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Jel Classification:E40 

Working Paper
Price dispersion and inflation: new facts and theoretical implications
From a macroeconomic perspective, price rigidity is often perceived to be an important source of price dispersion, with significant implications for the dynamic properties of aggregate variables, welfare calculations, and the design of optimal policy. For instance, in standard New Keynesian models, the key cost of business cycles stems from the price dispersion resulting from firms' inability to adjust prices instantaneously. However, different macroeconomic models make conflicting predictions about the level of price dispersion, as well as about its dynamic properties and sensitivity to inflation. These contrasting predictions can help us to discriminate across alternative models. This paper examines the link between price dispersion and inflation, and the role of sales in this relationship.
AUTHORS: Sheremirov, Viacheslav
DATE: 2015-07-01

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 requires an increase in the borrowing capacity of the indebted agents in the model, consistent with the increase in the sum of public and private debt since the crisis, but at odds with a deleveraging-based explanation put forth in Eggertsson and Krugman (2012).
AUTHORS: Mojon, Benoit; Velde, Francois R.; Marx, Magali
DATE: 2018-01-25

Journal Article
Revamping the Kansas City Financial Stress Index Using the Treasury Repo Rate
The Kansas City Financial Stress Index (KCFSI) uses the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to measure money market borrowing conditions. But regulatory changes in the United Kingdom will eliminate LIBOR by 2021. We construct a revised financial stress index with a variable that measures the cost of borrowing collateralized by Treasury securities (the Treasury repo rate) instead of LIBOR. {{p}} This revised measure of the KCFSI is highly correlated with the current KCFSI, suggesting the Treasury repo rate can replace LIBOR.
AUTHORS: Doh, Taeyoung; Cook, Thomas R.
DATE: 2018-10

Working Paper
Forecasting China's Economic Growth and Inflation
Although macroeconomic forecasting forms an integral part of the policymaking process, there has been a serious lack of rigorous and systematic research in the evaluation of out-of-sample model-based forecasts of China's real gross domestic product (GDP) growth and consumer price index inflation. This paper fills this research gap by providing a replicable forecasting model that beats a host of other competing models when measured by root mean square errors, especially over long-run forecast horizons. The model is shown to be capable of predicting turning points and usable for policy analysis under different scenarios. It predicts that China's future GDP growth will be of an L-shape rather than a U-shape.
AUTHORS: Higgins, Patrick C.; Zha, Tao; Zhong, Karen
DATE: 2016-07-01

Working Paper
Economic policy uncertainty and the credit channel: aggregate and bank level U.S. evidence over several decades
Economic policy uncertainty aspects decisions of households, businesses, policy makers and financial intermediaries. We first examine the impact of economic policy uncertainty on aggregate bank credit growth. Then we analyze commercial bank entity level data to gauge the effects of policy uncertainty on financial intermediaries' lending. We exploit the cross-sectional heterogeneity to back out indirect evidence of its effects on businesses and households. We ask (i) whether, conditional on standard macroeconomic controls, economic policy uncertainty affected bank level credit growth, and (ii) whether there is variation in the impact related to banks' balance sheet conditions; that is, whether the effects are attributable to loan demand or, if impact varies with bank level financial constraints, loan supply. We find that policy uncertainty has a significant negative effect on bank credit growth. Since this impact varies meaningfully with some bank characteristics - particularly the overall capital-to-assets ratio and bank asset liquidity-loan supply factors at least partially (and significantly) help determine the influence of policy uncertainty. Because other studies have found important macroeconomic effects of bank lending growth on the macroeconomy, our findings are consistent with the possibility that high economic policy uncertainty may have slowed the U.S. economic recovery from the Great Recession by restraining overall credit growth through the bank lending channel.
AUTHORS: Koch, Christoffer; Bordo, Michael D.; Duca, John V.
DATE: 2016-07-08

Working Paper
Do Monetary Policy Announcements Shift Household Expectations?
We use daily survey data from Gallup to assess whether households' beliefs about economic conditions are influenced by surprises in monetary policy announcements. We first provide more general evidence that public confidence in the state of the economy reacts to certain types of macroeconomic news very quickly. Next, we show that surprises to the Federal Funds target rate are among the news that have statistically significant and instantaneous effects on economic confidence. In contrast, surprises about forward guidance and asset purchases do not have similar effects on household beliefs, perhaps because they are less well understood. We document heterogeneity in the responsiveness of sentiment across demographics.
AUTHORS: Lewis, Daniel J.; Makridis, Christos; Mertens, Karel
DATE: 2019-09-05

Working Paper
The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Small Business
There are concerns that the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) has impeded small-business lending. By increasing the fixed regulatory compliance requirements needed to make business loans and operate a bank, the DFA disproportionately reduced the incentives for all banks to make very modest loans and reduced the viability of small banks, whose small-business share of commercial and industrial (C&I) loans is generally much higher than that of larger banks. Despite an economic recovery, the small-loan share of C&I loans at large banks and banks with $300 or more million in assets has fallen 9 percentage points since the DFA was passed in 2010, with the magnitude of the decline twice as large at small banks. Controlling for cyclical effects and bank size, we find that these declines in the small-loan share of C&I loans are almost all statistically attributed to the change in regulatory regime. Examining Federal Reserve survey data, we find evidence that the DFA prompted a relative tightening of bank credit standards on C&I loans to small versus large firms, consistent with the DFA inducing a decline in small-business lending through loan supply effects. We also empirically model the pace of business formation, finding that it had downshifted around the time when the DFA and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act were announced. Timing patterns suggest that business formation has more recently ticked higher, coinciding with efforts to provide regulatory relief to smaller banks via modifying rules implementing the DFA. The upturn contrasts with the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which appears to persistently restrain business formation.
AUTHORS: Bordo, Michael D.; Duca, John V.
DATE: 2018-04-21

Working Paper
On the Theoretical Efficacy of Quantitative Easing at the Zero Lower Bound
We construct a monetary economy in which agents face aggregate demand shocks and hetero- generous idiosyncratic preference shocks. We show that, even when the Friedman rule is the best interest rate policy, not all agents are satiated at the zero lower bound. Thus, quantitative easing can be welfare improving since it temporarily relaxes the liquidity constraint of some agents, without harming others. Moreover, due to a pricing externality, quantitative easing may also have beneficial general equilibrium effects for the unconstrained agents. Lastly, our model suggests that it can be optimal for the central bank to buy private debt claims instead of government debt.
AUTHORS: Boel, Paola; Waller, Christopher J.
DATE: 2015-09-01

Working Paper
Monetary Policy and Liquid Government Debt
We examine the conduct of monetary policy in a world where the supply of outside money is controlled by the fiscal authority-a scenario increasingly relevant for many developed economies today. Central bank control over the long-run inflation rate depends on whether fiscal policy is Ricardian or Non-Ricardian. The optimal monetary policy follows a generalized Friedman rule that eliminates the liquidity premium on scarce treasury debt. We derive conditions for determinacy under both fiscal regimes and show that they do not necessarily correspond to the Taylor principle. In addition, Non-Ricardian regimes may suffer from multiplicity of steady-states when the government runs persistent deficits.
AUTHORS: Andolfatto, David; Martin, Fernando M.
DATE: 2018-01-16

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