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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 

Working Paper
Elimination of gender-related employment disparities through statistical process control
This paper proposes a novel approach that has the potential to hasten the eradication of gender disparities in employment. This approach relies upon the concept of statistical process control (SPC) to more systematically remedy disparate employment outcomes for women. SPC also serves as a new vehicle for conceptualizing the influence of industry on equal employment opportunity (EEO) outcomes. Using data from U.S. Current Population Surveys, we compare industries on EEO performance as assessed by a recently developed Systemic Gender Disparity Scorecard. The theory and practice of SPC suggest that further improvement, and by far the greater opportunity for gender-related EEO progress, necessitates fundamental changes in each industry's practices and norms that serve as barriers to gender parity. We recommend more resources to support collaboration between employers and EEO enforcement agencies.
AUTHORS: Graham, Mary E.; Hotchkiss, Julie L.
DATE: 2008

Working Paper
Energy price shocks and the macroeconomy: the role of consumer durables
So far, the literature on dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models with energy price shocks uses energy on the production side only. In these models, energy shocks are responsible for only a negligible share of output fluctuations. We study the robustness of this finding by explicitly modeling private consumption of energy at the household level in addition to energy use at the firm level to account for total energy use in the economy. Additionally, we distinguish between investment in consumer durables and investment in capital goods. The model economy is calibrated to match total energy use and durable goods consumption as observed in the U.S. data. Simulation results indicate that, despite higher total energy use, this economy has an even smaller proportion of output fluctuations attributable to energy price shocks. Productivity shocks continue to be the primary force behind business cycle fluctuations. The driving force behind our results is that the household now has the flexibility to rebalance its investment portfolio. Specifically, the energy price hike is absorbed by reducing durable goods investment more than investment in capital goods, thereby cushioning the hit to future production at the expense of current consumption. Hence, our model better matches the consumption volatility observed in the data.
AUTHORS: Dhawan, Rajeev; Jeske, Karsten
DATE: 2006

Working Paper
Family structure and sex differences in postdisplacement outcomes
Labor force outcomes after an involuntary job loss tend to differ systematically between men and women, with women experiencing a lower probability of finding another job, a longer average duration of nonemployment, and larger losses in hours given reemployment. This study examines the role of family structure in such sex differences in postdisplacement outcomes. Data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics indicate that unmarried women have postdisplacement outcomes similar to men whereas married women?s outcomes differ considerably from those of men. The presence of children in the household appears to partially account for sex differences in postdisplacement outcomes, with women with young children less likely to be reemployed and more likely to not be in the labor force than their childless counterparts and than men.
AUTHORS: Rodriguez, Daniel; Zavodny, Madeline
DATE: 2001

Working Paper
An experimental study of circuit breakers: the effects of mandated market closures and temporary halts on market behavior
This paper analyzes the effect of circuit breakers on price behavior, trading volume, and profit-making ability in a market setting. We conduct nine experimental asset markets to compare behavior across three regulatory regimes: market closure, temporary halt, and no interruption. The presence of a circuit breaker rule does not affect the magnitude of the absolute deviation in price from fundamental value or trading profit. The primary driver of behavior is information asymmetry in the market. By comparison, trading activity is significantly affected by the presence of a circuit breaker. Mandated market closures cause market participants to advance trades.
AUTHORS: Ackert, Lucy F.; Church, Bryan K.; Jayaraman, Narayanan
DATE: 1999

Working Paper
Quantity-adjusting options and forward contracts
AUTHORS: Babbel, David F.; Eisenberg, Laurence K.
DATE: 1991

Working Paper
Fiscal competition and reality: A time series approach
Strategic interjurisdictional behavior and the interaction over time of the mean and dispersion of average tax rates across states are analyzed in a vector autoregression model. Variance decompositions reveal that fiscal competition explains roughly one-third of the time variation of state and local taxes. Impulse response functions identify the type of fiscal competition and the characteristics of leaders and followers. Local tax dynamics agree with Wildasin's (1988) results on expenditure competition with significant short- and medium-run effects but insignificant long-run effects. State tax dynamics conform to tax export competition with significant effects occurring over a relatively short time.
AUTHORS: Becsi, Zsolt
DATE: 1998

Working Paper
Credible monetary policy with long-lived agents: recursive approaches
This paper develops recursive methods that completely characterize all the time-consistent equilibria of a class of models with long-lived agents. This class is large enough to encompass many problems of interest, such as capital-labor taxation and optimal monetary policy. The recursive methods obtained are intuitive and yield useful algorithms to compute the set of all time-consistent equilibria. ; These results are obtained by exploiting two key ideas derived from dynamic programming. The first--developed by Abreu, Pearce, and Stachetti in the context of repeated games and by Spear and Srivastava and Green in the context of dynamic principal agent problems--is that incentive constraints in infinite horizon models can be handled recursively by adding as a state variable the continuation value of the equilibrium. The second insight, due to Kydland and Prescott, is that the set of competitive equilibria of infinite horizon economies can often, in turn, be characterized recursively. ; I illustrate my methods by discussing optimal and credible monetary policy in a version of Calvo's (1978) model of time inconsistency. The set of time-consistent outcomes can be completely characterized as the largest fixed point of either of two well-defined operators, one motivated by Abreu, Pearce, and Stachetti (1990) and the other by Cronshaw and Luenberger (1994). In addition, recursive application of either of these two operators provides an algorithm that is shown to always converge to the set of time-consistent outcomes. Finally, the recursive method developed here yields valuable information about the nature of the time-inconsistency problem.
AUTHORS: Chang, Roberto
DATE: 1996

Working Paper
Pricing S&P 500 index options using a Hilbert space basis
This paper tests the approach of Madan and Milne (1994) and its extension in Abken, Madan, and Ramamurtie (1996) for pricing contingent claims as elements of a separable Hilbert space. We specialize the Hilbert space basis to the family of Hermite polynomials and test the model on S&P 500 index options. Restrictions on the prices of Hermite polynomial risk are imposed that allow all option maturity classes to be used in estimation. These restrictions are rejected by our empirical tests of a four-parameter specification of the model. Nevertheless, the unrestricted four-parameter model, based on a single maturity class, demonstrates better out-of-sample performance than that of the Black-Scholes version of the Hermite model. The unrestricted four-parameter model results indicate skewness and excess kurtosis in the implied risk-neutral density. The skewness of the risk-neutral density contrasts with the symmetry of the statistical density estimated using the Hermite model on the S&P 500 index returns
AUTHORS: Abken, Peter A.; Madan, Dilip B.; Ramamurtie, Buddhavarapu Sailesh
DATE: 1996

Working Paper
The effects of subject pool and design experience on rationality in experimental asset markets
Empirical evidence suggests that prices do not always reflect fundamental values and individual behavior is often inconsistent with rational expectations theory. We report the results of fourteen experimental markets designed to examine whether the interactive effect of subject pool and design experience tempers price bubbles and improves forecasting ability. Our main findings are: (i) price run-ups are modest and dissipate quickly when traders are knowledgeable about financial markets and have design experience; (ii) price bubbles moderate quickly when only a subset of traders are knowledgeable and experienced; and (iii) individual forecasts of price are not consistent with the predictions of the rational expectations model in any market.
AUTHORS: Ackert, Lucy F.; Church, Bryan K.
DATE: 1998

Working Paper
Legal restrictions and welfare in a simple model of money
AUTHORS: Roberds, William
DATE: 1991

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