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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston  Series:Working Papers 

Working Paper
Cyclical and sectoral transitions in the U.S. housing market

Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this paper examines the flow of U.S. households within and between two distinct segments of the housing market ? renter-occupied properties and owner-occupied properties. The paper provides relevant empirical moments for microfounded models of the housing sector. In particular, net flows in the housing market are substantially smaller than the gross flows, as is the case in the literature on labor market flows. Housing market turnover also exhibits substantial heterogeneity in household moving rates, the long-run moving trends, and the ...
Working Papers , Paper 12-17

Working Paper
On the trade impact of nominal exchange rate volatility

What is the effect of nominal exchange rate variability on trade? I argue that the methods conventionally used to answer this perennial question are plagued by a variety of sources of systematic bias. I propose a novel approach that simultaneously addresses all of these biases, and present new estimates from a broad sample of countries from 1970 to 1997. The answer to the question is: Not much.
Working Papers , Paper 03-2

Working Paper
Capital and risk: new evidence on implications of large operational losses

Operational risk is currently receiving significant media attention, as financial scandals have appeared regularly and multiple events have exceeded one billion dollars in total impact. Regulators have also been devoting attention to this risk, and are finalizing proposals that would require banks to hold capital for potential operational losses. This paper uses newly available loss data to model operational risk at internationally active banks. Our results suggest that the amount of capital held for operational risk will often exceed capital held for market risk, and that the largest banks ...
Working Papers , Paper 03-5

Working Paper
Does Fed policy reveal a ternary mandate?

This paper examines the role of financial instability in setting monetary policy. The paper begins with a model that examines the interaction of monetary and regulatory policy. It then empirically tests whether financial instability has affected monetary policy. One important innovation is to construct a measure of financial instability directly related to the FOMC financial instability concerns expressed in FOMC meeting transcripts. We find that, even after controlling for forecasts of inflation and unemployment, the word counts of terms related to financial instability do correlate with ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-11

Working Paper
Does changing employers’ access to criminal histories affect ex-offenders’ recidivism?: evidence from the 2010–2012 Massachusetts CORI Reform

This paper examines how changes in employers? access to job applicants? criminal histories affect ex-offender recidivism. We use extensive state administrative data on individual criminal histories spanning the 2010?2012 Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Reform, widely regarded as landmark legislation governing access to individuals? criminal information. The CORI Reform: i) banned inquiring about criminal history on initial job applications, and ii) broadened the list of groups eligible to use the state?s criminal records repository while simultaneously restricting ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-31

Working Paper
The Inflation Target and the Equilibrium Real Rate

Many economists have proposed raising the inflation target to reduce the probability of hitting the zero lower bound (ZLB). It is both a common assumption and a feature of standard models that raising the inflation target does not impact the equilibrium real rate. I demonstrate that in the New Keynesian model, once heterogeneity is introduced, raising the inflation target causes the equilibrium real rate to fall. This implies that raising the inflation target will increase thenominal interest rate by less than expected and thus will be less effective in reducing the probability of hitting the ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-2

Working Paper
The ups and downs of the gig economy, 2015–2017

A variety of researchers and public entities have estimated the prevalence of nontraditional work arrangements ? using diverse definitions ? in recent decades, and the topic has received increasing attention in the past five years. Despite numerous media reports that the prevalence of nonstandard work has increased since the Great Recession, not all sources agree on this point, and very little evidence exists relating to hours or earnings from such arrangements and their changes over time. Using unique data from the Survey of Informal Work Participation (SIWP), we describe changes in informal ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-12

Working Paper
The monetary transmission mechanism

The monetary transmission mechanism describes how policy-induced changes in the nominal money stock or the short-term nominal interest rate impact real variables such as aggregate output and employment. Specific channels of monetary transmission operate through the effects that monetary policy has on interest rates, exchange rates, equity and real estate prices, bank lending, and firm balance sheets. Recent research on the transmission mechanism seeks to understand how these channels work in the context of dynamic, stochastic, general equilibrium models.
Working Papers , Paper 06-1

Working Paper
Interest sensitivity and volatility reductions: cross-section evidence

As has been widely observed, the volatility of GDP has declined since the mid-1980s compared with prior years. One leading explanation for this decline is that monetary policy improved significantly in the later period. We utilize a cross-section of 2-digit manufacturing and trade industries to further investigate this explanation. Since a major channel through which monetary policy operates is variation in the federal funds rate, we hypothesized that industries that are more interest sensitive should have experienced larger declines in the variance of their outputs in the post-1983 period. ...
Working Papers , Paper 05-4

Working Paper
In search of real rigidities

The closed and open economy literatures both work on evaluating the role of real rigidities, but in parallel. This paper brings the two literatures together. We use international price data and exchange rate shocks to evaluate the importance of real rigidities in price setting. We show that, consistent with the presence of real rigidities, the response of reset-price inflation to exchange rate shocks exhibits significant persistence. Individual import prices, conditional on changing, respond to exchange rate shocks prior to the last price change. At the same time, aggregate reset-price ...
Working Papers , Paper 10-9

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