Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic
The CARES Act implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis dramatically increases the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, triggering concerns about its substantial impact on unemployment. This paper combines a labor market search-matching model with the SIR-type infection dynamics to study the effects of CARES UI on both unemployment and infection. More generous UI policies create work disincentives and lead to higher unemployment, but they also reduce infection and save lives. Economic shutdown policies further amplify these effects of UI policies. Quantitatively, the CARES ...
Heterogeneity in the Marginal Propensity to Consume: Evidence from Covid-19 Stimulus Payments
We identify 16,016 recipients of Covid-19 Economic Impact Payments in anonymized transaction-level debit card data from Facteus. We use an event study framework to show that in the two weeks following a sudden $1,200 payment from the IRS, consumers immediately increased spending by an average of $577, implying a marginal propensity to consume (MPC) of 48%. Consumer spending falls back to normal levels after two weeks. Stimulus recipients who live paycheck-to-paycheck spend 68% of the stimulus payment immediately, while recipients who save much of their monthly income spend 23% of the stimulus ...
The Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF)
On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced that it would take additional actions to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Among the measures taken was the establishment of a new facility intended to facilitate lending to small businesses via the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Under the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF), Federal Reserve Banks are authorized to supply liquidity to financial institutions participating in the PPP in the form of term financing on a non-recourse ...
Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic
The CARES Act implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis dramatically increases the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, triggering concerns about its substantial impact on unemployment. This paper combines a labor market search-matching model with the SIR-type infection dynamics to study the effects of CARES UI on both unemployment and infection. More generous UI policies create work disincentives and lead to higher unemployment, but they also reduce infection and save lives. Shutdown policies and infection risk further amplify these effects of UI policies. Quantitatively, ...
Pandemic Relief Has Aided Low-Income Individuals: Evidence from Alternative Financial Services
Although low-income individuals are more likely to have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pandemic relief efforts may have helped prevent them from experiencing increased financial distress. Consumer interest in payday loans, title loans, and pawn loans have all declined since the onset of the pandemic, suggesting low-income individuals have been able to access credit and meet basic financial needs without the use of these alternative financial services.
COVID-19 Impacts on Housing Stability in the Twelfth Federal Reserve District
In the face of layoffs and furloughs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many renters and homeowners across the country have struggled to make their mortgage or rent payments. Banks have provided flexibility to borrowers through loan deferrals and forbearance during the pandemic. The federal CARES Act provided stimulus payments to low- and moderate-income people and expanded unemployment insurance payments by states, allowing many to continue paying their bills during the early months of the pandemic. The CARES Act also included rental assistance to be disbursed by states, a moratorium on evictions ...
How Much Did the CARES Act Help Households Stay Afloat?
Widespread job losses starting in mid-March last year forced many households to rely more heavily on nonemployment income and liquid assets on hand to continue buying what they needed. Federal assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act helped boost household resilience—the ability to sustain consumption despite the loss of employment income. Data suggest that the aid increased household resilience by 15 weeks, chiefly through enhanced unemployment insurance benefits. Among racial groups, this benefited Black and Hispanic households the most, raising median ...
The COVID-19 Fiscal Multiplier: Lessons from the Great Recession
The United States enacted a series of fiscal relief and stimulus bills in recent weeks, centered around the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The current fiscal response shares key similarities to the fiscal stimulus enacted during the Great Recession. Research over the past 10 years on the macroeconomic impact of that stimulus thus has important implications for the current fiscal response. The results point to a large potential impact on GDP.
Redistribution and the Monetary–Fiscal Policy Mix
We show that the effectiveness of redistribution policy in stimulating the economy and improving welfare is directly tied to how much inflation it generates, which in turn hinges on monetary-fiscal adjustments that ultimately finance the transfers. We compare two distinct types of monetary-fiscal adjustments: In the monetary regime, the government eventually raises taxes to finance transfers, while in the fiscal regime, inflation rises, effectively imposing inflation taxes on public debt holders. We show analytically in a simple model how the fiscal regime generates larger and more persistent ...
Implementing the Fed’s Facilities: Moving at Maximum Speed with Maximum Care
Remarks before the Money Marketeers of New York University (delivered via audio webinar).