Heterogeneity in Economic Shocks and Household Spending
Large swings in aggregate household-sector spending, especially for big ticket items such as cars and housing, have been a dominant feature of the macroeconomic landscape in the past two decades. Income and wealth inequality increased over the same period, leading some to suggest the two phenomena are interconnected. Indeed, there is supporting evidence for the idea that heterogeneity in economic shocks and spending are connected, most notably in studies using local-area geography as the unit of analysis. The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) provides a household-level perspective on changes ...
Weather-adjusting employment data
First version: December 18, 2014. This version: January 12, 2015. This paper proposes and implements a statistical methodology for adjusting employment data for the effects of deviation in weather from seasonal norms. This is distinct from seasonal adjustment, which only controls for the normal variation in weather across the year. Unusual weather can distort both the data and the seasonal factors. We control for both of these effects by integrating a weather adjustment step in the seasonal adjustment process. We use several indicators of weather, including temperature, snowfall and ...
Database of global economic indicators (DGEI): a methodological note
The Database of Global Economic Indicators (DGEI) from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is aimed at standardizing and disseminating world economic indicators for policy analysis and scholarly work on the role of globalization. The purpose of DGEI is to offer a broad perspective on how economic developments around the world influence the U.S. economy with a wide selection of indicators. DGEI is automated within an Excel-VBA and E-views framework for the processing and aggregation of multiple country time series. It includes a core sample of 40 countries with available indicators and broad ...
Measuring Movement and Social Contact with Smartphone Data: A Real-Time Application to COVID-19
Tracking human activity in real time and at fine spatial scale is particularly valuable during episodes such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we discuss the suitability of smartphone data for quantifying movement and social contact. We show that these data cover broad sections of the US population and exhibit movement patterns similar to conventional survey data. We develop and make publicly available a location exposure index that summarizes county-to-county movements and a device exposure index that quantifies social contact within venues. We use these indices to document how ...
The perils of working with Big Data and a SMALL framework you can use to avoid them
The use of “Big Data” to explain fluctuations in the broader economy or guide the business decisions of a firm is now so commonplace that in some instances it has even begun to rival more traditional government statistics and business analytics. Big data sources can very often provide advantages when compared to these more traditional data sources, but with these advantages also comes the potential for pitfalls. We lay out a framework called SMALL that we have developed in order to help interested parties as they navigate the big data minefield. Based on a set of five questions, the SMALL ...
Speaking for Herself: Changing Gender Roles in Survey Response
Among married and cohabiting couples, the percentage of female respondents has increased substantially in the PSID (Panel Study of Income Dynamics) from 9% in 1968 to 60% in 2015. This shift in gender composition has taken place despite a formal policy that historically designated male heads of household as respondents. We use this shift as a case study to explore which characteristics are associated with women responding to the PSID and how different respondent gender compositions may affect data quality. First, we find that women are increasingly less likely to respond as their husband?s ...
Estimating U.S. Cross-Border Securities Positions: New Data and New Methods
The role of capital flows in the buildup to the global financial crisis and the potential vulnerabilities posed by capital flows to emerging market economies highlight the importance of reliable and timely measures of cross-border investment activity to better monitor developments as they unfold. We present new monthly estimates of U.S. cross-border securities investment, combining information from detailed annual Treasury International Capital (TIC) surveys with new information from the TIC form SLT. We also show how changes in the new monthly data can be decomposed into flows, estimated ...
Estimating the output gap in real time
I propose a novel method of estimating the potential level of U.S. GDP in real time. The proposed wage-based measure of economic potential remains virtually unchanged when new data are released. The distance between current and potential output ? the output gap ? satisfies Okun?s law and outperforms many other measures of slack in forecasting inflation. Thus, I provide a robust statistical tool useful for understanding current economic conditions and guiding policymaking.
Remarks at the fifth Data Management Strategies and Technologies Workshop
Remarks at the Fifth Data Management Strategies and Technologies Workshop, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City