Bank deregulation and racial inequality in America
We use the cross-state, cross-time variation in bank deregulation across the U.S. states to assess how improvements in banking systems affected the labor market opportunities of black workers. Bank deregulation from the 1970s through the 1990s improved bank efficiency, lowered entry barriers facing nonfinancial firms, and intensified competition for labor throughout the economy. Consistent with Becker?s (1957) seminal theory of racial discrimination, we find that deregulation-induced improvements in the banking system boosted blacks?relative wages by facilitating the entry of new firms and ...
Looking behind the aggregates: a reply to “Facts and Myths about the Financial Crisis of 2008”
As Chari et al (2008) point out in a recent paper, aggregate trends are very hard to interpret. They examine four common claims about the impact of financial sector phenomena on the economy and conclude that all four claims are myths. We argue that to evaluate these popular claims, one needs to look at the underlying composition of financial aggregates. Our findings show that most of the commonly argued facts are indeed supported by disaggregated data.
Cross-Sectional Factor Dynamics and Momentum Returns
This paper proposes and implements an inter-temporal model wherein aggregate consumption and asset-specific dividend growths jointly move with two mean-reverting state variables. Consumption beta varies through time and cross sectionally due to variation in half-lives and stationary volatilities of the dividend signals. Winner (Loser) stocks exhibit high (low) half-lives and stationary volatilities, and thus exhibit high (low) consumption beta commanding high (low) risk-premium. The model also rationalizes the "momentum crashes" phenomenon discussed in Daniel and Moskowitz (2014). High ...
Information diffusion based explanations of asset pricing anomalies
In this paper we develop information based factors which outperform other popular factors used in the multifactor pricing literature such as the Fama and French size and book-to-market factors. The first factor is based on the age of an asset, measured by the number of months since the asset?s IPO, while the second factor is based on the percentage of trading days an asset does not trade in a given year. Both factors attempt to capture the quality and speed of information diffusion on the market. Our information factors perform particularly well on momentum portfolios, which, Hong et al ...
Offshoring, Low-skilled Immigration, and Labor Market Polarization
During the last three decades, the U.S. labor market has been characterized by its employment polarization. As jobs in the middle of the skill distribution have shrunk, employment has expanded in high- and low-skill occupations. Real wages have not followed the same pattern. While earnings for high-skill occupations have risen robustly, wages for both low- and middle-skill workers have remained subdued. We attribute this outcome to the rise in offshoring and low-skilled immigration, and develop a three-country stochastic growth model to rationalize their asymmetric effect on employment and ...
Branching of banks and union decline
This paper proposes a novel explanation for the decline in unions in the United States since the late 1970s: state-by-state removal of geographical restrictions on branching of banks. Bank branch deregulation reduces union membership in the non-banking sectors by intensifying entry of new firms, especially in sectors with high dependence on external finance. New firm entry, in turn, is associated with a reduction in union wage premium, and subsequently leads to adverse union voting. I provide empirical evidence for these channels using repeated cross-sectional and panel data of U.S. workers ...
Optimal portfolio choice with predictability in house prices and transaction costs
We study a model of portfolio choice, in which housing prices are predictable and adjustment costs must be paid when there is a housing transaction. We show that two state variables affect the agent's decisions: (i) his wealth-house ratio; and (ii) the time-varying expected growth rate of housing prices. The agent buys (sells) his housing assets only when the wealth-house ratio reaches an optimal upper (lower) boundary. These boundaries are time-varying and depend on the expected growth rate of housing prices. Finally, we use household level data from the PSID and SIPP surveys to test and ...
Your house or your credit card, which would you choose?: personal delinquency tradeoffs and precautionary liquidity motives
This paper finds strong evidence that many individuals choose to pay credit card bills even at the cost of mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures. While the popular press and some recent literature have suggested that this choice may emerge from steep declines in housing prices, we find evidence that individual-level liquidity concerns are at least as important in the decision. That is, choosing credit cards over housing suggests a precautionary liquidity preference. ; By linking the mortgage delinquency decisions to individual-level credit conditions, we are able to assess the compound ...
Demonstration effects in preventive care
Using a unique dataset composed of female employees at a large medical organization, this paper explores the role of social interactions among female co-workers and neighbors in the decision to obtain breast cancer screening exams. In our theoretical framework, the experience of other women is salient because it alters the tolerance for ambiguity about their own vulnerability, via a comparative ignorance effect. We find that the social multiplier ranges from 2 to 3: the equilibrium effect of an exogenous shock that impacts the probability of performing a mammogram is two to three times the ...
Loss distribution estimation, external data and model averaging
This paper will discuss a proposed method for the estimation of loss distribution using information from a combination of internally derived data and data from external sources. The relevant context for this analysis is the estimation of operational loss distributions used in the calculation of capital adequacy. We present a robust, easy-to-implement approach that draws on Bayesian inferential methods. The principal intuition behind the method is to let the data itself determine how they should be incorporated into the loss distribution. This approach avoids the pitfalls of managerial choice ...