Common and Idiosyncratic Inflation
We use a dynamic factor model to disentangle changes in prices due to economy-wide (common) shocks, from changes in prices due to idiosyncratic shocks. Using 146 disaggregated individual price series from the U.S. PCE price index, we find that most of the fluctuations in core PCE prices observed since 2010 have been idiosyncratic in nature. Moreover, we find that common core inflation responds to economic slack, while the idiosyncratic component does not. That said, even after filtering out idiosyncratic factors, the estimated Phillips curve is extremely flat post-1995. Therefore, our ...
Indexes of the foreign exchange value of the dollar
At the end of 1998, the staff of the Federal Reserve Board introduced a new set of indexes of the foreign exchange value of the U.S. dollar. The staff made the changeover, from indexes that had been used since the late 1970s, for two reasons. First, five of the ten currencies in the staff's previous main index of the dollar's exchange value were about to be replaced by a single new currency, the euro. Second, developments in international trade since the late 1970s called for a broadening of the scope of the staff's dollar indexes and a closer alignment of the currency weights with U.S. trade ...
Industrial production and capacity utilization: the 2004 annual revision
In late 2004, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve issued revisions to its index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity and capacity utilization for the period from January 1972 to November 2004. Overall, the changes to total industrial production were small. ; Measured from the fourth quarter of 2002 to the third quarter of 2004, industrial output is reported to have increased a little less than shown previously. Production expanded more slowly in 2000 than earlier estimates indicated, whereas the contraction in 2001 was a little less steep. The rise in ...
Core inflation: a review of some conceptual issues
This paper reviews various approaches to the measurement of core inflation that have been proposed in recent years. The objective is to determine whether the European Central Bank (ECB) should pay special attention to one or other of these measures in assessing inflation developments in the euro area. I put particular emphasis on the conceptual and practical problems that arise in the measurement of core inflation, and propose some criteria that could be used by the ECB to choose a core inflation measure.
The gap between the conditional wage distributions of incumbents and the newly hired employees: decomposition and uniform ordering
We examine the cardinal gap between wage distributions of the incumbents and newly hired workers based on entropic distances that are well-defined welfare theoretic measures. Decomposition of several effects is achieved by identifying several counterfactual distributions of different groups. These go beyond the usual Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions at the (linear) conditional means. Much like quantiles, these entropic distances are well defined inferential objects and functions whose statistical properties have recently been developed. Going beyond these strong rankings and distances, we ...
The Optimal Monetary Instrument and the (Mis)Use of Causality Tests
This paper uses a New-Keynesian model with multiple monetary assets to show that if the choice of instrument is based solely on its propensity to predict macroeconomic targets, a central bank may choose an inferior policy instrument. We compare a standard interest rate rule to a k-percent rule for three alternative monetary aggregates determined within our model: the monetary base, the simple sum measure of money, and the Divisia measure. Welfare results are striking. While the interest rate dominates the other two monetary aggregate k-percent rules, the Divisia k-percent rule outperforms the ...
Aggregation in large dynamic panels
This paper investigates the problem of aggregation in the case of large linear dynamic panels, where each micro unit is potentially related to all other micro units, and where micro innovations are allowed to be cross sectionally dependent. Following Pesaran (2003), an optimal aggregate function is derived and used (i) to establish conditions under which Granger's (1980) conjecture regarding the long memory properties of aggregate variables from "a very large scale dynamic, econometric model" holds, and (ii) to show which distributional features of micro parameters can be identified from ...
Product Turnover and the Cost of Living Index: Quality vs. Fashion Effects
This paper evaluates the effects of product turnover on a welfare-based cost-of-living index. We first present some facts about price and quantity changes over the product cycle employing scanner data for Japan for the years 1988-2013, which cover the deflationary period that started in the mid-1990s. We then develop a new methodology to decompose price changes at the time of product turnover into those due to the quality effect and those due to the fashion effect (i.e., the higher demand for products that are new). Our main findings are as follows: (1) the price and quantity of a new product ...
The FRBNY staff underlying inflation gauge: UIG
Monetary policymakers and long-term investors would benefit greatly from a measure of underlying inflation that uses all relevant information, is available in real time, and forecasts inflation better than traditional underlying inflation measures such as core inflation measures. This paper presents the ?FRBNY Staff Underlying Inflation Gauge (UIG)? for CPI and PCE. Using a dynamic factor model approach, the UIG is derived from a broad data set that extends beyond price series to include a wide range of nominal, real, and financial variables. It also considers the specific and time-varying ...
Measuring Corporate Bond Market Dislocations
We measure dislocations in the market for corporate bonds in real time with the Corporate Bond Market Distress Index (CMDI), allowing for the aggregation of a broad set of measures of market functioning from primary and secondary bond markets into a single measure. The index quantifies dislocations from a preponderance-of-metrics perspective, ensuring that the measure of market distress is not driven by any one statistic. We document that the index correctly identifies periods of dislocations, is robust to alternative choices of the aggregation procedure, and provides differential predictive ...