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Jel Classification:G11 

Working Paper
The Performance of International Equity Portfolios

This paper evaluates the performance of U.S. investors' portfolios in the equities of over 40 countries over a 25-year period. We find that these portfolios achieved a significantly higher Sharpe ratio than foreign benchmarks, especially since 1990. We uncover three potential reasons for this success. First, U.S. investors abstained from momentum trading and instead sold past winners. Second, conditional performance tests provide no evidence that the superior (unconditional) performance owed to private information, suggesting that the successful exploitation of publicly available information ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 817

Working Paper
The cost of business cycles with heterogeneous trading technologies

This paper investigates the welfare cost of business cycles in an economy where households have heterogeneous trading technologies. In an economy with aggregate risk, the different portfolio choices induced by heterogeneous trading technologies lead to a larger consumption inequality in equilibrium, while this source of inequality vanishes in an economy without business cycles. Put simply, the heterogeneity in trading technologies amplifies the effect of aggregate output fluctuation on consumption inequality. The welfare cost of business cycles is, therefore, larger in such an economy. In the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-15

Report
Worker Betas: Five Facts about Systematic Earnings Risk

The magnitude of and heterogeneity in systematic earnings risk has important implications for various theories in macro, labor, and ?nancial economics. Using administrative data, we document how the aggregate risk exposure of individual earnings to GDP and stock returns varies across gender, age, the worker?s earnings level, and industry. Aggregate risk exposure is U-shaped with respect to the earnings level. In the middle of the earnings distribution, aggregate risk exposure is higher for males, younger workers, and those in construction and durable manufacturing. At the top of the earnings ...
Staff Report , Paper 546

Working Paper
Household Financial Distress and the Burden of ‘Aggregate’ Shocks

In this paper we show that household-level financial distress (FD) varies greatly and can increase vulnerability to economic shocks. To do this, we establish three facts: (i) regions in the United States vary significantly in their “FD-intensity,” measured either by how much additional credit households can access or how delinquent they are on debts, (ii) shocks that are typically viewed as “aggregate” in nature hit geographic areas quite differently, and (iii) FD is an economic “pre-existing condition”: the share of an aggregate shock borne by a region is positively correlated ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 20-13

Working Paper
Risk Taking and Low Longer-term Interest Rates: Evidence from the U.S. Syndicated Loan Market

We use supervisory data to investigate risk taking in the U.S. syndicated loan market at a time when longer-term interest rates are exceptionally low, and we study the ex-ante credit risk of loans acquired by different types of lenders, including banks and shadow banks. We find that insurance companies, pension funds, and, in particular, structured-finance vehicles take higher credit risk when investors expect interest rates to remain low. Banks originate riskier loans that they tend to divest shortly after origination, thus appearing to accommodate other lenders' investment choices. These ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-68

Report
Complexity in large U.S. banks

While both size and complexity are important for the largest U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs), specific types of complexity and their patterns across banks are not well understood. We introduce a range of measures of organizational, business, and geographic complexity. Comparing 2007 with 2017, we show that large U.S. BHCs remain very complex, with some declines along organizational and geographical complexity dimensions. The numbers of legal entities within some large BHCs have fallen. By contrast, the multiple industries spanned by legal entities within the BHCs have shifted more than ...
Staff Reports , Paper 880

Working Paper
Bayesian Inference and Prediction of a Multiple-Change-Point Panel Model with Nonparametric Priors

Change point models using hierarchical priors share in the information of each regime when estimating the parameter values of a regime. Because of this sharing, hierarchical priors have been very successful when estimating the parameter values of short-lived regimes and predicting the out-of-sample behavior of the regime parameters. However, the hierarchical priors have been parametric. Their parametric nature leads to global shrinkage that biases the estimates of the parameter coefficient of extraordinary regimes toward the value of the average regime. To overcome this shrinkage, we model ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2018-2

Working Paper
Current Account Adjustment and Retained Earnings

This paper develops a formal strategy to calculate current accounts with retained earnings (RE) on equity investment and analyzes their adjustment during the global financial crisis. RE are the part of companies' profits which are reinvested and not distributed to shareholders as dividends. International statistical standards treat RE on foreign direct investment and RE on portfolio investment differently: while the former enter the current and financial account, the latter do not. We show that this differential treatment strongly affects current accounts of several advanced economies, ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 345

Working Paper
Returns to Active Management: The Case of Hedge Funds

Do more active hedge fund managers generate higher returns than their less active peers? We attempt to answer this question. Using Kalman Filter techniques, we estimate the risk exposure dynamics of a large sample of live and dead equity long-short hedge funds. These estimates are then used to develop a measure of activeness for each hedge fund. Our results show that there exists a nonlinear relationship between activeness and performance. Using raw returns as a measure of performance, it is found that more active funds outperform the less active ones. However, when risk adjusted returns are ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1112

Working Paper
Household Financial Distress and the Burden of 'Aggregate' Shocks

The goal of this paper is to show that household-level financial distress (FD) varies greatly, meaning there is unequal exposure to macroeconomic risk, and that FD can increase macroeconomic vulnerability. To do this, we first establish three facts: (i) regions in the U.S. vary significantly in their "FD-intensity," measured either by how much additional credit households therein can access, or in how delinquent they typically are on debts, (ii) shocks that are typically viewed as "aggregate" in nature hit geographic areas quite differently, and (iii) FD is an economic "pre-existing ...
Working Paper , Paper 20-12

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