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

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Informal work in the United States: evidence from survey responses

"Informal" work refers to temporary or occasional side jobs from which earnings are presumably not reported in full to the Internal Revenue Service and which typically do not constitute a dominant or complete source of income. Perhaps the most important reason for undertaking informal work is to offset negative income and employment shocks, such as reduced hours in a formal job, stagnant wages, or involuntary unemployment. Such negative shocks affected many Americans during the Great Recession, so it is important to determine the extent to which people engaged in informal work during this ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-13

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

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Faster payments: market structure and policy considerations

The U.S. payments industry is in the process of developing ubiquitous, safe, faster electronic solutions for making a broad variety of business and personal payments. How this market for faster payments will evolve will be shaped by a range of economic forces, such as economies of scale and scope, network effects, switching costs, and product differentiation. Emerging technologies could alter these forces and lead to new organizational arrangements or market structures that are different from those in legacy payment markets to date. In light of this uncertainty, this paper examines three ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-4

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 Helping Hand to Main Street Where and When It Was Needed

This paper investigates the lending activity of the Main Street Lending Program, which the Federal Reserve established at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. Main Street was the largest (by total principal outstanding) of the Federal Reserve's emergency credit and liquidity facilities. The authors find fairly robust evidence that Main Street accomplished its key goal of directing more funds where and when they were most needed. Businesses located in states with more severe declines in commercial activity (as proxied by mobility indicators) and higher infection rates obtained a ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
Global standards for liquidity regulation

Liquidity risk has received increased attention recently, especially in light of the 2007 - 2009 financial crisis, when banks' extensive reliance on short-term funding, maturity mismatches between assets and liabilities, and insufficient liquidity buffers made them quite susceptible to liquidity risk. To mitigate such risk, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) introduced an improved global capital framework and new global liquidity standards for banks in December 2010 in the form of the new Basel Accord (Basel III). This brief offers insights from the crisis experience, ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-3

Report
Did abnormal weather affect U.S. employment growth in early 2015?

A current policy concern centers on how the severe winter weather experienced in some parts of the country may have affected the economy earlier this year. As of 2015:Q1, monthly payroll growth has slowed by more than 100,000 jobs compared to 2014:Q4, while GDP declined at an annual rate of 0.7 percent. To measure the potential effect of weather on recent employment growth, the author estimates a regression model using state-level employment and weather data from 1981 onward. The coefficients from this model are combined with data on recent weather to generate an estimate of how weather is ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-2

Report
Credit supply disruptions: from credit crunches to financial crisis

Events that transpired during the recent financial crisis highlight the important role that financial intermediaries still play in the economy, especially during economic downturns. While the breadth and severity of the financial crisis took most observers by surprise, it has renewed academic interest in understanding the effects on the real economy of both financial shocks and the changing nature of financial intermediation. This interest in the real effects of financial shocks highlights a literature that began more than 20 years ago associated with the bank credit crunch of the early ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-5

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Uncovering covered interest parity: the role of bank regulation and monetary policy

We analyze the factors underlying the recent deviations from covered interest parity. We show that these deviations can be explained by tighter post-crisis bank capital regulations that made the provision of foreign exchange swaps more costly. Moreover, the recent monetary policy and related interest rate divergence between the United States and other major foreign countries has led to a surge in demand for swapping low interest rate currencies into the U.S. dollar. Given the higher bank balance sheet costs resulting from these regulatory changes, the increased demand for U.S. dollars in the ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-3

Report
Let's talk about it: what policy tools should the Fed \\"normally\\" use?

During the onset of a very severe financial and economic crisis in 2008, the federal funds rate reached the zero lower bound (ZLB). With this primary monetary policy tool therefore rendered ineffective, in November 2008 the Federal Reserve started to use its balance sheet as an alternative policy tool when it began the large-scale asset purchases. Now attention is turning to how the Fed should transition back to a more conventional monetary policy stance. Largely missing from these discussions about the Fed's "exit strategy" is a consideration that perhaps it should retain, not discard, ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-12

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