Inflation expectations and the evolution of U. S. inflation
Much recent commentary has centered on the importance of well-anchored inflation expectations serving as the foundation of a well-behaved inflation rate. But the difficulty in relying on this principle is that inflation expectations are not directly observable, and thus it is hard to know whether expectations truly play such an anchoring role in the evolution of inflation. In the current circumstances this question is of much more than academic interest, as widely used measures suggest the coincidence of a large unemployment gap and muted production costs with fairly stable long-run inflation ...
Evidence of a credit crunch?: results from the 2010 survey of first district community banks
This policy brief summarizes the findings of the Survey of Community Banks conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in May 2010. This survey seeks to understand how the supply of, and demand for, bank business loans changed in the period following the financial crisis. The survey design focuses on assessing how much community banks were willing and able to lend to local businesses that used to be customers of large banks but lost access to credit in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The survey responses provide some evidence that lending standards for commercial loans have ...
Long-term inequality and mobility
This brief investigates the mobility and income situation of family heads and spouses who have low long-term incomes, where long-term refers to average family income over a 10-year period. The data show that most of those in the poorest one-fifth of the long-term income distribution during the 1996?2006 period spent all or nearly all of the period?s years in the poorest fifth of the single-year income distribution, and those who escaped did not move far. Moreover, this situation has worsened over time, with the long-term poor more ?stuck? at the bottom in the 1996-2006 period than they were ...
Do foreclosures affect Boston public school student academic performance?
Foreclosures have well-documented adverse consequences for families living in or owning properties undergoing foreclosure and on surrounding neighborhoods, but they may also have other costs. This policy brief summarizes our research on the impact of mortgage foreclosures on academic performance among Boston public school students. The data show that students who live at an address that experiences a foreclosure tend to score substantially lower on standardized tests (math and English) and also have substantially worse attendance. However, if we account for the influence of student ...
Domestic and foreign announcements on unconventional monetary policy and exchange rates
This brief studies the effects that announcements about unconventional monetary policies (large-scale asset purchases, refinancing operations, and forward guidance) have on nominal exchange rates. To this end, the authors use high-frequency intra-daily data and look at the variations in government future yields and in nominal exchange rates over a narrow window around the time of the announcements. They find that expansionary monetary policy shocks embedded in announcements made by the Federal Reserve depreciate the U. S. dollar. In contrast, the authors also find that similar unexpected ...
Cyclical versus secular: decomposing the recent decline in U.S. labor force participation
Since the start of the Great Recession, one of the most striking developments in the U.S. labor market has been the pronounced decline in the labor force participation rate. The crucial issue in interpreting the decline in U.S. labor force participation is how much of the decline reflects cyclical factors and how much reflects more persistent developments such as the demographic effects of an aging population. We provide a decomposition of cyclical versus trend movements in the labor force participation rate, informed by the joint dynamics of this variable with the employment-to-population ...
The federal fiscal outlook
This Public Policy Brief presents recent forecasts of the U.S. federal government deficits and publicly held federal debt, along with brief commentary by economic research staff at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. It is based on materials presented in an internal policy briefing on April 29, 2004. Contributors to this brief include Radoslav Raykov and Robert Triest. Views expressed in this brief do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve System.
Potential effects of an increase in debit card fees
Recently announced changes to debit card interchange fees could lead to an increase in the cost of debit cards to consumers. This brief analyzes the potential effects of an increase in debit card fees or in bank account fees by using the results of the 2008 and 2009 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC). The main findings are that: 1) consumers with the least amount of education (less than a high school diploma), the lowest annual income (below $25,000), and the youngest age (under 25 years) consider cost to be the most important payment characteristic. It is probable that these consumers ...
Asymmetric responses to tax-induced changes in personal income: the 2013 payroll tax hike versus anticipated 2012 tax refunds
As part of the Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition's free tax preparation service offered at the Boston Roxbury Resource Center between January and April 2013, 945 low-to-moderate income individuals were asked about payroll tax changes, financial planning, and their personal characteristics. Using these survey responses, the authors calculated how these individuals planned to respond to the payroll tax hike and their tax refund. The results show that their marginal propensity to consume (MPC) out of the tax refund is 30 percentage points lower than their spending reaction to the tax ...
U.S. household deleveraging: what do the aggregate and household-level data tell us?
Deleveraging is the process by which households decide that their level of debt is inconsistent with their revised economic outlook and adjust their leverage accordingly, primarily by substituting debt repayment for consumption. Household deleveraging is a commonly cited reason for the sluggish consumption growth experienced during the current economic recovery from the Great Recession. This policy brief analyzes the impact of household debt repayment on consumer spending during and after the Great Recession by using aggregate and household-level data. Overall, the data show little evidence ...