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Jel Classification:H50 

Working Paper
Assessing the Evidence on Neighborhood Effects from Moving to Opportunity

The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment randomly assigned housing vouchers that could be used in low-poverty neighborhoods. Consistent with the literature, I find that receiving an MTO voucher had no effect on outcomes like earnings, employment, and test scores. However, after studying the assumptions identifying neighborhood effects with MTO data, this paper reaches a very different interpretation of these results than found in the literature. I first specify a model in which the absence of effects from the MTO program implies an absence of neighborhood effects. I present theory and ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1506

Newsletter
How vulnerable are insurance companies to a downturn in the municipal bond market?

As the U.S. economy remains weakened by the Covid-19 pandemic, concern persists for the health and resilience of the municipal bond market. Municipal bonds (muni bonds) are debt securities issued by state and local governments to raise money and are generally considered to be safe investments. However, the recent slowdown in economic activity due to Covid-19 created significant stress on state and local government budgets, leading to a heightened risk for municipal bond downgrades and possibly even defaults. In this Chicago Fed Letter, we examine to what extent property and casualty (P&C) and ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 451 , Pages 7

Working Paper
New Findings on the Fiscal Impact of Immigration in the United States

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2016) report on the economic and fiscal effects of immigration included the first set of comprehensive fiscal impacts published in twenty years. The estimates highlight the pivotal role of the public goods assumption. If immigrants are assigned the average cost of public goods, such as national defense and interest on the debt, then immigration?s fiscal impact is negative in both the short and long run. If, instead, immigrants are assigned the marginal cost of public goods, then the long-run fiscal impact is positive and the ...
Working Papers , Paper 1704

Working Paper
Fiscal Stimulus under Sovereign Risk

The excess procyclicality of fiscal policy is commonly viewed as a central malaise in emerging economies. We document that procyclicality is more pervasive in countries with higher sovereign risk and provide a model of optimal fiscal policy with nominal rigidities and endogenous sovereign default that can account for this empirical pattern. Financing a fiscal stimulus is costly for risky countries and can render countercyclical policies undesirable, even in the presence of large Keynesian stabilization gains. We also show that imposing austerity can backfire by exacerbating the exposure to ...
Working Papers , Paper 762

Working Paper
Incumbency Disadvantage in U.S. National Politics: The Role of Policy Inertia and Prospective Voting

We document that postwar U.S. national elections show a strong pattern of incumbency disadvantage": If the presidency has been held by a party for some time, that party tends to lose seats in Congress. We develop a model of partisan politics with policy inertia and prospective voting to explain this finding. Positive and normative implications of the model are explored.
Working Papers , Paper 17-43

Working Paper
Fiscal Stimulus Under Sovereign Risk

The excess procyclicality of fiscal policy is commonly viewed as a central malaise in emerging economies. We document that procyclicality is more pervasive in countries with higher sovereign risk and provide a model of optimal fiscal policy with nominal rigidities and endogenous sovereign default that can account for this empirical pattern. Financing a fiscal stimulus is costly for risky countries and can render countercyclical policies undesirable, even in the presence of large Keynesian stabilization gains. We also show that imposing austerity can backfire by exacerbating the exposure to ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1257

Working Paper
Place-Based Consequences of Person-Based Transfer: Evidence from Recessions

This paper studies how government transfers respond to changes in local economic activity that emerge during recessions. Local labor markets that experience greater employment losses during recessions face persistent relative decreases in per capita earnings. However, these areas also experience persistent increases in per capita transfers, which offset 16 percent of the earnings loss on average. The increase in transfers is driven by unemployment insurance in the short run, and medical, retirement, and disability transfers in the long run. Our results show that nominally place-neutral ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-08

Journal Article
Fiscal Sustainability: A Cross-Country Analysis

Since the global financial crisis, public debt has risen rapidly in many advanced and emerging market economies. Every country faces a fiscal limit at which taxes and spending can no longer adjust to stabilize debt. But quantifying fiscal limits can be challenging. Different countries have different capacities to service their debt. Moreover, two countries with similar debt levels may face drastically different default risks. {{p}} Huixin Bi introduces a new, country-specific framework of fiscal limits to quantify the maximum level of debt a government can sustain given its economic and ...
Economic Review , Issue Q IV , Pages 5-35

Working Paper
Withstanding great recession like China

The Great Recession was characterized by two related phenomena: (i) a jobless recovery and (ii) a permanent drop in aggregate output. Data show that the United States, Europe, and even countries with lesser ties to the international financial system have suffered large permanent losses in aggregate output and employment since the financial crisis, despite unprecedented monetary injections. However, the symptoms of the Great Recession were not observed in China, despite a 45% permanent drop in its exports one of the largest trade collapses in world history since the Great Depression. Our ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-7

Journal Article
Secular Stagnation and Monetary Policy

This article is based on the author?s Homer Jones Memorial Lecture delivered at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, April 6, 2016.
Review , Volume 98 , Issue 2

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