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Journal Article
Can the pros beat the market?

FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Are markets really efficient?

FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Bubble, toil, and trouble

When people call the dot-com boom a bubble, they imply that investors based their decisions on something other than a good estimate of the future value of the assets theywere buying. But some economists say that is not likely because episodes like the dot-com bust show future value is not always easy to predict, especially when the asset is a new technology. This Commentary shows how both explanations can describe a famous historical bubble that occurred after the introduction of a technology that was new at the beginning of the eighteenth century?a novel macroeconomic theory.
Economic Commentary , Issue Oct

Working Paper
Second Home Buyers and the Housing Boom and Bust

Record-high second home buying (homeowners acquiring nonprimary residences) was a central feature of the 2000s boom, but the macroeconomic effects remain an open question partly because reliable geographic data is currently unavailable. This paper constructs local data on second home buying by merging credit bureau data with mortgage servicing records. The identification strategy exploits the fact that the vacation share of housing from the 2000 Census is predictive of second home origination shares during the boom years, while also uncorrelated with other boom-bust drivers including proxies ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-029

Journal Article
Speculation in the oil market

Disentangling the true drivers of oil prices is a critical first step for allocating resources and designing good policy.
Economic Synopses

Interest-only mortgages and speculation in hot housing markets

Even as housing markets have temporarily shut down across the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic, housing remains a key sector that contributes disproportionately to fluctuations in overall economic activity and that will likely play an important role as the economy reopens. Interest in this market among research economists and policymakers intensified after the exceptional boom and bust in housing between 2003 and 2008. In this Chicago Fed Letter, we describe research in Barlevy and Fisher (2020)1 that examined patterns in the kinds of mortgages homebuyers took out in different cities during ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 439 , Pages 6

Working Paper
On the fiscal implications of twin crises

This paper explores the implications of different strategies for financing the fiscal cost of twin crises for inflation and depreciation rates. We use a first-generation type model of speculative attacks which has four key features: (i) the crisis is triggered by prospective deficits, (ii) there exists outstanding non-indexed government debt issued prior to the crises; (iii) a portion of the government's liabilities are not indexed to inflation; and (iv) there are nontradable goods and costs of distributing tradable goods, so that purchasing power parity does not hold. We show that the model ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-01-02

Are market makers uninformed and passive? Signing trades in the absence of quotes

We develop a new likelihood-based approach to signing trades in the absence of quotes. This approach is equally efficient as the existing Markov-chain Monte Carlo methods, but more than ten times faster. It can address the occurrence of multiple trades at the same time and allows for analysis of settings in which trade times are observed with noise. We apply this method to a high-frequency data set of thirty-year U.S. Treasury futures to investigate the role of the market maker. Most theory characterizes the market maker as an uninformed, passive supplier of liquidity. Our findings suggest, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 395

Working Paper
Speculative bubbles and financial crisis

Why are asset prices so much more volatile and so often detached from their fundamentals? Why does the burst of financial bubbles depress the real economy? This paper addresses these questions by constructing an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agent general-equilibrium model with speculative bubbles. We show that agents are willing to invest in asset bubbles even though they have positive probability to burst. We prove that any storable goods, regardless of their intrinsic values, may give birth to bubbles with market prices far exceeding their fundamental values. We also show that perceived ...
Working Papers , Paper 2009-029

Working Paper
A leverage-based model of speculative bubbles

This paper examines whether theoretical models of bubbles based on the notion that the price of an asset can deviate from its fundamental value are useful for understanding phenomena that are often described as bubbles, and which are distinguished by other features such as large and rapid booms and busts in asset prices together with high turnover in asset ownership. In particular, I focus on riskshifting models similar to those developed in Allen and Gorton (1993) and Allen and Gale (2000). I show that such models could explain these phenomena, and discuss under what conditions booms and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2011-07


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