The Decline of the U.S. Labor Share
Over the past quarter century, labor?s share of income in the United States has trended downwards, reaching its lowest level in the postwar period after the Great Recession. Detailed examination of the magnitude, determinants and implications of this decline delivers five conclusions. First, around one third of the decline in the published labor share is an artifact of a progressive understatement of the labor income of the self-employed underlying the headline measure. Second, movements in labor?s share are not a feature solely of recent U.S. history: The relative stability of the aggregate ...
The Time for Austerity: Estimating the Average Treatment Effect of Fiscal Policy
Elevated government debt levels in advanced economies have risen rapidly as sovereigns absorbed private sector losses and cyclical deficits blew up in the Global Financial Crisis and subsequent slump. A rush to fiscal austerity followed but its justifications and impacts have been heavily debated. Research on the effects of austerity on macroeconomic aggregates remains unsettled, mired by the difficulty of identifying multipliers from observational data. This paper reconciles seemingly disparate estimates of multipliers within a unified framework. We do this by first evaluating the validity ...
Keynote Address: The Economic Outlook
Speaking before an audience in Bucks County, PA, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said that a "new normal" in the economy may mean rethinking policy targets. "Things are unlikely to return to what we considered their relative norms before the recession," he said.
Measuring Household Distress and Potential Policy Impacts
Government policies such as income support and debt relief may help explain low levels of household financial distress, but outcomes are uncertain once assistance ends.
High-Skilled Services and Development in China
We document that the employment share of high-skill-intensive services is much lower in China than in countries with similar gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. We build a model of structural change with goods and low- and high-skill-intensive services to account for this observation. We find that large distortions limit the size of high-skill-intensive services in China. If they were removed, both high-skill-intensive services and GDP per capita would increase considerably. We document a strong presence of state-owned enterprises in high-skill-intensive services and argue that this ...
Bank Linkages and International Trade
We show that bank linkages have a positive effect on international trade. We construct the global banking network (GBN) at the bank level, using individual syndicated loan data from Loan Analytics for 1990-2007. We compute network distance between bank pairs and aggregate it to country pairs as a measure of bank linkages between countries. We use data on bilateral trade from IMF DOTS as the subject of our analysis and data on bilateral bank lending from BIS locational data to control for financial integration and financial flows. Using gravity approach to modeling trade with country-pair and ...
A Defense of Moderation in Monetary Policy
This paper examines the implications of uncertainty about the effects of monetary policy for optimal monetary policy with an application to the current situation. Using a stylized macroeconomic model, I derive optimal policies under uncertainty for both conventional and unconventional monetary policies. According to an estimated version of this model, the U.S. economy is currently suffering from a large and persistent adverse demand shock. Optimal monetary policy absent uncertainty would quickly restore real GDP close to its potential level and allow the inflation rate to rise temporarily ...
The price effects of cash versus in-kind transfers
This paper examines the effect of cash versus in-kind transfers on local prices. Both types of transfers increase the demand for normal goods; in-kind transfers also increase supply in recipient communities, which should cause prices to fall relative to cash transfers. We test and confirm this prediction using a program in Mexico that randomly assigned villages to receive boxes of food (trucked into the village), equivalently valued cash transfers, or no transfers. We find that prices are significantly lower under in-kind transfers compared with cash transfers; relative to the control group, ...
Inflation to target : what inflation to target?
This paper derives a central bank's objective function and optimal policy rule for an economy with both CPI and PPI inflation rates. It implements constrained-optimal policy rules with minimal information requirement, and evaluates the robustness of these simple rules when the central bank may not know the exact sources of shocks or nominal rigidities. One of the main findings is that monetary policy that ignores PPI inflation rate or PPI sector shocks can result in significant welfare loss.
Unconventional monetary policy and central bank communications : a speech at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business U.S. Monetary Policy Forum, New York, New York, February 25, 2011
remarks at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum, New York, New York, February 25, 2011