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Working Paper
The Stable Transformation Path

Standard dynamic models of structural transformation, without knife-edge and counterfactual parameter values, preclude balanced growth path (BGP) analysis. This paper develops a dynamic equilibrium concept for a more general class of models | an alternative to a BGP, which we coin a Stable Transformation Path (STraP). The STraP characterizes the medium-term dynamics of the economy in a turnpike sense; it is the path toward which the economy (quickly) converges from an arbitrary initial capital stock. Calibrated simulations demonstrate that the relaxed parameter values that the STraP allows ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-23

Working Paper
Monetary Policy in a Model of Growth

Empirical evidence suggests that recessions have long-run effects on the economy's productive capacity. Recent literature embeds endogenous growth mechanisms within business cycle models to account for these "scarring" effects. The optimal conduct of monetary policy in these settings, however, remains largely unexplored. This paper augments the standard sticky-price New Keynesian (NK) to allow for endogenous dynamics in aggregate productivity. The model has a representation similar to the two-equation NK model, with an additional condition linking productivity growth to current and expected ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1340

Bullard Discusses Economy and Fed’s Response to COVID-19 in Central Banking Journal Interview

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard shared his views on various aspects of the U.S. economy and the Fed’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in an interview with Central Banking Journal.

Germs, Social Networks, and Growth

Does the pattern of social connections between individuals matter for macroeconomic outcomes? If so, where do these differences come from and how large are their effects? Using network analysis tools, we explore how different social network structures affect technology diffusion and thereby a country's rate of growth. The correlation between high-diffusion networks and income is strongly positive. But when we use a model to isolate the effect of a change in social networks, the effect can be positive, negative, or zero. The reason is that networks diffuse ideas and disease. Low-diffusion ...
Staff Report , Paper 572

An Assignment Model of Knowledge Diffusion and Income Inequality

Randomness in individual discovery disperses productivities, whereas learning from others keeps productivities together. Long-run growth and persistent earnings inequality emerge when these two mechanisms for knowledge accumulation are combined. This paper considers an economy in which those with more useful knowledge can teach others, with competitive markets assigning students to teachers. In equilibrium, students with an ability to learn quickly are assigned to teachers with the most productive knowledge. This sorting on ability implies large differences in earnings distributions ...
Staff Report , Paper 509

Working Paper
Haste Makes Waste: Banking Organization Growth and Operational Risk

This study shows that banking organization growth is associated with higher operational losses per dollar of total assets and incidence of tail risks. Event studies using M&A activity and instrumental variable regressions provide consistent evidence. The relationship between banking organization growth and operational risk varies by loss event types and balance sheet categories. We demonstrate that higher growth predicts worse operational risk realizations during the global financial crisis. These findings have implications for bank performance, risk management and supervision in a ...
Working Papers , Paper 2023

Working Paper
Four Models of Knowledge Diffusion and Growth

This paper describes how long-run growth emerges in four closely related models that combine individual discovery with some form of social learning. In a large economy, there is a continuum of long-run growth rates and associated stationary distributions when it is possible to learn from individuals in the right tail of the productivity distribution. What happens in the long run depends on initial conditions. Two distinct literatures, one on reaction-diffusion equations, and another on quasi-stationary distributions suggest a unique long-run outcome when the initial productivity distribution ...
Working Papers , Paper 724

Working Paper
An Assignment Model of Knowledge Diffusion and Income Inequality

Randomness in individual discovery tends to spread out productivities in a population, while learning from others keeps productivities together. In combination, these two mechanisms for knowledge accumulation give rise to long-term growth and persistent income inequality. This paper considers a world in which those with more useful knowledge can teach those with less useful knowledge, with competitive markets assigning students to teachers. In equilibrium, students who are able to learn quickly are assigned to teachers with the most productive knowledge. The long-run growth rate of this ...
Working Papers , Paper 715

Working Paper
State Capacity and Public Goods: Institutional Change, Human Capital, and Growth in Early Modern Germany

What are the origins and consequences of the state as a provider of public goods? We study legal reforms that established mass public education and increased state capacity in German cities during the 1500s. These fundamental changes in public goods provision occurred where ideological competition during the Protestant Reformation interacted with popular politics at the local level. We document that cities that formalized public goods provision in the 1500s began differentially producing and attracting upper tail human capital and grew to be significantly larger in the long-run. We study ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-028

Jacks of All Trades and Masters of One: Declining Search Frictions and Unequal Growth

Declining search frictions generate productivity growth by allowing workers to find jobs for which they are better suited. The return of declining search frictions on productivity varies across different types of workers. For workers who are "jacks of all trades" in the sense that their productivity is nearly independent from the distance between their skills and the requirements of their job—declining search frictions lead to minimal productivity growth. For workers who are "masters of one trade" in the sense that their productivity is very sensitive to the gap between their individual ...
Staff Report , Paper 613


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