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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston  Series:Current Policy Perspectives 

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Corporate Debt Maturity and Monetary Policy

Do firms lengthen the maturity of their borrowing following a flattening of the Treasury yield curve that results from monetary policy operations? We explore this question separately for the years before and during the zero lower bound (ZLB) period, recognizing that the same change in the yield curve slope signifies different states of the economy and monetary policy over the two regimes. We find that the answer is robustly yes for the pre-ZLB period: Firms extended the maturity of their bond issuance by nearly three years in response to a policy-induced reduction of 1 percentage point in the ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
Household formation over time: evidence from two cohorts of young adults

Residential investment accounts for an important component of U.S. gross domestic product, and traditionally plays a strong role in business cycle expansions. U.S. residential investment has improved slowly during the recovery from the Great Recession, despite a relatively strong national rebound in house prices and record low interest rates. An important determinant of residential investment is the household formation rate, which is largely driven by young adults moving out of their parents? homes after completing high school or college. New household formation can be offset when existing ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-4

Report
Measuring the US Employment Situation Using Online Panels: The Yale Labor Survey

This report presents the results of a rapid, low-cost survey that collects labor market data for individuals in the United States. The Yale Labor Survey (YLS) used an online panel from YouGov to replicate statistics from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the government’s source of household labor market statistics. The YLS’s advantages include its timeliness, low cost, and ability to develop new questions quickly to study labor market patterns during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Although YLS estimates of unemployment and participation rates mirrored the broad trends in CPS ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
The emerging market economies in times of taper-talk and actual tapering

The emerging market economies (EME) experienced financial distress during two recent periods, both linked to the prospect of the Federal Reserve starting to slow its asset purchases. This policy change was expected to reverse the capital flows directed to the EME. Despite this aggregate effect, a closer analysis shows that there were significant differences across the EME during the time when talk of the upcoming taper began and the period when the policy was implemented. The author makes use of the literature on currency crises to analyze the different cross-country responses and to identify ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-6

Report
Technology, the nature of information, and fintech marketplace lending

The retail lending landscape has changed considerably over the past two decades, the most recent example being the rapid growth of online, or FinTech, lending to consumers and small businesses. This paper discusses how the boundary of the firm in the retail lending market is affected by advances in information technology that have turned what was previously soft information on borrower credit risk into encoded hard data that can be precisely transmitted across firms at a very low cost. The ability to collect and process information has become the critical resource for lending decisions, ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 18-3

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).
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-10

Report
Sectoral inflation and the Phillips curve: what has changed since the Great Recession?

Using sectoral data at a medium level of aggregation, we find that price changes became less responsive to aggregate unemployment around 2009?2010. The slopes of the disaggregated Phillips curves diminished in many sectors, including housing and some services. We also document a decrease in sectoral inflation persistence, suggesting an increase in the weight of the forward-looking inflation expectation component and a decrease in the weight of the backward-looking component.
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-5

Report
The Great Recession, entrepreneurship, and productivity performance

In recent years, it is argued, the level of entrepreneurial activity in the United States has declined, causing concern because of its potential macroeconomic implications. In particular, it is feared that a lower rate of firm creation may be associated with lower productivity growth and, hence, lower economic growth in the coming years. This paper studies the issue, focusing on the dynamics of entrepreneurship and productivity around the time of the Great Recession. The author looks first at the recent evolution of alternative measures of entrepreneurship and of productivity, and then ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-8

Report
Relative pay, productivity, and labor supply

Relative pay ? earnings compared with the earnings of others doing a similar job, or compared with one?s earnings in the past ? affects how much individuals would like to work (labor supply) and their effort on the job; it therefore has implications for both employers and policy makers. A collection of recent studies shows that relative pay information, even when it is irrelevant, significantly affects labor supply and effort. This effect stems mainly from those who compare unfavorably, as essentially all studies find that awareness of earning less than others or less than in the past ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-2

Report
A post-mortem of the life insurance industry's bid for capital during the financial crisis

The 2008?2009 financial crisis was the most serious shock to the U.S. financial system since the Great Depression of the 1930s. A number of large financial institutions failed during the crisis. Many institutions that survived did so only because of extraordinary actions undertaken by company management to maintain solvency, or through the extension of extraordinary support by the federal government and the Federal Reserve System. The impact of the financial crisis on the banking sector has been the subject of extensive research, discussion, and debate. Academic and policy researchers, as ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-8

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