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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston  Series:Working Papers 

Working Paper
Estimating demand elasticities in a differentiated product industry: the personal computer market

Supply and demand functions are typically estimated using uniform prices and quantities across products, but where products are heterogeneous, it is important to consider quality differences explicitly. This paper demonstrates a new approach to doing this by employing hedonic coefficients to estimate price elasticities for differentiated products in the market for personal computers. Differences among products are modeled as distances in a linear quality space derived from a multi-dimensional attribute space. Heterogeneous quality allows for the estimation of varying demand elasticities among ...
Working Papers , Paper 95-9

Working Paper
Job creation, job destruction, and international competition: a literature review

This paper is a chapter in our forthcoming monograph, Job Creation, Job Destruction, and International Competition (W.E. Upjohn Institute, 2003), and expands on the ideas advanced in Klein, Schuh, and Triest (2003). The chapter provides an extensive review of the literature that studies the connection between international factors, such as real exchange rates and trade agreements, and the domestic labor market. Until recently, the literature has focused on the effects of international factors on net employment at aggregate levels or in selected import-competing industries. In the long run, ...
Working Papers , Paper 02-7

Working Paper
Optimal recall period length in consumer payment surveys

Surveys in many academic fields ask respondents to recall the number of events that occurred over a specific period of time with the goal of learning about the mean frequency of these events among the population. Research has shown that the choice of the recall period, particularly the length, affects the results by influencing the cognitive recall process. We combine experimental recall data with use data to learn about this relationship in the context of consumer payments, specifically for the mean frequency of use of the four most popular payment instruments (cash, credit card, debit card, ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-16

Working Paper
Defaults of original issue high-yield convertible bonds

The success in marketing original issue high-yield bonds has generated significant interest in their default experience. Studies comparing defaults to the par value of outstanding issues such as Altman (1987), Altman and Nammacher (1985), and Weinstein (1987) have found relatively low default rates. However, these studies understate default rates because of the rapid increase in the par value of outstanding issues and because cumulative default rates increase with years from issuance. Two recent studies by Altman (1989) and Asquith, Mullins and Wolff (AMW) (1989) have corrected these problems ...
Working Papers , Paper 92-6

Working Paper
Is bank debt special for the transmission of monetary policy? Evidence from the stock market

We combine existing balance sheet and stock market data with two new datasets to study whether, how much, and why bank lending to firms matters for the transmission of monetary policy. The first new dataset enables us to quantify the bank dependence of firms precisely, as the ratio of bank debt to total assets. We show that a two standard deviation increase in the bank dependence of a firm makes its stock price about 25 percent more responsive to monetary policy shocks. We explore the channels through which this effect occurs, and find that the stock prices of bank-dependent firms that borrow ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-17

Working Paper
The capitalization and portfolio risk of insurance companies

The enormous growth in both Social Security and private pension plans has stimulated much interest in the impact of these retirement programs on individual saving behavior and the level of national saving. The first issue is the extent to which employees covered by pension plans reduce their own direct saving in response to expected retirement benefits; the response of individuals to guaranteed retirement income will determine, to a large extent, their well-being in retirement. For a nation concerned about saving and capital formation, the second issue is the impact of collectivized ...
Working Papers , Paper 91-3

Working Paper
Estimating revenues from tax reform in transition economies

Quantitative analysis is a key aspect of the design and evaluation of tax policy. To make informed decisions, policymakers should know how much revenue is collected and from whom. The tax reform planned for transition economies should include the introduction not only of new tax structures but also of new models to estimate revenues. Preliminary methodologies can be developed in time to influence the current discussions on the design of tax legislation. These efforts will also lay the groundwork for the further development of data bases and models that will be used to evaluate tax policy in ...
Working Papers , Paper 94-4

Working Paper
Productivity shocks, investment, and the real interest rate

I analyze the effects of a favorable shift in expected future productivity on the current level of investment and the real interest rate. In a standard RBC model, an increase in expected future productivity raises the real rate, but decreases the current level of investment for plausible parameter values of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution in consumption. However, it is shown that such a conclusion is unwarranted when nominal rigidities are introduced into the analysis. In contrast with the flexible-price case, the favorable shift in future productivity can lead to an increase in ...
Working Papers , Paper 99-2

Working Paper
The influence of gender and income on the household division of financial responsibility

This paper studies how gender and income dynamics influence the division of responsibility in two-adult households for various activities, including those tasks directly related to financial decisionmaking. The data, from the 2012 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, consist of the respondents? categorical self-assessments of their individual levels of responsibility for various tasks. A data construct, in which some households have both adults participate in the survey, is exploited to develop a penalized latent variable model that accounts for systemic response errors. The data reveal that ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-20

Working Paper
Household inflation expectations and consumer spending: evidence from panel data

With nominal interest rates at the zero lower bound, an important question for monetary policy is whether, as predicted in prior theoretical work, an increase in inflation expectations would boost current consumer spending. Using survey panel data for the period from April 2009 to November 2012, we examine the relationship between a household's inflation expectations and its current spending, taking into account other factors such as the household's wage growth expectations, the uncertainty surrounding its inflation expectations, macroeconomic conditions, and unobserved heterogeneity at the ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-25

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