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Jel Classification:L86 

Report
Rational bias in macroeconomic forecasts

This paper develops a model of macroeconomic forecasting in which the wages firms pay their forecasters are a function of their accuracy as well as the publicity they generate for their employers by being correct. In the resulting Nash equilibrium, forecasters with identical models, information, and incentives nevertheless produce a variety of predictions in order to maximize their expected wages. In the case of heterogeneous incentives, the forecasters whose wages are most closely tied to publicity, as opposed to accuracy, produce the forecasts that deviate most from the consensus. We find ...
Staff Reports , Paper 21

Working Paper
Can Reputation Discipline the Gig Economy? Experimental Evidence from an Online Labor Market

Just as employers face uncertainty when hiring workers, workers also face uncertainty when accepting employment, and bad employers may opportunistically depart from expectations, norms, and laws. However, prior research in economics and information sciences has focused sharply on the employer?s problem of identifying good workers rather than vice versa. This issue is especially pronounced in markets for gig work, including online labor markets, where platforms are developing strategies to help workers identify good employers. We build a theoretical model for the value of such reputation ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 16

Working Paper
The Rise of Exporting By U.S. Firms

Although a great deal of ink has been spilled over the consequences of globalization, we do not yet fully understand the causes of increased worldwide trade. Using confidential microdata from the U.S. Census, we document widespread entry into countries abroad by U.S. firms from 1987 to 2006. We show that this extensive margin growth is unlikely to have been due to significant declines in entry costs. We instead find evidence of large roles for the development of the internet, trade agreements, and foreign income growth in driving these trends.
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1157

Working Paper
The Increasing Deflationary Influence of Consumer Digital Access Services

Consumer digital access services—internet, mobile phone, cable TV, and streaming—accounted for over 2 percent of U.S. household consumption in 2018. We construct prices for these services using direct measures of volume (data transmitted, talk time, and hours of programming). Our price index fell 12 percent per year from 1988 to 2018 while official prices moved up modestly. Using our digital services index, we estimate total personal consumption expenditure (PCE) prices have risen nearly 1/2 percentage point slower than the official index since 2008. Importantly, the spread between ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-021r1

Working Paper
The Increasing Deflationary Influence of Consumer Digital Access Services

Consumer digital access services—internet, mobile phone, cable TV, and streaming—accounted for over 2 percent of U.S. household consumption in 2018. We construct prices for these services using direct measures of volume (data transmitted, talk time, and hours of programming). Our price index fell 12 percent per year from 1988 to 2018 while official prices moved up modestly. Using our digital services index, we estimate total personal consumption expenditure (PCE) prices have risen nearly 1/2 percentage point slower than the official index since 2008. Importantly, the spread between ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-021

Working Paper
ICT Services and their Prices: What do they tell us about Productivity and Technology?

This paper reassesses the link between ICT prices, technology, and productivity. To understand how the ICT sector could come to the rescue of a whole economy, we extend a multi-sector model due to Oulton (2012) to include ICT services (e.g., cloud services) and use it to calibrate the steady-state contribution of the ICT sector to growth in aggregate U.S. labor productivity. Because ICT technologies diffuse through the economy increasingly via purchases of cloud and data analytic services that are not fully accounted for in the standard narrative on ICT's contribution to economic growth, the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-015

Working Paper
Accounting for Innovations in Consumer Digital Services: IT still matters

This paper develops a framework for measuring digital services in the face of ongoing innovations in the delivery of content to consumers. We capture what Brynjolfsson and Saunders (2009) call "free goods" as the capital services generated by connected consumers' stocks of IT digital goods; this service flow augments the existing measure of personal consumption in GDP. Its value is determined by the intensity with which households use their IT capital to consume content delivered over networks, and its volume depends on the quality of the IT capital. Consumers pay for delivery services, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-049

Working Paper
Financial regulations and price inconsistencies across bitcoin markets

We document systematic differences in bitcoin prices across 11 different markets representing 26% of global bitcoin trade volume. These differences must ? due to the identical nature of all bitcoin ? result from characteristics of markets themselves. We examine differences across the markets and find that those which do not require customer identification for establishing an account are more likely to deviate from representative market prices than those which do. This implies that standard financial regulations, specifically know-your-customer regulations, can have a non-negligible impact on ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 293

Journal Article
U.S. consumers and electronic banking, 1995-2003

The availability and variety of electronic banking technologies in the marketplace has greatly expanded in recent years. For financial institutions, e-banking technologies can speed processing, reduce costs, and help attract and retain customers. For consumers, they can save time and money and may be more convenient than more traditional ways of banking. This article draws on data from two nationwide surveys to look at consumer use of such products and services as debit cards, pre-authorized debits, and computer banking, particularly as use relates to consumer demographic characteristics and ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 90 , Issue Win

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