Panel Remarks: Supervisory and Regulatory Action to Support the Economy and Protect Consumers
Panel Remarks at The Fed and Main Street during the Coronavirus Pandemic, WebEx event, April 23, 2020.
Error correction mechanisms and short-run expectations
Reflecting the nature of economic decisions, the error correction mechanism (ECM) in the error-correction representation of a system of co-integrated variables may arise from forward-looking behavior. In such a case, the estimated ECM coefficients may misleadingly appear to be insignificant or to have the opposite-than-expected sign if the variables in the error-correction representation do not adequately capture short-run expectations. This paper explores the nature of this problem with a theoretical model for consumption and demonstrates how severe the problem can be with U.S. data. Because ...
Does U.S. Health Inequality Reflect Income Inequality—or Something Else?
Health is an integral part of well-being. The United Nations Human Development Index uses life expectancy (together with GDP per capita and literacy) as one of three key indicators of human welfare across the world. In this post, I discuss the state of life expectancy inequality in the United States and examine some of the underlying factors in its evolution over the past several decades.
Distribution of COVID-19 Incidence by Geography, Race, and Income
In this post, we study whether (and how) the spread of COVID-19 across the United States has varied by geography, race, income, and population density. Have urban areas been more affected by COVID-19 than rural areas? Has population density mattered in the spread? Has the coronavirus's impact varied by race and income? Our analysis uncovers stark demographic and geographic differences in the effects of the pandemic thus far.
Credit, Income and Inequality
Analyzing unique data on loan applications by individuals who are majority owners of small firms, we detail how a bank’s credit decisions affect their future income. We use the bank’s cutoff rule, which is based on the applicants’ credit scores, as the discontinuous locus providing exogenous variation in the decision to grant loans. We show that application acceptance increases recipients’ income five years later by more than 10 percent compared to denied applicants. This effect is mostly driven by the use of borrowed funds to undertake investments, and is stronger when individuals ...
Social Interventions, Health and Wellbeing: The Long-Term and Intergenerational Effects of a School Construction Program
We analyze the long-run and intergenerational effects of a large-scale school building project (INPRES) that took place in Indonesia between 1974 and 1979. Specifically, we link the geographic rollout of INPRES to longitudinal data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey covering two generations. We find that individuals exposed to the program have better health later in life along multiple measures. We also find that the children of those exposed also experience improved health and educational outcomes and that these effects are generally stronger for maternal exposure than paternal exposure. ...
The Decline in Intergenerational Mobility After 1980
We demonstrate that intergenerational mobility declined sharply for cohorts born between 1957 and 1964 compared to those born between 1942 and 1953. The former entered the labor market largely after the large rise in inequality that occurred around 1980 while the latter entered the labor market before this inflection point. We show that the rank-rank slope rose from 0.27 to 0.4 and the IGE rose from 0.35 to 0.51. The share of children whose income exceeds that of their parents fell by about 3 percentage points. These findings suggest that relative mobility fell by substantially more than ...
Health Insurance as an Income Stabilizer
We evaluate the effect of health insurance on the incidence of negative income shocks using the tax data and survey responses of nearly 14,000 low income households. Us-ing a regression discontinuity (RD) design and variation in the cost of nongroup pri-vate health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, we find that eligibility for sub-sidized Marketplace insurance is associated with a 16% and 9% decline in the rates of unexpected job loss and income loss, respectively. Effects are concentrated among households with past health costs and exist only for “unexpected” forms of earnings ...
Very long-run discount rates
We provide direct estimates of how agents trade off immediate costs and uncertain future benefits that occur in the very long run, 100 or more years away. We exploit a unique feature of housing markets in the U.K. and Singapore, where residential property ownership takes the form of either leaseholds or freeholds. Leaseholds are temporary, pre-paid, and tradable ownership contracts with maturities between 99 and 999 years, while freeholds are perpetual ownership contracts. The difference between leasehold and freehold prices reflects the present value of perpetual rental income starting at ...
Measuring consumer expenditures with payment diaries
As the 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC) illustrates, there are advantages to measuring consumer expenditures by tracking the authorization of payments by instrument type (cash, check, debit or credit card, etc.). The main advantages of payment diaries appear to be the following: 1) the ability to measure expenditures by payment instrument aggregated into lumpy purchases (?shopping baskets?), 2) relatively low respondent burden, and 3) effective random sampling. Three notable results emerge from comparing the 2012 DCPC estimates with estimates from other reputable estimates of the ...