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Jel Classification:E2 

Discussion Paper
Financial Crises and the Desirability of Macroprudential Policy

The global financial crisis has put financial stability risks?and the potential role of macroprudential policies in addressing them?at the forefront of policy debates. The challenge for macroeconomists is to develop new models that are consistent with the data while being able to capture the highly nonlinear nature of crisis episodes. In this post, we evaluate the impact of a macroprudential policy that has the government tilt incentives for banks to encourage them to build up their equity positions. The government has a role since individual banks do not internalize the systemic benefit of ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170410

Discussion Paper
Low Productivity Growth: The Capital Formation Link

A major economic concern is the ongoing sluggishness in the growth of output per worker hour, generally called labor productivity. In an arithmetic sense, the growth of the economy can be accounted for by the increase in hours worked plus that of labor productivity. With the unemployment rate now at a level widely regarded as near ?full employment,? growth in hours worked is likely to be limited by demographic forces, most importantly the very limited expansion of the working-age population. If productivity growth also remains low, the sustainable pace of increase of real GDP will be limited ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170626

Discussion Paper
Discretionary Services Spending Has Finally Made It Back (to 2007)

The current economic expansion is now the third-longest expansion in U.S. history (based on National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER] dating of U.S. business cycles). Even so, average growth in this expansion?a 2.1 percent annual rate?has been extraordinarily weak. In this post, I return to previous analysis on a specific portion of consumer spending?household discretionary services expenditures?that has displayed unusual weakness in the current expansion (see this post for the definition of discretionary versus nondiscretionary services expenditures, and these posts from 2012 and 2014 for ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20171016

Discussion Paper
What About Spending on Consumer Goods?

In a recent Liberty Street Economics post, I showed that one major category of consumer spending?spending on discretionary services such as recreation, transportation, and household utilities?behaved very differently in the 2007-09 recession and subsequent recovery than in previous business cycles: specifically, it fell more steeply and has recovered much more slowly. This finding prompted one of the editors of this blog to inquire whether consumer goods spending has also departed markedly from its behavior in past cycles. To answer that question, I examined the decline of expenditures on ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180116

Discussion Paper
Recycling Oil Revenue

Almost half the U.S. merchandise trade deficit was tied to petroleum ten years ago. Oil prices were above $100 a barrel, the economy was doing well enough that oil consumption was growing despite high oil prices, and domestic oil production was falling. The U.S. petroleum trade balance has since narrowed substantially from $400 billion in 2008 to under $65 billion in 2017 as a result of lower oil prices, higher domestic production, and a prolonged period of flat-to-falling petroleum consumption. Going forward, the changes in domestic production and consumption have significantly moderated the ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180514

Discussion Paper
Opening the Toolbox: The Nowcasting Code on GitHub

In April 2016, we unveiled--and began publishing weekly--the New York Fed Staff Nowcast, an estimate of GDP growth using an automated platform for tracking economic conditions in real time. Today we go a step further by publishing the MATLAB code for the nowcasting model, available here on GitHub, a public repository hosting service. We hope that sharing our code will make it easier for people interested in monitoring the macroeconomy to understand the details underlying the nowcast and to replicate our results.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180810

Discussion Paper
Will Demographic Headwinds Hobble China's Economy?

China's population is only growing at a 0.5 percent annual rate, its working-age cohort (ages 15 to 64) is shrinking, and the share of the population that is 65 and over is rising rapidly. Together, these trends will act as a significant restraint on the country?s economic growth. Nonetheless, there are reasons to conclude that growth will remain relatively strong going forward, most notably because the ongoing shift from rural to urban jobs will continue to boost labor productivity for some time to come.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180815

Discussion Paper
Is the United States Relying on Foreign Investors to Fund Its Larger Budget Deficit?

The federal tax cut and the increase in federal spending at the beginning of 2018 substantially increased the government deficit, requiring a jump in the amount of Treasury securities needed to fund the gap. One question is whether the government will have to rely on foreign investors to buy these securities. Data for the first half of 2018 are available and, so far, the country has not had to increase the pace of borrowing from abroad. The current account balance, which measures how much the United States borrows from the rest of the world, has been essentially unchanged. Instead, the tax ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20181128

Discussion Paper
Monitoring Economic Conditions during a Government Shutdown

The recent partial shutdown of the federal government has disrupted publication schedules for many U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data releases. Most notably, the release of GDP for the fourth quarter of 2018?originally scheduled for January 30?has been postponed indefinitely. Even without the full slate of Census Bureau and BEA releases, forecasters have continued to make predictions for 2018:Q4 GDP growth; as of February 1, the New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 2.6 percent, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow stands at 2.5 percent, and the Blue Chip Financial Forecasts ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20190205

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

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