary volatilities of the dividend signals. Winner (Loser) stocks exhibit high (low) half-lives and stationary volatilities, and thus exhibit high (low) consumption beta commanding high (low) risk-premium. The model also rationalizes the "momentum crashes" phenomenon discussed in Daniel and Moskowitz (2014). High ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 15-2

Safety, liquidity, and the natural rate of interest

Why are interest rates so low in the Unites States? We find that they are low primarily because the premium for safety and liquidity has increased since the late 1990s, and to a lesser extent because economic growth has slowed. We reach this conclusion using two complementary perspectives: a flexible time-series model of trends in Treasury and corporate yields, inflation, and long-term survey expectations, and a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. We discuss the implications of this finding for the natural rate of interest.
Staff Reports , Paper 812

Has monetary policy become less powerful?

Recent vector autoregression (VAR) studies have shown that monetary policy shocks have had a reduced effect on the economy since the beginning of the 1980s. This paper investigates the causes of this change. First, we estimate an identified VAR over the pre- and post-1980 periods, and corroborate the existing results suggesting a stronger systematic response of monetary policy to the economy in the later period. Second, we present and estimate a fully specified model that replicates well the dynamic response of output, inflation, and the federal funds rate to monetary policy shocks in both ...
Staff Reports , Paper 144

The microstructure of a U.S. Treasury ECN: the BrokerTec platform

We assess the microstructure of the U.S. Treasury securities market following its migration to electronic trading. We model price discovery using a vector autoregression model of price and order flow. We show that both trades and limit orders affect price dynamics, suggesting that traders also choose limit orders to exploit their information. Moreover, while limit orders have smaller price impact, their greater variation contributes more to the variance of price updates. Lastly, we find increased price impact of trades and especially limit orders following major announcements (such as FOMC ...
Staff Reports , Paper 381

Rare shocks, great recessions

We estimate a DSGE model where rare large shocks can occur, by replacing the commonly used Gaussian assumption with a Student?s t distribution. Results from the Smets and Wouters (2007) model estimated on the usual set of macroeconomic time series over the 1964-2011 period indicate that 1) the Student?s t specification is strongly favored by the data even when we allow for low-frequency variation in the volatility of the shocks and 2) the estimated degrees of freedom are quite low for several shocks that drive U.S. business cycles, implying an important role for rare large shocks. This result ...
Staff Reports , Paper 585

Identifying shocks via time-varying volatility

An n-variable structural vector auto-regression (SVAR) can be identified (up to shock order) from the evolution of the residual covariance across time if the structural shocks exhibit heteroskedasticity (Rigobon (2003), Sentana and Fiorentini (2001)). However, the path of residual covariances can only be recovered from the data under specific parametric assumptions on the variance process. I propose a new identification argument that identifies the SVAR up to shock orderings using the autocovariance structure of second moments of the residuals, implied by an arbitrary stochastic process for ...
Staff Reports , Paper 871

Robust inference in models identified via heteroskedasticity

Identification via heteroskedasticity exploits differences in variances across regimes to identify parameters in simultaneous equations. I study weak identification in such models, which arises when variances change very little or the variances of multiple shocks change close to proportionally. I show that this causes standard inference to become unreliable, outline two tests to detect weak identification, and establish conditions for the validity of nonconservative methods for robust inference on an empirically relevant subset of the parameter vector. I apply these tools to monetary policy ...
Staff Reports , Paper 876

Forming priors for DSGE models (and how it affects the assessment of nominal rigidities)

This paper discusses prior elicitation for the parameters of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models and provides a method for constructing prior distributions for a subset of these parameters from beliefs about the moments of the endogenous variables. The empirical application studies the role of price and wage rigidities in a New Keynesian DSGE model and finds that standard macro time series cannot discriminate among theories that differ in the quantitative importance of nominal frictions.
Staff Reports , Paper 320

U.S. wage and price dynamics: a limited information approach

This paper analyzes the dynamics of prices and wages using a limited information approach to estimation. I estimate a two-equation model for the determination of prices and wages derived from an optimization-based dynamic model in which both goods and labor markets are monopolistically competitive; prices and wages can be reoptimized only at random intervals; and, when prices and wages are not reoptimized, they can be partially adjusted to previous-period aggregate inflation. The estimation procedure is a two-step minimum distance estimation that exploits the restrictions imposed by the model ...
Staff Reports , Paper 256


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