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Jel Classification:E00 

Fiat Value in the Theory of Value

We explore monetary policy in a world without currency. In our world, money is a form of government debt that bears interest, which can be negative as well as positive. Services of money are a factor of production. We show that the national accounts must be revised in this world. Using our baseline economy, we determine the balanced growth paths for a set of money interest rate target policy regimes. Besides this interest rate, the only policy variable that differs across regimes is either the labor income tax rate or the inflation rate. We find that Friedman monetary satiation without ...
Staff Report , Paper 530

Working Paper
Why Have Interest Rates Fallen Far Below the Return on Capital

Risk-free rates have been falling since the 1980s while the return on capital has not. We analyze these trends in a calibrated OLG model with recursive preferences, designed to encompass many of the "usual suspects'' cited in the debate on secular stagnation. Declining labor force and productivity growth imply a limited decline in real interest rates and deleveraging cannot account for the joint decline in the risk free rate and increase in the risk premium. If we allow for a change in the (perceived) risk to productivity growth to fit the data, we find that the decline in the risk-free rate ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2018-1

Working Paper
Dynamic Factor Models, Cointegration, and Error Correction Mechanisms

The paper studies Non-Stationary Dynamic Factor Models such that: (1) the factors Ft are I(1) and singular, i.e. Ft has dimension r and is driven by a q-dimensional white noise, the common shocks, with q < r, and (2) the idiosyncratic components are I(1). We show that Ft is driven by r-c permanent shocks, where c is the cointegration rank of Ft, and q - (r - c) < c transitory shocks, thus the same result as in the non-singular case for the permanent shocks but not for the transitory shocks. Our main result is obtained by combining the classic Granger Representation Theorem with recent ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-018

Aggregation and the PPP puzzle in a sticky-price model

We study the purchasing power parity (PPP) puzzle in a multisector, two-country, sticky-price model. Firms' price stickiness differs across sectors, in accordance with recent microeconomic evidence on price setting in various countries. Combined with local currency pricing, these differences lead sectoral real exchange rates to exhibit heterogeneous dynamics. We show that in this economy, deviations of the real exchange rate from PPP are more volatile and persistent when compared with a counterfactual one-sector world economy that features the same average frequency of price changes and is ...
Staff Reports , Paper 351

RBC Methodology and the Development of Aggregate Economic Theory

This essay reviews the development of neoclassical growth theory, a unified theory of aggregate economic phenomena that was first used to study business cycles and aggregate labor supply. Subsequently, the theory has been used to understand asset pricing, growth miracles and disasters, monetary economics, capital accounts, aggregate public finance, economic development, and foreign direct investment. {{p}} The focus of this essay is on real business cycle (RBC) methodology. Those who employ the discipline behind the methodology to address various quantitative questions come up with ...
Staff Report , Paper 527

Combinatorial Growth with Physical Constraints: Evidence from Electronic Miniaturization

In the past sixty years, transistor sizes and weights have decreased by 50 percent every eighteen months, following Moore’s Law. Smaller and lighter electronics have increased productivity in virtually every industry and spurred the creation of entirely new sectors of the economy. However, while the effect of the increasing quality of computers and electronics on GDP has been widely studied, the question of how electronic miniaturization affects economic growth has been unexplored. To quantify the effect of electronic miniaturization on GDP, this paper builds an economic growth model that ...
Staff Reports , Paper 970

Economic Benefits of COVID-19 Screening Tests

We assess the economic value of screening testing programs as a policy response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We find that the fiscal, macroeconomic, and health benefits of rapid SARS-CoV-2 screening testing programs far exceed their costs, with the ratio of economic benefits to costs typically in the range of 2-15 (depending on program details), not counting the monetized value of lives saved. Unless the screening test is highly specific, however, the signal value of the screening test alone is low, leading to concerns about adherence. Confirmatory testing increases the net economic ...
Staff Report , Paper 616

Economics at the Federal Reserve banks

Remarks at the American Economic Association 2014 Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Speech , Paper 128

Working Paper
Forward Guidance and Macroeconomic Outcomes Since the Financial Crisis

This paper studies the effects of FOMC forward guidance. We begin by using high frequency identification and direct measures of FOMC private information to show that puzzling responses of private sector forecasts to movements in federal funds futures rates on FOMC announcement days can be attributed entirely to Delphic forward guidance. However a large fraction of futures rates' variability on announcement days remains unexplained, leaving open the possibility that the FOMC has successfully communicated Odyssean guidance. We then examine whether the FOMC used Odyssean guidance to improve ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2016-7

The inflation-output trade-off revisited

A rich literature from the 1970s shows that as inflation expectations become more and more ingrained, monetary policy loses its stimulative effect. In the extreme, with perfectly anticipated inflation, there is no trade-off between inflation and output. A recent literature on the interest-rate zero lower bound, however, suggests there may be some benefits from anticipated inflation when he economy is in a liquidity trap. In this paper, we reconcile these two views by showing that while it is true, at positive interest rates, that inflation loses its stimulative effects as it becomes better ...
Staff Reports , Paper 608


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