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Jel Classification:E2 

Discussion Paper
New York City’s Economic Recovery—Main Street Gets the Jump on Wall Street

After bottoming out in late 2009, New York City’s economy has been on the road to recovery. In this post, we call attention to an unprecedented feature of the current economic recovery: overall employment in the city began to rebound from the recession well before Wall Street started adding jobs. We also consider some questions that this development naturally raises: What took Wall Street employment so long to recover? What’s been driving job generation on Main Street? What does the recent pickup in Wall Street employment suggest about the outlook for the city’s economy?
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20110502

Working Paper
Trading down and the business cycle

The authors document two facts: First, during recessions consumers trade down in the quality of the goods and services they consume. Second, the production of low-quality goods is less labor intensive than that of high-quality goods. Therefore, when households trade down, labor demand falls, increasing the severity of recessions. The authors find that the trading-down phenomenon accounts for a substantial fraction of the fall in U.S. employment in the recent recession. They study two business cycle models that embed quality choice and find that the presence of quality choice magnifies the ...
FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper , Paper 2015-5

Discussion Paper
What’s Up with the Phillips Curve?

U.S. inflation used to rise during economic booms, as businesses charged higher prices to cope with increases in wages and other costs. When the economy cooled and joblessness rose, inflation declined. This pattern changed around 1990. Since then, U.S. inflation has been remarkably stable, even though economic activity and unemployment have continued to fluctuate. For example, during the Great Recession unemployment reached 10 percent, but inflation barely dipped below 1 percent. More recently, even with unemployment as low as 3.5 percent, inflation remained stuck under 2 percent. What ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200918a

Working Paper
Income Volatility and Portfolio Choices

Based on administrative data from Statistics Norway, we find economically significant shifts in households' financial portfolios around structural breaks in income volatility. When the standard deviation of labor-income growth doubles, the share of risky assets decreases by 4 percentage points. We ask whether this estimated marginal effect is consistent with a standard model of portfolio choice with idiosyncratic volatility shocks. The standard model generates a much more aggressive portfolio response than we see in the data. We show that Bayesian learning about the underlying volatility ...
Working Paper , Paper 20-01

Discussion Paper
Did State Reopenings Increase Consumer Spending?

The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has had a profound impact on economic activity. Beginning in March, most states imposed severe restrictions on households and businesses to slow the spread of the virus. This was followed by a gradual loosening of restrictions (“reopening”) starting in April. As the virus has re-emerged, a number of states have taken steps to reverse the reopening of their economies. For example, Texas and Florida closed bars again in June, and Arizona additionally paused operations of gyms and movie theatres. Taken together, these measures raise the question of ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200918b

Discussion Paper
Differences in Rent Inflation by Cost of Housing

We know that different people experience different inflation rates because the bundle of goods and services that they consume is different from that of the "typical" household. This phenomenon is discussed in this publication from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and this article from the New York Fed. But did you know that there are substantial differences in inflation experience depending on the level of one's housing costs? In this post, which is based upon our updated staff report on ?The Measurement of Rent Inflation,? we present evidence that price changes for rent, which ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20151104

Working Paper
Is There News in Inventories?

This paper identifies total factor productivity (TFP) news shocks using standard VAR methodology and documents a new stylized fact: in response to news about future increases in TFP, inventories rise and comove positively with other major macroeconomic aggregates. The authors show that the standard theoretical model used to capture the effects of news shocks cannot replicate this fact when extended to include inventories. To explain the empirical inventory behavior, they develop a framework that relies on the presence of knowledge capital accumulated through a learning-by-doing process. The ...
Working Paper , Paper 20-03

Discussion Paper
Developing a Narrative: the Great Recession and Its Aftermath

The severe recession experienced by the U.S. economy between December 2007 and June 2009 has given way to a disappointing recovery. It took three and a half years for GDP to return to its pre-recession peak, and by most accounts this broad measure of economic activity remains below trend today. What precipitated the U.S. economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression? And what headwinds are holding back the recovery? Are these headwinds permanent, calling for a revision of our assessment of the economy?s speed limit? Or are they transitory, although very long-lasting, as the ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20140924

Discussion Paper
Global Trends in Interest Rates

Long-term government bond yields are at their lowest levels of the past 150 years in advanced economies. In this blog post, we argue that this low-interest-rate environment reflects secular global forces that have lowered real interest rates by about two percentage points over the past forty years. The magnitude of this decline has been nearly the same in all advanced economies, since their real interest rates have converged over this period. The key factors behind this development are an increase in demand for safety and liquidity among investors and a slowdown in global economic growth.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20190227

Journal Article
Aging and Wealth Inequality in a Neoclassical Growth Model

In this article, the author uses a version of the neoclassical growth model with overlapping generations of individuals to investigate the effect of aging on wealth inequality. When an economy?s population becomes older?that is, when the proportion of individuals 65 years of age and older increases?two effects are at work: a direct effect from the changing age composition of the population and an indirect, equilibrium effect from the change in asset holdings by owner?s age. The main result is that wealth inequality in an aging population may decrease or increase depending on the cause of the ...
Review , Volume 98 , Issue 1 , Pages 61-80

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