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Jel Classification:L11 

Report
Informational Rigidities and the Stickiness of Temporary Sales

We use unique price data to study how retailers react to underlying cost changes. Temporary sales account for 95% of price changes in our data. Simple models would, therefore, suggest that temporary sales play a central role in price responses to cost shocks. We find, however, that, in response to a wholesale cost increase, the entire increase in retail prices comes through regular price increases. Sales actually respond temporarily in the opposite direction from regular prices, as though to conceal the price hike. Additional evidence from responses to commodity cost and local unemployment ...
Staff Report , Paper 513

Working Paper
Market exposure and endogenous firm volatility over the business cycle

First Draft: November 1, 2011 We propose a theory of endogenous firm-level volatility over the business cycle based on endogenous market exposure. Firms that reach a larger number of markets diversify market-specific demand risk at a cost. The model is driven only by total factor productivity shocks and captures the business cycle properties of firm-level volatility. Using a panel of U.S. firms (Compustat), we empirically document the countercyclical nature of firm-level volatility. We then match this panel to Compustat?s Segment data and the U.S. Census?s Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-12

Working Paper
Cost of Banking for LMI and Minority Communities

Bank accounts are critical for participation in the modern economy. However, these accounts frequently require maintenance fees and incur overdraft charges. We assess whether minimum account balances to avoid fees, account maintenance fee amounts, and non-sufficient funds charges are systematically different in LMI and majority-minority communities, and find that they are generally higher. For example, the minimum account balance to avoid fees in a non-interest checking account is about $50 higher in LMI Census tracts than in higher income tracts, and $75 higher in majority-minority tracts. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2022-040

Journal Article
Credit Expansion and Markups

This article documents new empirical facts about the effects of credit expansion on the aggregate markup and markup dispersion in the United States. We use U.S. macroeconomic data and Jordà's local projection and single-equation estimation methods. The results for both methods show that the aggregate markup and markup dispersion increase in response to both a firm debt shock and a household debt shock. The previous literature mostly focused on the effect of firm debt financing on firm markups. Extending previous research, our study shows that household credit expansion also plays a role in ...
Review , Volume 104 , Issue 4 , Pages 297-316

Report
Shadow Insurance

Liabilities ceded by life insurers to shadow reinsurers (i.e., affiliated and less regulated off-balance-sheet entities) grew from $11 billion in 2002 to $364 billion in 2012. Life insurers using shadow insurance, which capture half of the market share, ceded 25 cents of every dollar insured to shadow reinsurers in 2012, up from 2 cents in 2002. Our adjustment for shadow insurance reduces risk-based capital by 53 percentage points (or 3 rating notches) and raises default probabilities by a factor of 3.5. We develop a structural model of the life insurance industry and estimate the impact of ...
Staff Report , Paper 505

Working Paper
Declining Dynamism, Allocative Efficiency, and the Productivity Slowdown

A large literature documents declining measures of business dynamism including high-growth young firm activity and job reallocation. A distinct literature describes a slowdown in the pace of aggregate labor productivity growth. We relate these patterns by studying changes in productivity growth from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s using firm-level data. We find that diminished allocative efficiency gains can account for the productivity slowdown in a manner that interacts with the within-firm productivity growth distribution. The evidence suggests that the decline in dynamism is reason for ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-019

Journal Article
Global integration in the banking industry

Lowered regulatory barriers and advances in technology have reduced the cost of supplying banking services across borders. At the same time, growth in activity by multinational corporations has increased the demand for international financial services. As a result, many observers believe that global integration is under way in the banking industry, that banks are expanding their reach across borders, and that many banking markets will therefore develop large foreign components. The authors report on a study conducted by them, along with Qinglei Dai and Steven Ongena, that examined the ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 89 , Issue Nov , Pages 451-460

Working Paper
Accounting for Productivity Dispersion over the Business Cycle

This paper presents accounting decompositions of changes in aggregate labor and capital productivity. Our simplest decomposition breaks changes in an aggregate productivity ratio into two components: A mean component, which captures common changes to firm factor productivity ratios, and a dispersion component, which captures changes in the variance and higher order moments of their distribution. In standard models with heterogeneous firms and frictions to firm input decisions, the dispersion component is a function of changes in the second and higher moments of the log of marginal revenue ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-045

Working Paper
Slow Convergence in Economies with Organization Capital

Most firms begin very small, and large firms are the result of typically decades of persistent growth. This growth can be understood as the result of some form of capital accumulation-organization capital. In the US, the distribution of firm size k has a right tail only slightly thinner than 1/k. This means that most capital accumulation must be accounted for by incumbent firms. This paper describes a range of circumstances in which this implies aggregate convergence rates that are only about half of what they are in the standard Cass-Koopmans economy. Through the lens of the models described ...
Working Papers , Paper 748

Working Paper
Markups and misallocation with trade and heterogeneous firms

With non-homothetic preferences, a monopolistic competition equilibrium is inefficient in the way inputs are allocated towards production. This paper quantifies a gains from trade component that is present only when reallocation is properly measured in a setting with heterogeneous firms that charge variable markups. Due to variable markups, reallocations initiated by aggregate shocks impact allocative efficiency depending on the adjustment of the market power distribution. My measurement compares real income growth with the hypothetical case of no misallocation in quantities. Using firm and ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 251

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