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Jel Classification:D24 

Report
The role of technology in mortgage lending

Technology-based (?FinTech?) lenders increased their market share of U.S. mortgage lending from 2 percent to 8 percent from 2010 to 2016. Using market-wide, loan-level data on U.S. mortgage applications and originations, we show that FinTech lenders process mortgage applications about 20 percent faster than other lenders, even when controlling for detailed loan, borrower, and geographic observables. Faster processing does not come at the cost of higher defaults. FinTech lenders adjust supply more elastically than other lenders in response to exogenous mortgage demand shocks, thereby ...
Staff Reports , Paper 836

Working Paper
A Tale of Two Sectors : Why is Misallocation Higher in Services than in Manufacturing?

Recent empirical studies document that the level of resource misallocation in the service sector is significantly higher than in the manufacturing sector. We quantify the importance of this difference and study its sources. Conservative estimates for Portugal (2008) show that closing this gap, by reducing misallocation in the service sector to manufacturing levels, would boost aggregate gross output by around 12 percent and aggregate value added by around 31 percent. Differences in the effect and size of productivity shocks explain most of the gap in misallocation between manufacturing and ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1229

Working Paper
Heterogeneous exporters: quantitative differences and qualitative similarities

We combine two detailed datasets on Colombian manufacturing firms and document several stylized facts on exporter heterogeneity of total factor productivity (TFP) and export-market orientation, refining some previously known facts and unveiling some new others. We first show that the exporter productivity premium is remarkably robust across the methodologies used to recover TFP. We then document that the most productive exporters are those that export (1) a higher share of their total production, (2) to a larger number of countries, (3) to destinations less frequently reached by other ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-26

Working Paper
The Energy Boom and Manufacturing in the United States

This paper examines the response of U.S. manufacturers to changes in competitiveness brought about by movements in the price of natural gas. I estimate the response of various measures of manufacturing activity using panel regression methods across roughly 80 industries that allow each industry's response to vary with its energy intensity. These estimates suggest that the fall in the price of natural gas since 2006 is associated with a 2 to 3 percent increase in activity for the entire manufacturing sector, with much larger effects of 30 percent or more for the most energy intensive ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1108

Working Paper
Misallocation, informality, and human capital: understanding the role of institutions

Accepted for publication, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control The aim of this paper is to quantify the role of formal-sector institutions in shaping the demand for human capital and the level of informality. We propose a firm dynamics model where firms face capital market imperfections and costs of operating in the formal sector. Formal firms have a larger set of production opportunities and the ability to employ skilled workers, but informal firms can avoid the costs of formalization. These firm-level distortions give rise to endogenous formal and informal sectors and, more importantly, ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-11

Report
Estimation of cross-country differences in industry production functions.

International trade economists typically assume that there are no cross-country differences in industry total factor productivity (TFP). In contrast, this paper finds large and persistent TFP differences across a group of industrialized countries in the 1980s. The paper calculates TFP indices, and statistically examines the sources of the observed large TFP differences across countries. Two hypotheses are examined to account for TFP differences: constant returns to scale production with country-specific technological differences, and industry-level scale economies with identical technology in ...
Staff Reports , Paper 36

Working Paper
Vanishing procyclicality of productivity?: industry evidence

The robust performance of U.S. labor productivity (LP) early in the recovery from the Great Recession contrasts markedly with the sluggish growth of output, and even more with the lack of recovery in employment. This pattern has renewed interest in understanding why productivity has become much less procyclical in recent decades. This is an important topic because the cyclicality of productivity has implications for how we model business cycles, and our understanding of how they are propagated. The topic also has implications for monetary policy because it affects the trend-cycle ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-15

Working Paper
A Novel MIMIC-Style Model of European Bank Technical Efficiency and Productivity Growth

Using Bayesian Monte Carlo methods, we augment a stochastic distance function measure of bank efficiency and productivity growth with indicators of capitalization, return and risk. Our novel Multiple Indicator-Multiple Cause (MIMIC) style model generates more precise estimates of policy relevant parameters such as returns to scale, technical inefficiency and productivity growth. We find considerable variation in the performance of EU-15 banks over the period 2008 to 2015. For the vast majority of banks, productivity growth – the sum of efficiency and technical changes – is negative, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012

Working Paper
The 2009 recovery act: stimulus at the extensive and intensive labor margins

This paper studies the effect of government stimulus spending on a novel aspect of the labor market: the differential impact of spending on the total wage bill versus employment. We analyze the 2009 Recovery Act via instrumental variables using a new instrument, the spending done by federal agencies that were not instructed to target funds towards harder hit regions. We find a moderate positive effect on jobs created/saved (i.e., "the extensive margin") and also a significant increase in wage payments to workers whose job status was safe without Recovery Act funds (i.e., "the intensive ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-23

Report
Technology, the nature of information, and fintech marketplace lending

The retail lending landscape has changed considerably over the past two decades, the most recent example being the rapid growth of online, or FinTech, lending to consumers and small businesses. This paper discusses how the boundary of the firm in the retail lending market is affected by advances in information technology that have turned what was previously soft information on borrower credit risk into encoded hard data that can be precisely transmitted across firms at a very low cost. The ability to collect and process information has become the critical resource for lending decisions, ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 18-3

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