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Can the Federal Reserve Effectively Target Main Street? Evidence from the 1970s Recession
Modern central bankers confront a challenge of providing economic stimulus even when the policy rate is constrained by a lower bound. This challenge has led to substantial innovation by policymakers and a proliferation of new policy tools. In this paper, I offer evidence on the efficacy of a new tool known as funding for lending, which provides banks with subsidized funding to make additional loans. I focus on a historical episode from the United States in which the Federal Reserve provided banks with steeply subsidized loans to promote the expansion of credit within their local communities. ...
When is the Fiscal Multiplier High? A Comparison of Four Business Cycle Phases
We synthesize the recent, at times conflicting, empirical literature regarding whether fiscal policy is more effective during certain points in the business cycle. Evidence of state dependence in the multiplier depends critically on how the business cycle is defined. Estimates of the fiscal multiplier do not change when the unemployment rate is above or below its trend. However, we find that the multiplier is higher when the unemployment rate is increasing relative to when it is decreasing. This result holds using both a long time-series at the U.S. national level and for a panel of U.S. ...
Earnings Shocks and Stabilization During COVID-19
This paper documents the magnitude and distribution of U.S. earnings changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and how fiscal relief offset lost earnings. We build panels from administrative tax data to measure annual earnings changes. The frequency of earnings declines during the pandemic were similar to the Great Recession, but the distribution was very different. In 2020, workers starting in the bottom half of the distribution were more likely to experience large annual earnings declines and a similar share of male and female workers had large earnings declines. While most workers experiencing ...