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Jel Classification:E58 

Working Paper
How to Starve the Beast: Fiscal Policy Rules

Countries have widely imposed fiscal rules designed to constrain government spending and ensure fiscal responsibility. This paper studies the effectiveness and welfare implications of revenue, deficit and debt rules when governments are discretionary and profligate. The optimal prescription is a revenue ceiling coupled with a balance budget requirement. For the U.S., the optimal revenue ceiling is about 15% of output, 3 percentage points below the postwar average. Most of the benefits can still be reaped with a milder constraint or escape clauses during adverse times. Imposing a single fiscal ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-026

Working Paper
Central Bank Communication with a Financial Stability Objective

An endogenous financial crisis is introduced into the canonical model used to study central bank transparency. The central bank is endowed with private information about the real economy and credit conditions which jointly determine financial vulnerabilities. An optimal choice is made regarding whether to communicate this information to the public. A key finding is that the optimal communication strategy depends on the state of the credit cycle and the composition of shocks driving the cycle. From a policy perspective, this raises the possibility that central bank communication in the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-087

Working Paper
Raiders of the Lost High-Frequency Forecasts: New Data and Evidence on the Efficiency of the Fed's Forecasting

We introduce a new dataset of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth and core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation forecasts produced by the staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In contrast to the eight Greenbook forecasts a year the staff produces for Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings, our dataset has roughly weekly forecasts. We use these new data to study whether the staff forecasts efficiently and whether efficiency, or lack thereof, is time-varying. Prespecified regressions of forecast errors on forecast revisions show that the staff's ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-090

Working Paper
Let's Close the Gap: Revising Teaching Materials to Reflect How the Federal Reserve Implements Monetary Policy

The topic of the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed’s) implementation of monetary policy has a significant presence in economics textbooks as well as standards and guidelines for economics instruction. This presence likely reflects the fact that it is the implementation framework that helps ensure that the Fed’s desired level of its policy interest rate is transmitted to financial markets, which helps it steer the economy toward the Congressional dual mandate of maximum employment and price stability. Over the past decade or so, the Fed has purposefully shifted the way it implements monetary ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-092

Working Paper
More Stories of Unconventional Monetary Policy

This article extends the work of Fawley and Neely (2013) to describe how major central banks have evolved unconventional monetary policies to encourage real activity and maintain stable inflation rates from 2013 through 2019. By 2013, central banks were moving from lump-sum asset purchase programs to continuing asset purchase programs, which are conditioned on economic conditions, careful communication strategies, bank lending programs with incentives and negative interest rates. This article reviews how central banks tailored their unconventional monetary methods to their various challenges ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-043

Working Paper
Fiscal Dominance

Who prevails when fiscal and monetary authorities disagree about the value of public expenditure and how much to discount the future? When the fiscal authority sets debt as its main policy instrument it achieves fiscal dominance, rendering the preferences of the central bank, and thus its independence, irrelevant. When the central bank sets the nominal interest rate it renders fiscal impatience (its debt bias) irrelevant, but still faces its expenditure bias. I find that the expenditure bias is about an order of magnitude more severe than the debt bias and has a major impact on welfare ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-040

Working Paper
The (Unintended?) Consequences of the Largest Liquidity Injection Ever

The design of lender-of-last-resort interventions can exacerbate the bank-sovereign nexus. During sovereign crises, central bank provision of long-term liquidity incentivizes banks to purchase high yield eligible collateral securities matching the maturity of the central bank loans. Using unique security level data, we find that the European Central Bank's 3-year Long-Term Refinancing Operation caused Portuguese banks to purchase short-term domestic government bonds, equivalent to 10.6% of amounts outstanding, and pledge them to obtain central bank liquidity. The steepening of Eurozone ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-039

Journal Article
The (Unintended?) Consequences of the Largest Liquidity Injection Ever

The design of lender-of-last-resort interventions can exacerbate the bank-sovereign nexus. During sovereign crises, central bank provision of long-term liquidity incentivizes banks to purchase high yield eligible collateral securities matching the maturity of the central bank loans. Using unique security level data, we find that the European Central Bank's 3-year Long-Term Refinancing Operation caused Portuguese banks to purchase short-term domestic government bonds, equivalent to 10.6% of amounts outstanding, and pledge them to obtain central bank liquidity. The steepening of Eurozone ...
Working Papers , Volume 112 , Pages 97-112

Working Paper
The Effect of Central Bank Credibility on Forward Guidance in an Estimated New Keynesian Model

This paper examines the effectiveness of forward guidance in an estimated New Keynesian model with imperfect central bank credibility. We estimate credibility for the U.S. Federal Reserve with Bayesian methods exploiting survey data on interest rate expectations from the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). The results provide important takeaways: (1) The estimate of Federal Reserve credibility in terms of forward guidance announcements is relatively high, which indicates a degree of forward guidance effectiveness, but still one that is below the fully credible case. Hence, anticipation ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 375

Working Paper
The Effect of Central Bank Credibility on Forward Guidance in an Estimated New Keynesian Model

This paper examines the effectiveness of forward guidance in an estimated New Keynesian model with imperfect central bank credibility. Forward guidance and the credibility of the central bank are uniquely modeled by utilizing a game-theoretic evolutionary framework. We estimate credibility for the U.S. Federal Reserve with Bayesian methods exploiting survey data on interest rate expectations from the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). The results provide important takeaways: (1) The estimate of Federal Reserve credibility in terms of forward guidance announcements is relatively high, ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 375

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