Inflation dynamics during the financial crisis
Firms with limited internal liquidity significantly increased prices in 2008, while their liquidity unconstrained counterparts slashed prices. Differences in the firms' price-setting behavior were concentrated in sectors likely characterized by customer markets. The authors develop a model in which firms face financial frictions while setting prices in a customer-markets setting. Financial distortions create an incentive for firms to raise prices in response to adverse demand or financial shocks. These results reflect the firms' reaction to preserve internal liquidity and avoid accessing ...
DSGE models for monetary policy analysis
Monetary DSGE models are widely used because they fit the data well and can be used to address important monetary policy questions. We provide a selective review of these developments. Policy analysis with DSGE models requires using data to assign numerical values to model parameters. The paper describes and implements Bayesian moment matching and impulse response matching procedures for this purpose.
Microfoundations of inflation persistence in the New Keynesian Phillips curve
This paper proposes a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model that endogenously generates inflation persistence. We assume that although firms change prices periodically, they face convex costs that preclude optimal adjustment. In essence, the model assumes that price stickiness arises from both the frequency and size of price adjustments. The model is estimated using Bayesian techniques, and the results strongly support both sources of price stickiness in the U.S. data. In contrast with traditional sticky price models, the framework yields inflation inertia, a delayed effect of monetary ...
Liquidity needs in economies with interconnected financial obligations
A model is developed in which firms in a financial system have to settle their debts to each other by using a liquid asset (or money). The question studied is how many firms must have access to this asset from outside the financial system to make sure that all debts within the system are settled. The main result is that these liquidity needs are larger when these firms are more interconnected through their debts, that is, when they borrow from and lend to more firms. Two pecuniary externalities are discussed. One is the result of paying one creditor first rather than another. The second ...
Trading down and the business cycle
The authors document two facts: First, during recessions consumers trade down in the quality of the goods and services they consume. Second, the production of low-quality goods is less labor intensive than that of high-quality goods. Therefore, when households trade down, labor demand falls, increasing the severity of recessions. The authors find that the trading-down phenomenon accounts for a substantial fraction of the fall in U.S. employment in the recent recession. They study two business cycle models that embed quality choice and find that the presence of quality choice magnifies the ...
Fiscal stimulus and distortionary taxation
We quantify the fiscal multipliers in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. We extend the benchmark Smets-Wouters New Keynesian model (Smets and Wouters, 2007), allowing for credit-constrained households, the zero lower bound, government capital, and distortionary taxation. The posterior yields modestly positive short-run multipliers around 0.52 and modestly negative long-run multipliers around -0.42. The multiplier is sensitive to the fraction of transfers given to credit-constrained households, the duration of the zero lower bound, and the capital. The stimulus ...
Innovation and growth with financial, and other, frictions
The generation and implementation of ideas, or knowledge, is crucial for economic performance. We study this process in a model of endogenous growth with frictions. Productivity increases with knowledge, which advances via innovation, and with the exchange of ideas from those who generate them to those best able to implement them (technology transfer). But frictions in this market?including search, bargaining, and commitment problems?impede exchange and thus slow growth. We characterize optimal policies to subsidize research and trade in ideas, given both knowledge and search externalities. ...
Causes and consequences of the oil shock of 2007–08
This paper explores similarities and differences between the run-up of oil prices in 2007??08 and earlier oil price shocks, looking at what caused the price increase and what effects it had on the economy. Whereas historical oil price shocks were primarily caused by physical disruptions of supply, the price run-up of 2007??08 was caused by strong demand confronting stagnating world production. Although the causes were different, the consequences for the economy appear to have been very similar to those observed in earlier episodes, with significant effects on overall consumption spending and ...
Engineering a paradox of thrift recession
We build a variation of the neoclassical growth model in which financial shocks to households or wealth shocks (in the sense of wealth destruction) generate recessions. Two standard ingredients that are necessary are (1) the existence of adjustment costs that make the expansion of the tradable goods sector difficult and (2) the existence of some frictions in the labor market that prevent enormous reductions in real wages (Nash bargaining in Mortensen-Pissarides labor markets is enough). We pose a new ingredient that greatly magnifies the recession: a reduction in consumption expenditures ...
Affine term structure pricing with bond supply as factors
This paper presents a theoretical model for analyzing the effect of the maturity structure of government debt on the yield curve. It is an ATSM (affine term structure model) in which the factors for the yield curve include, in addition to the short rate, the government bond supply for each maturity. The supply shock is not restricted to be perfectly correlated across maturities. The effect on the yield curve of a bond supply shock that is local to a maturity is largest at the maturity. This hump-shaped response of the yield curve persists in spite of the absence of preferred-habitat investors.