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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago  Series:Working Paper Series 

Working Paper
Labor market policies in an equilibrium search model

We explore to what extent differences in employment and unemployment across economies can be generated by differences in labor market policies. We use a version of the Lucas-Prescott equilibrium search model with undirected search and endogenous labor-force participation. Minimum wages, degree of unionization, firing taxes, and unemployment benefits are introduced and their effects analyzed. When the model is calibrated to US observations it reproduces several of the elasticities of employment and unemployment with respect to changes in policies reported in the empirical literature. We find ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-99-10

Working Paper
Pricing IPOs of mutual thrift conversions: the joint effect of regulation and market discipline

A large number of mutual savings and loan associations (MSLs) converted their charters into stock ownership between the mid-1980s to mid-1990s. Because these conversions tended to generate windfall profits for insiders and investors, new conversion guidelines and regulations were proposed by the FDIC to make sure that prices of the conversion IPO were right and fair. As pointed out by Mr. Henry B. Gonzales, former Chairman of the House Banking Committee, "conversion regulations of the Office of Thrift Supervision have ensured that insiders and acquirers don't benefit at the expenses of the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-01-25

Working Paper
Spending responses to state sales tax holidays

Every year over 20 states offer sales tax holidays (STHs) on specific items like clothes, shoes and other items to encourage consumption, affecting over 100 million consumers. We use a unique dataset of credit cards transaction to study the spending response to these holidays. Using a diff-in-diff methodology, we find that STHs increase overall daily spending by 8%, with large percentage increases in spending on children?s clothes and shoes of 193% and 98% respectively. Consumers with children increase spending more during STHs. Our estimates of price elasticities range from 6 for big box ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2012-10

Working Paper
The importance of check-cashing businesses to the unbanked: racial/ethnic differences

The roughly 9.5 percent of all U.S. families that are without some type of transaction account (unbanked) are disproportionately represented by minorities. The unbanked often must rely on alternative ways to carry out basic financial transactions such as cashing payroll checks and paying bills. This study analyzes unique survey data and finds that a consumer's decision to patronize check-cashing businesses is jointly made with the decision to be unbanked. For the unbanked, these businesses are an important source for financial services. Attributes that contribute to these decisions, however, ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-03-10

Working Paper
Local market consolidation and bank productive efficiency

The recent banking literature has evaluated the impact of mergers on the efficiency of the merging parties [e.g., Rhoades (1993), Shaffer (1993), Fixler and Zieschang (1993)]. Similarly, there has been analysis of the impact of eliminating bank entry restrictions on the average performance of banks [Jayaratne and Strahan (1998)]. The evidence suggests that acquiring banks are typically more efficient than are acquired banks, resulting in the potential for the new combined organization to be more efficient and, therefore, for the merger to be welfare enhancing. The evidence also suggests, ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-02-25

Working Paper
Last-in first-out oligopoly dynamics

This paper extends the static analysis of oligopoly structure into an infinite- horizon setting with sunk costs and demand uncertainty. The observation that exit rates decline with firm age motivates the assumption of last-in first- out dynamics: An entrant expects to produce no longer than any incumbent. This selects an essentially unique Markov-perfect equilibrium. With mild restrictions on the demand shocks, a sequence of thresholds describes firms? equilibrium entry and survival decisions. Bresnahan and Reiss?s (1993) empirical analysis of oligopolists? entry and exit assumes that such ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-06-28

Working Paper
Commodity money with frequent search

A prominent feature of the Kiyotaki and Wright (1989) model of commodity money is the multiplicity of dynamic equilibria. We show that the frequency of search is strongly related to the extent of multiplicity. To isolate the role of frequency of search in generating multiplicity, we (i) vary the frequency of search without changing the frequency of finding a trading partner and (ii) focus on symmetric dynamic equilibria, a class for which we can sharply characterize several features of the set of equilibria. For any finite frequency of search this class retains much of the multiplicity. For ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2010-22

Working Paper
Gaps and triangles

In this paper, we derive principles of optimal cyclical monetary policy in an economy without capital, with a cash-in-advance restriction on household transactions, and with monopolistic firms that set prices one period in advance. The only distortionary policy instruments are the nominal interest rate and the money supply. In this environment, it is feasible to undo both the cash in advance and the price setting restrictions, but not the monopolistic competition distortion. We show that it is optimal to follow the Friedman rule, and thus offset the cash-in-advance restriction.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-01-13

Working Paper
An Analysis of Revenues at the Comédie française, 1680-1793

I study the business practices of the Comdie franaise, the main theater in Paris, between 1680 and 1793. The theater was an actors? partnership and operated within a (contested) oligopoly. Newly available data provide revenues by price category for over 32,000 performances. Attendance varied considerably from one performance to the next. Total revenues increased in the second half of the 18th century as demand for entertainment in Paris boomed. The increase came in part from box rentals (by performance or by season). Pricing practices changed over time, as premium pricing for high-demand ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-24

Working Paper
Depositor liquidity and loss-sharing in bank failure resolutions

Bank failures are widely feared for a number of reasons, including concern that depositors may suffer both losses in the value of their deposits (credit losses) and, possibly more importantly, restrictions in access to their deposits (liquidity losses). In the United States, this is not true for insured deposits, which are fully protected and made available to the depositor almost immediately. But both problems may occur for uninsured depositors. Thus, there is pressure on regulators to protect all depositors in bank failures. This is likely to increase both moral hazard risk-taking by banks ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-03-02




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