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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston  Series:Working Papers 

Working Paper
The impact of managed care on the gender earnings gap among physicians

Important differences in labor market characteristics suggest that men and women physicians may be viewed as imperfect substitutes in the labor market. Concerns about efficiency and cost-cutting, which have led to the adoption of managed care practices, may have (unintentionally) favored female physicians. Using data from the Young Physicians Survey, the author compares changes in the gender earnings gap for physicians in states with high versus low managed care growth during the 1980s. She finds that the gender gap in hourly earnings among physicians in states with high managed care growth ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-1

Working Paper
Family characteristics and macroeconomic factors in U. S. intragenerational family income mobility, 1978–2014

Family economic mobility has been a policy concern for decades, with interest heating up further since the 1990s. Using data that tracks individual families? incomes during overlapping 10-year periods from 1978 through 2014, this paper investigates the relationships of factors ? family characteristics and macro influences ? to intragenerational mobility and whether the importance of those factors has changed over time. Family characteristics include both levels of work behavior and family structure and within-period changes in those factors, as well as time-invariant characteristics of the ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-1

Working Paper
What do cross-sectional growth regressions tell us about convergence?

This paper tests the dynamic implications of beta-convergence with time-series data from 48 contiguous U.S. states. The motivation for this paper rests with the interpretation of results from cross-sectional growth regressions. These results show that poor regions experience faster per-capita income growth than rich regions. This is interpreted as evidence of convergence. However, convergence is a dynamic adjustment process with testable implications in time-series data, while the literature employs cross-sectional data to estimate this dynamic concept. A set of strong assumptions must be ...
Working Papers , Paper 98-4

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
Bank consolidation and small business lending: it's not just bank size that matters

Concern with the potential effect of bank mergers on small business lending has stemmed from a belief that larger acquirers may be less willing than their smaller targets to be active in the small business lending market. However, we find that in roughly half the commercial and savings bank mergers of the past three years, the acquirer has a larger portfolio share of small business loans than its target; moreover, the most common acquirer of small banks is another small bank. The empirical results support the hypothesis that acquirers tend to recast the target in their own image, causing ...
Working Papers , Paper 97-1

Working Paper
Investment decisions and negative interest rates

While the current European Central Bank deposit rate and 2-year German government bond yields are negative, the U.S. 2-year government bond and deposit rates are positive. Insights from Prospect Theory suggest that this situation may lead to an excess flow of funds into the United States. Yet the environment of negative interest rates is different from the environment considered in Prospect Theory and subsequent literature, since decisions are framed in terms of rates of return rather than absolute amounts and the task involves the allocation of funds rather than a choice or a pricing task as ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-23

Working Paper
Real output of bank services: what counts is what banks do, not what they own

The measurement of bank output, a difficult and contentious issue, has become even more important in the aftermath of the devastating financial crisis of recent years. In this paper, we argue that models of banks as processors of information and transactions imply a quantity measure of bank service output based on transaction counts instead of balances of loans and deposits. Compiling new and comparable output measures for the United States and a range of European countries, we show that our counts-based output series exhibit significantly different growth patterns from those of our ...
Working Papers , Paper 11-1

Working Paper
Why are (some) consumers (finally) writing fewer checks?: the role of payment characteristics

Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. payment system has been undergoing a transformation featuring a significant decline in the use of paper checks that has been quite uneven across consumers and not well understood. This paper estimates econometric models of consumers? adoption (extensive margin) and use (intensive margin) of checks plus six other common U.S. payment instruments, using a comprehensive new data source on consumer payment choice. We find that payment characteristics are the most important determinants of payment instrument use. Plausible changes in the relative convenience and cost ...
Working Papers , Paper 09-1

Working Paper
The Failure of supervisory stress testing: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and OFHEO

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, policymakers in the United States and elsewhere have adopted stress testing as a central tool for supervising large, complex, financial institutions and promoting financial stability. Although supervisory stress testing may confer substantial benefits, such tests are vulnerable to model risk. This paper studies the risk-based capital stress test conducted by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that are central to the U.S. housing finance ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-4

Working Paper
Social and private learning with endogenous decision timing

Firms often face choices about when to upgrade and what to upgrade to. We discuss this in the context of upgrading to a new technology (for example, a new computer system), but it applies equally to the upgrading of processes (for example, a new organizational structure) or to individual choices (for example, buying a new car). This paper uses an experimental approach to determine how people address such problems, with a particular focus on the impact of information flows. Specifically, subjects face a multi-round decision, choosing when (if ever) to upgrade from the status quo to either a ...
Working Papers , Paper 09-11

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