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Introduction to Heterogeneity Series II: Labor Market Outcomes
While average outcomes serve as important yardsticks for how the economy is doing, understanding heterogeneity—how outcomes vary across a population—is key to understanding both the whole picture and the implications of any given policy. Following our six-part look at heterogeneity in October 2019, we now turn our focus to heterogeneity in the labor market—the subject of four posts set for release tomorrow morning. Average labor market statistics mask a lot of underlying variability—disparities that factor into labor market dynamics. While we have written about labor market ...
Financial contracting with enforcement externalities
Contract enforceability in financial markets often depends on the aggregate actions of agents. For example, high default rates in credit markets can delay legal enforcement or reduce the value of collateral, incentivizing even more defaults and potentially affecting credit supply. We develop a theory of credit provision in which enforceability of individual contracts is linked to aggregate behavior. The central element behind this link is enforcement capacity, which is endogenously determined by investments in enforcement infrastructure. Our paper sheds new light on the emergence of credit ...
Banking Across Borders With Heterogeneous Banks
This paper develops a model of banking across borders where banks differ in their efficiencies that can replicate key patterns in the data. More efficient banks are more likely to have assets, liabilities and affiliates abroad and have larger foreign operations. Banks are more likely to be active in countries that have less efficient domestic banks, are bigger and more open to foreign entry. In the model, banking sector integration leads to bank exit and entry and convergence in the return on loans and funding costs across countries. Bank heterogeneity matters for the associated welfare ...
Household's Balance Sheets and the Effect of Fiscal Policy
Using the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics, we identify six household types as a function of their balance sheet composition. Since 1999, there has been a decline in the share of patient households and an increase in the share of impatient households with negative wealth. Using a DSGE model with search and matching frictions, we explore how changes in the distribution of households affect the transmission of government spending shocks. We show that the relative share of households in the left tail of the wealth distribution plays a key role in the aggregate marginal propensity to consume, the ...
Inflation at the Household Level
We use scanner data to estimate inflation rates at the household level. Households' inflation rates are remarkably heterogeneous, with an interquartile range of 6.2 to 9.0 percentage points on an annual basis. Most of the heterogeneity comes not from variation in broadly defined consumption bundles but from variation in prices paid for the same types of goods - a source of variation that previous research has not measured. The entire distribution of household inflation rates shifts in parallel with aggregate inflation. Deviations from aggregate inflation exhibit only slightly negative serial ...
Inflation at the Household Level: Web Appendix
This appendix contains additional results on using scanner data to estimate inflation rates at the household level. There are three sections. Section 1 shows cross-sectional distributions of Fisher and Paasche inflation rates. Section 2 shows the evolution over time of measures of dispersion of Fisher and Paasche inflation rates. Section 3 shows cross-sectional distributions of two-year inflation rates measured with Fisher and Paasche indexes.
A Closer Look at the Behavior of Uncertainty and Disagreement: Micro Evidence from the Euro Area
This paper examines point and density forecasts of real GDP growth, inflation and unemployment from the European Central Bank?s Survey of Professional Forecasters. We present individual uncertainty measures and introduce individual point- and density-based measures of disagreement. The data indicate substantial heterogeneity and persistence in respondents? uncertainty and disagreement, with uncertainty associated with prominent respondent effects and disagreement associated with prominent time effects. We also examine the co-movement between uncertainty and disagreement and find an ...
Estimating Border Effects: The Impact of Spatial Aggregation
Trade data are typically reported at the level of regions or countries and are therefore aggregates across space. In this paper, we investigate the sensitivity of standard gravity estimation to spatial aggregation. We build a model in which symmetric micro regions are aggregated into macro regions. We then apply the model to the large literature on border effects in domestic and international trade. Our theory shows that aggregation leads to border effect heterogeneity. Larger regions or countries are systematically associated with smaller border effects. The reason is that due to spatial ...
On the Theoretical Efficacy of Quantitative Easing at the Zero Lower Bound
We construct a monetary economy in which agents face aggregate demand shocks and hetero- generous idiosyncratic preference shocks. We show that, even when the Friedman rule is the best interest rate policy, not all agents are satiated at the zero lower bound. Thus, quantitative easing can be welfare improving since it temporarily relaxes the liquidity constraint of some agents, without harming others. Moreover, due to a pricing externality, quantitative easing may also have beneficial general equilibrium effects for the unconstrained agents. Lastly, our model suggests that it can be optimal ...
On the Essentiality of Credit and Banking at the Friedman Rule
We investigate the essentiality of credit and banking in a microfounded monetary model in which agents face heterogeneous idiosyncratic time preference shocks. Three main results arise from our analysis. First, the constrained-efficient allocation is unattainable without banks. Second, financial intermediation can improve the equilibrium allocation even at the Friedman rule because it relaxes the liquidity constraints of impatient borrowers. Third, changes in credit conditions are not necessarily neutral in a monetary equilibrium at the Friedman rule. If the debt limit is sufficiently low, ...