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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston  Series:Working Papers 

Working Paper
The stock market and cross country differences in relative prices

This paper studies the impact of stock market development on cross country relative prices (the real exchange rate). A nonlinear relationship is uncovered in the cross section: prices and the stock market increase together in the beginning; then prices fall as the stock market continues to develop. In fact, among rich countries the relationship between prices and the stock market is negative. This result obtains after controlling for per capita income and for endogeneity issues by using legal origins. A small open economy model is presented to explain the connection between stock market ...
Working Papers , Paper 05-6

Working Paper
Exchange rates and monetary policy

In this paper we confront the data with the financial-market folk wisdom that monetary policy is one of the key drivers of nominal exchange rates. Focusing on measures of conventional and unconventional monetary policy, we find that monetary policy surprises and changes in expectations about future monetary policy can explain a sizable fraction of the variation in exchange rate changes for certain currency pairs. However, our results show that expected excess returns account for most of this variation. We also find that the importance unconventional monetary policy plays for explaining ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-16

Working Paper
Weekends can be rough: revisiting the weekend effect in stock prices

The performance of stock prices during breaks in trading has received considerable attention in recent years. While some studies focus on performance surrounding periods of unscheduled trading breaks (trading halts in individual stocks, circuit breakers for exchanges), other studies look at performance around periods of scheduled trading breaks (holidays, weekends). This paper fits into the second group. We revisit the "weekend effect" in common stock returns. Our focus is on two characteristics of differential returns over intraweek trading days and over weekends: the mean return, or ...
Working Papers , Paper 98-6

Working Paper
An optimizing model for monetary policy analysis: can habit formation help?

This paper discusses a rigorous empirical standard for monetary policy models. The motivation for this discussion is that, if one wishes to conduct welfare analysis , one must be reasonably confident that the model provides a good approximation to underlying consumer and firm behavior over the monetary policy horizon, i.e., in the short-run. The paper examines a specific alternative to the standard consumption model in which consumers' utility depends in part on current consumption relative to past consumption.
Working Papers , Paper 98-1

Working Paper
Optimal monetary policy under model uncertainty without commitment

This paper studies the design of optimal time-consistent monetary policy in an economy where the planner trusts its own model, while a representative household uses a set of alternative probability distributions governing the evolution of the exogenous state of the economy. In such environments, unlike in the original studies of time-consistent monetary policy, managing households' expectations becomes an active channel of optimal policymaking per se, a feature that the paternalistic government seeks to exploit. We adapt recursive methods in the spirit of Abreu, Pearce, and Stacchetti (1990) ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-20

Working Paper
Mortgage lending in Boston: interpreting HMDA data

The results of this study indicate that minority applicants, on average, do have greater debt burdens, higher loan-to-value ratios, and weaker credit histories and they are less likely to buy single-family homes than white applicants, and that these disadvantages do account for a large portion of the difference in denial rates. Including the additional information on applicant and property characteristics reduces the disparity between minority and white denials from the originally reported ratio of 2.7 to 1 to roughly 1.6 to 1. But these factors do not wholly eliminate the disparity, since ...
Working Papers , Paper 92-7

Working Paper
New approaches to ranking economics journals

This study develops a flexible, citations-adjusted ranking technique that allows a specified set of journals to be evaluated using a wide range of alternative criteria. As a result, the set of evaluated journals is not constrained to be identical to the set of evaluating journals. We also draw a critical distinction between the influence of a journal and the influence of a journal article, with the latter concept arguably being more relevant for potential contributors and those who evaluate research productivity. The list of top economics journals changes noticeably when one examines ...
Working Papers , Paper 05-12

Working Paper
Impatience and credit behavior: evidence from a field experiment

This paper tests whether heterogeneity of time preferences can explain individual credit behavior. In a field experiment targeting individuals from low-to-moderate income households, we measure individual time preferences through choice experiments, and then match these time preference measures to individual credit reports and annual tax returns. ; We find that, controlling for disposable income and other individual characteristics, individuals who are less patient have lower credit scores and higher default rates. Moreover, people with dynamically inconsistent (quasi-hyperbolic) preferences ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-3

Working Paper
Labor market polarization over the business cycle

One of the most important long-run trends in the U.S. labor market is polarization, defined as the relative growth of employment in high-skill jobs (such as management and technical positions) and low-skill jobs (such as food-service and janitorial work) amid the concurrent decline in middle-skill jobs (such as clerical, construction, manufacturing, and retail occupations). Middle-skill job losses typically result from outsourcing labor to lower-wage countries or from substituting automated technologies for routine tasks. Economists are now beginning to study how long-run polarization might ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-16

Working Paper
Does the Federal Reserve possess an exploitable informational advantage?

This paper provides evidence that the Federal Reserve has an informational advantage over the public that can be exploited to improve activist monetary policy. The informational advantage derives from the Fed?s role as a bank supervisor, and it is shown to be of sufficient duration to be effective in guiding activist monetary policy, even in simple rational expectations models. The informational superiority does not result from the Fed having earlier access to publicly released data about the financial condition of banks. Instead, this informational advantage is generated by confidential ...
Working Papers , Paper 99-8

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