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Newsletter
How do sudden large losses in wealth affect labor force participation?

The authors assess whether the sudden large losses in household wealth due to recent declines in stock and home values have significantly affected the U.S. labor market. They find that the overall labor force participation rate would be 0.7 percentage points lower were it not for the declines in the values of stocks and houses over the 2006?10 period.
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue Jan

Working Paper
Bank Size and Household Financial Sentiment: Surprising Evidence from the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers

We analyze comparative advantages/disadvantages of small and large banks in improving household sentiment regarding financial conditions. We match sentiment data from the University Of Michigan Surveys Of Consumers with local banking market data from 2000 to 2014. Surprisingly, the evidence suggests that large rather than small banks have significant comparative advantages in boosting household sentiment. Findings are robust to instrumental variables and other econometric methods. Additional analyses are consistent with both scale economies and the superior safety of large banks as channels ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-4

Journal Article
What Explains the Decline in Life Insurance Ownership?

Life insurance ownership has declined markedly over the past 30 years, continuing a trend that began as early as 1960. In 1989, 77 percent of households owned life insurance (see figure 1). By 2013, that share had fallen to 60 percent. This article analyzes factors that might have contributed to the decline in life insurance ownership from 1989 to 2013. The focus of our analysis is on two broad sources of potential change in the demand for life insurance: changes in the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the population and changes in how those same characteristics are associated ...
Economic Perspectives , Issue 8 , Pages 1-20

Journal Article
Consumers and the economy, part II: Household debt and the weak U.S. recovery

The U.S. economic recovery has been weak, especially in employment growth. A microeconomic analysis of U.S. counties shows that this weakness is closely related to elevated levels of household debt accumulated during the housing boom. Counties where household debt grew moderately from 2002 to 2006 have seen a moderation of employment losses and a robust recovery in durable consumption and residential investment. By contrast, counties that experienced large increases in household debt during the boom have been mired in a severe recessionary environment even after the official end of the ...
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
The Long-Run Effects of Neighborhood Change on Incumbent Families

A number of prominent studies examine the long-run effects of neighborhood attributes on children by leveraging variation in neighborhood exposure through household moves. However, much neighborhood change comes in place rather than through moving. Using an urban economic geography model as a basis, this paper estimates the causal effects of changes in neighborhood attributes on long-run outcomes for incumbent children and households. For identification, we make use of quasi-random variation in 1990-2000 and 2000-2005 skill specific labor demand shocks hitting each residential metro area ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-2

Report
Inflation inequality in the United States

Inflation is often assumed to affect all people in the same way. In practice, differences in spending patterns across households and differences in price increases across goods and services lead to unequal levels of inflation for different households. In this paper, we measure the degree of inequality in inflation across U.S. households for the period 1987-2001. ; Our results suggest that the inflation experiences of U.S. households vary significantly. Most of the differences can be traced to changes in the relative prices of education, health care, and gasoline. We find that cost of living ...
Staff Reports , Paper 173

Journal Article
Wealth inequality among the Forbes 400 and U.S. households overall

While widening income inequality in the United States has garnered much public and academic attention in recent years, wealth inequality reveals an even starker picture. For instance, in 2010, the top 1 percent of income earners received 19.8 percent of total household income. In the same year, the wealthiest 1 percent held 35.4 percent of total household wealth (Kaplan 2013). Moreover, wealth inequality has increased in recent decades, with most gains concentrated among the richest 20 percent of households (Wolff 2013).
Research Rap Special Report , Issue Jul

Journal Article
Consumers and the economy, part I: Household credit and personal saving

In the years since the bursting of the housing bubble, the personal saving rate has trended up from around 1% to around 6%, while the ratio of household debt to disposable income has dropped from 130% to 118%. Changes over time in the availability of credit to households can explain 90% of the variance of the saving rate since the mid-1960s, including the recent uptrend, according to a simple empirical model.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
How worrisome is a negative saving rate?

The U.S. personal saving rate's negative turn in 2005 has raised concerns that Americans may have to curtail their spending and accept a lower standard of living as they pay off rising debts. However, a closer look at saving trends suggests that the risks to household well-being are overstated. The surge in energy costs may have temporarily dampened saving, while the accounting of household income from stock holdings may be skewing saving estimates. Moreover, broad measures of saving have remained positive, and household wealth is on the rise.>
Current Issues in Economics and Finance , Volume 13 , Issue May

Working Paper
Tax riots

This paper considers an optimal taxation environment where household income is private information, and the government randomly audits and punishes households found to be underreporting. We prove that the optimal mechanism derived using standard mechanism design techniques has a bad equilibrium (a tax riot) where households underreport their incomes, precisely because other households are expected to do so as well. We then consider three alternative approaches to designing a tax scheme when one is worried about bad equilibria.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-06-04

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Van der Klaauw, Wilbert 5 items

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