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Working Paper
Learning and the Value of Trade Relationships

This paper quantifies the value of importer-exporter relationships. We show that almost 80 percent of U.S. imports take place in pre-existing relationships, with sizable heterogeneity across countries, and show that traded quantities and survival increase as relationships age. We develop a two-country general equilibrium trade model with learning that is consistent with these facts. A model-based measure of relationship value explains survival during the 2008-09 crisis. Knowledge accumulated within long-term relationships is quantitatively important: wiping out all memory from previous ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1218

Working Paper
Asset Price Learning and Optimal Monetary Policy

We characterize optimal monetary policy when agents are learning about endogenous asset prices. Boundedly rational expectations induce inefficient equilibrium asset price fluctuations which translate into inefficient aggregate demand fluctuations. We find that the optimal policy raises interest rates when expected capital gains, and the level of current asset prices, is high. The optimal policy does not eliminate deviations of asset prices from their fundamental value. When monetary policymakers are information-constrained, optimal policy can be reasonably approximated by simple interest rate ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1236

Working Paper
Is the Intrinsic Value of Macroeconomic News Announcements Related to their Asset Price Impact?

The literature documents a heterogeneous asset price response to macroeconomic news announcements. We explain this variation with a novel measure of the intrinsic value of an announcement - the announcement's ability to nowcast GDP growth, inflation, and the Federal Funds Target Rate-and decompose it into the announcement's relation to fundamentals, a timeliness premium, and a revision premium. We find that differences in intrinsic value can explain a significant fraction of the variation in the announcements' price impact on Treasury bond yields. The announcements' timeliness and relation to ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-46

Working Paper
The Natural Rate of Interest Through a Hall of Mirrors

Prevailing explanations of persistently low interest rates appeal to a secular decline in the natural interest rate, or r-star, due to factors outside monetary policy's control. We propose informational feedback via learning as an alternative explanation for persistently low rates, where monetary policy plays a crucial role. We extend the canonical New Keynesian model to an incomplete information setting where the central bank and the private sector learn about r-star and infer each other's information from observed macroeconomic outcomes. An informational feedback loop emerges when each side ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2022-010

Working Paper
Stock Market Volatility and Learning

Consumption-based asset pricing models with time-separable preferences can generate realistic amounts of stock price volatility if one allows for small deviations from rational expectations. We consider rational investors who entertain subjective prior beliefs about price behavior that are not equal but close to rational expectations. Optimal behavior then dictates that investors learn about price behavior from past price observations. We show that this imparts momentum and mean reversion into the equilibrium behavior of the price-dividend ratio, similar to what can be observed in the data. ...
Working Papers , Paper 720

Working Paper
Avoiding Nash Inflation : Bayesian and Robust Responses to Model Uncertainty

We examine learning, model misspecification, and robust policy responses to misspecification in a quasi-real-time environment. The laboratory for the analysis is the Sargent (1999) explanation for the origins of inflation in the 1970s and the subsequent disinflation. Three robust policy rules are derived that differ according to the extent that misspecification is taken as a parametric phenomenon. These responses to drifting estimated parameters and apparent misspecification are compared to the certainty-equivalent case studied by Sargent. We find gains from utilizing robust approaches to ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2002-09

Working Paper
Can Learning Explain Boom-Bust Cycles In Asset Prices? An Application to the US Housing Boom

Explaining asset price booms poses a difficult question for researchers in macroeconomics: how can large and persistent price growth be explained in the absence large and persistent variation in fundamentals? This paper argues that boom-bust behavior in asset prices can be explained by a model in which boundedly rational agents learn the process for prices. The key feature of the model is that learning operates in both the demand for assets and the supply of credit. Interactions between agents on either side of the market create complementarities in their respective beliefs, providing an ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1181

Journal Article
Hidden value: how consumer learning boosts output

Iphones. Ipads. Wikipedia. Google Maps. Yelp. TripAdvisor. New digital devices, applications, and services offer advice and information at every turn. The technology around us changes fast, so we are continually learning how best to use it. This increased pace of learning enhances the satisfaction we gain from what we buy and increases its value to us over time, even though it may cost the same ? or less. However, this effect of consumer learning on value makes inflation and output growth more difficult to measure. As a result, current statistics may be undervaluing household purchasing power ...
Business Review , Issue Q3 , Pages 9-14

Working Paper
Understanding the Long-Run Decline in Interstate Migration: Online Appendix

This appendix contains eight sections. Section 1 gives technical details of how we calculate standard errors in the CPS data. Section 2 discusses changes in the ACS procedures before 2005. Section 3 examines demographic and economic patterns in migration over the past two decades, in more detail than in the main paper. Section 4 examines the cross-sectional variance of location-occupation interactions in earnings when we define locations by MSAs instead of states. Section 5 describes alternative methods to estimate the variance of location-occupation interactions in income. Section 6 measures ...
Working Papers , Paper 725

Working Paper
Labor-Market Uncertainty and Portfolio Choice Puzzles

The standard theory of household-portfolio choice is hard to reconcile with the following facts: (i) Households hold a small amount of equity despite the higher average rate of return. (ii) The share of risky assets increases with the age of the household. (iii) The share of risky assets is disproportionately larger for richer households. We develop a life-cycle model with age-dependent unemployment risk and gradual learning about the income profile that can address all three puzzles. Young workers, on average asset poor, face larger labor-market uncertainty because of high unemployment risk ...
Working Paper , Paper 14-13


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