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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 

Working Paper
House prices and risk sharing
We show that homeowners are able to maintain a high level of consumption following job loss or disability in periods of rising house values. However, the consumption drop for consumers who simultaneously lose their job and equity in their houses is substantial. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we verify that homeowners smooth consumption more than renters, and that consumption smoothing improves when houses appreciate in the area of residence. We calibrate and simulate a model of endogenous homeownership and home-equity loans, and show that the model is able to reproduce the patterns in the data quite well.
AUTHORS: Hryshko, Dmytro; Luengo-Prado, Maria Jose; Bent E. Sørensen
DATE: 2009

Conference Paper
Insurance of operational risk under the New Basel Capital Accord
AUTHORS: Sumi, Takayuki
DATE: 2001

Conference Paper
Tax reform and financial markets
AUTHORS: Hendershott, Patric H.
DATE: 1985

Conference Paper
The changing nature of debt and equity; a legal perspective
AUTHORS: Normandin, Charles P.
DATE: 1989

Report
SNAP: should we be worried about a sudden, sharp rise from low, long-term rates?
Despite the expectations of FOMC and market participants at the beginning of 2014 to the contrary, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury debt declined by about 50 basis points from 2.72 percent at the beginning of 2014 to 2.17 percent as of December 22, 2014. This raises the worrisome possibility that we might observe a sudden change in longer-term yields once the Federal Reserve announces an increase in short-term rates. In other words, longer-term rates could snap, very much as they did in the summer of 2013 after the tapering announcement, once the Fed announces its first short-term rate hike indicating the end of the era of loose monetary policy. In order to study this possibility, this paper examines reactions to Fed announcements during the period when conventional monetary policy tools were used, to investigate whether FOMC announcements that imply reversals in the monetary policy stance have a greater effect on longer-term Treasury yields than similar monetary policy actions that do not imply a policy reversal.
AUTHORS: Ozdagli, Ali K.
DATE: 2014-12-01

Report
Costs and benefits of building faster payment systems: the U.K. experience and implications for the United States
This paper studies the economic cost-benefit analysis behind the decision by the United Kingdom on how to implement its Faster Payments Service (FPS), which allows consumers and businesses to rapidly transfer money between bank accounts, and draws implications for the U.S. payments system.
AUTHORS: Rysman, Marc; Schuh, Scott; Greene, Claire; Shy, Oz
DATE: 2014-10-10

Report
How do speed and security influence consumers' payment behavior?
The Federal Reserve Financial Services (FRFS) strategic plan for 2012-2016 named improvements in the end-to-end speed and security of the payment system as two of its policy initiatives. End-to-end in this context means that for the first time end-users are explicitly included. Earlier versions of the strategy plan were circulated for public comment, and the feedback received by FRFS specifically identified a need for further research. This brief draws upon new data from the 2013 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice and employs econometric modeling and simulation to complement FRFS-commissioned market research on end users' preferences. The authors' approach relies on revealed preference to incorporate insight into consumers' actual behavior, not just their attitudes, and their models employ a two-stage technique, estimating, first, the influence of the simulated improvements in speed and in security on the adoption of the payment instruments considered, and, second, the influence on the choice of which of the adopted payment instruments to use. The final version of the strategic plan is currently under discussion by Federal Reserve policymakers, so all the policies and strategies discussed in this brief are preliminary.
AUTHORS: Schuh, Scott; Stavins, Joanna
DATE: 2015-02-05

Report
Bitcoin as money?
The spectacular rise late last year in the price of Bitcoin, the dominant virtual currency, has attracted much public attention as well as scholarly interest. This policy brief discusses how some features of Bitcoin, as designed and executed to date, have hampered its ability to perform the functions required of a fiat money??as a medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value. Furthermore, we document how various forms of intermediaries have emerged and evolved within the Bitcoin network, particularly noting the convergence toward concentrated processing, both on and off the blockchain. We argue that much of this process would have been predicted by established theories of financial intermediation, and we consider the theories? implication for the future evolution of intermediaries serving users of Bitcoin or alternative virtual currencies. We then compare Bitcoin with other innovations to facilitate payment services, from competing alternative digital currencies to electronic payment protocols. We conclude with a broad consideration of the major factors that will likely shape the future development of Bitcoin versus other alternative payment systems. We predict that Bitcoin?s lasting legacy will be the innovations it has spurred to payment technology, although the payment system will remain dominated by large processors because of economies of scale.
AUTHORS: Lo, Stephanie; Wang, J. Christina
DATE: 2014-09-04

Report
Productivity in the slow lane?: the role of information and communications technology
As the current recovery matures in the United States, evidence is mounting that total factor productivity (TFP), the typical measure of technological change, has moved back into the slow lane. This study uses industry data to explore the extent to which the acceleration in TFP in the late 1990s and early 2000s and the subsequent deceleration are attributable to unmeasured investment by firms to take full advantage of the new capabilities made possible by information and communications technology (ICT).
AUTHORS: Pearson, Alison; Wang, J. Christina
DATE: 2014-12-22

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