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Working Paper
Financial Stability Considerations for Monetary Policy: Empirical Evidence and Challenges

This paper reviews literature on the empirical relationship between vulnerabilities in the financial system and the macroeconomy, and how monetary policy affects that connection. Financial vulnerabilities build up over time, with both risk appetite and risk taking rising during economic expansions. To some extent, financial crises are predictable and have severe real economic consequences when they occur. Empirically it is difficult to link monetary policy to financial vulnerabilities, in part because financial cycles have long durations, making it difficult to separate effects of changes in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2022-006

Working Paper
Revisiting Gertler-Gilchrist Evidence on the Behavior of Small and Large Firms

Gertler and Gilchrist (1994) provide evidence for the prevailing view that adverse shocks are propagated via credit constraints of small firms. We revisit the behavior of small versus large firms during the episodes of credit disruption and recessions in the sample extended to cover the 2007-09 economic crisis. We find that large firms'' short-term debt and sales contracted relatively more than those of small firms during the 2007-09 episode. Furthermore, the short-term debt of large firms also contracted relatively more in the previous tight money episodes if one takes into account the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2016-5

The Cost of Financial Frictions for Life Insurers

During the financial crisis, life insurers sold long-term policies at deep discounts relative to actuarial value. The average markup was as low as ?19 percent for annuities and ?57 percent for life insurance. This extraordinary pricing behavior was due to financial and product market frictions, interacting with statutory reserve regulation that allowed life insurers to record far less than a dollar of reserve per dollar of future insurance liability. We identify the shadow cost of capital through exogenous variation in required reserves across different types of policies. The shadow cost was ...
Staff Report , Paper 500

Working Paper
Financial Stability Considerations for Monetary Policy: Theoretical Mechanisms

This paper reviews the theoretical literature at the intersection of macroeconomics and finance to draw lessons on the connection between vulnerabilities in the financial system and the macroeconomy, and on how monetary policy affects that connection. This literature finds that financial vulnerabilities are inherent to financial systems and tend to be procyclical. Moreover, financial vulnerabilities amplify the effects of adverse shocks to the economy, so that even a small shock to fundamentals or a small revision of beliefs can create a self-reinforcing feedback loop that impairs credit ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2022-005

Working Paper
Financial Stability and Optimal Interest-Rate Policy

We study optimal interest-rate policy in a New Keynesian model in which the economy can experience financial crises and the probability of a crisis depends on credit conditions. The optimal adjustment to interest rates in response to credit conditions is (very) small in the model calibrated to match the historical relationship between credit conditions, output, inflation, and likelihood of financial crises. Given the imprecise estimates of key parameters, we also study optimal policy under parameter uncertainty. We find that Bayesian and robust central banks will respond more aggressively to ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-067

Discussion Paper
How Resilient Is the U.S. Housing Market Now?

Housing is by far the most important asset for most households, and, not coincidentally, housing debt dwarfs other household liabilities. The relationship between housing debt and housing values figures significantly in financial and macroeconomic stability, as events during the housing bust of 2006-12 clearly demonstrated. This week, Liberty Street Economics presents five posts touching on various aspects of housing, from the changing relationship between mortgage debt and housing equity to the future of homeownership. In today’s post, we provide estimates of housing equity and explore how ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170213

Working Paper
A quantitative analysis of the u.s. housing and mortgage markets and the foreclosure crisis

We present a model of long-duration collateralized debt with risk of default. Applied to the housing market, it can match the homeownership rate, the average foreclosure rate, and the lower tail of the distribution of home-equity ratios across homeowners prior to the recent crisis. We stress the role of favorable tax treatment of housing in matching these facts. We then use the model to account for the foreclosure crisis in terms of three shocks: overbuilding, financial frictions, and foreclosure delays. The financial friction shock accounts for much of the decline in house prices, while the ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-13

Working Paper
Endogenous Debt Maturity: Liquidity Risk vs. Default Risk

We study the endogenous determination of corporate debt maturity in a setting with default risk. We assume that firms must access the bond market and they issue debt with a flexible structure (coupon, face value, and maturity). Initially, the firm is in a low growth/illiquid state that requires debt refinancing if it matures. Since lenders do not refinance projects with positive but small net present value, firms may be forced to default in the first phase. We call this liquidity risk. The technology is such that earnings can switch to a higher (but riskier) level. In this second phase firms ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-34

Discussion Paper
Good News, Leverage, and Sudden Stops

One of the major debates in open economy macroeconomics is the extent to which capital inflows are beneficial for growth. In principle, these flows allow countries to increase their consumption and investment spending beyond their income by enabling them to tap into foreign saving. Periods of such borrowing, however, are associated with large trade deficits, external debt accumulation, and, in some cases, overheating when these economies operate beyond their potential output level for an extended period of time. The relevant question in this context is whether the rate at which a country is ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180530

Housing Wealth Effects: The Long View

We provide new time-varying estimates of the housing wealth effect back to the 1980s. We use three identification strategies: OLS with a rich set of controls, the Saiz housing supply elasticity instrument, and a new instrument that exploits systematic differences in city-level exposure to regional house price cycles. All three identification strategies indicate that housing wealth elasticities were if anything slightly smaller in the 2000s than in earlier time periods. This implies that the important role housing played in the boom and bust of the 2000s was due to larger price movements ...
Staff Report , Paper 593


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