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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland  Series:Working Papers 

Working Paper
Export-Led Decay: The Trade Channel in the Gold Standard Era

Flexible exchange rates can facilitate price adjustments that buffer macroeconomic shocks. We test this hypothesis using adjustments to the gold standard during the Great Depression. Using prices at the goods level, we estimate exchange rate pass-through. Using novel monthly data on city-level economic activity, combined with employment composition and sectoral export data, we show that American exporting cities were significantly affected by changes in bilateral exchange rates. With those results we calibrate a general equilibrium model to obtain aggregate effects from cross-sectional ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-11r

Working Paper
Tax Heterogeneity and Misallocation

Companies face different effective marginal tax rates on their income. This can be detrimental to allocative efficiency unless taxes offset other distortions in the economy. This paper estimates the effect of tax rate heterogeneity on aggregate productivity in distorted economies with multiple frictions. Using firm-level balance-sheet data and estimates of marginal tax rates, we find that tax heterogeneity reduces total factor productivity by about 3 percent. Our findings highlight the positive correlation between marginal tax rates and other distortions to capital and especially labor. This ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-33

Working Paper
A New Tool for Robust Estimation and Identification of Unusual Data Points

Most consistent estimators are what Müller (2007) terms “highly fragile”: prone to total breakdown in the presence of a handful of unusual data points. This compromises inference. Robust estimation is a (seldom-used) solution, but commonly used methods have drawbacks. In this paper, building on methods that are relatively unknown in economics, we provide a new tool for robust estimates of mean and covariance, useful both for robust estimation and for detection of unusual data points. It is relatively fast and useful for large data sets. Our performance testing indicates that our baseline ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-08

Working Paper
Macroeconomic Changes with Declining Trend Inflation: Complementarity with the Superstar Firm Hypothesis

Recent studies indicate that, since 1980, the average markup and the profit share of income have increased, while the labor share and the investment share of spending have decreased. We examine the role of monetary policy in these changes as inflation has concurrently trended down. In a simple staggered price model with a non-CES aggregator of differentiated goods, a decline in trend inflation as measured since 1980 can account for a substantial portion of the changes. Moreover, introducing a rise in the productivity of “superstar firms” in the model can better explain not only the ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-35

Working Paper
Even Keel and the Great Inflation

During the early part of the Great Inflation (1965-1975), the Federal Reserve undertook even-keel operations to assist the US Treasury’s coupon security sales. Accordingly, the central bank delayed any tightening of monetary policy and permanently injected reserves into the banking system. Using real-time Taylor-type and McCallum-like reaction functions, we show that the Fed routinely undertook these operations only when it was otherwise tightening monetary policy. Using a quantity-equation framework, we show that the Federal Reserve’s even-keel actions added approximately one percentage ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-33

Working Paper
Estimating Duration Dependence on Re-employment Wages When Reservation Wages Are Binding

This paper documents a novel finding indicating that re-employment wages are elastic to the level of unemployment insurance (i.e., a binding reservation wage) and adapts the IV estimator for duration dependence in Schmieder et al. (2016) to account for this fact. Using administrative data from Spain, we find that unemployed workers lower their re-employment wages by 3 percent immediately after the exhaustion of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Workers’ characteristics and permanent unobserved heterogeneity cannot explain this. To estimate duration dependence, we extend the IV framework ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-21

Working Paper
Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United States during and after the Great Recession

Rigidity in wages has long been thought to impede the functioning of labor markets. In this paper, we investigate the extent of downward nominal wage rigidity in US labor markets using job-level data from a nationally representative establishment-based compensation survey collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We use several distinct methods to test for downward nominal wage rigidity and to assess whether such rigidity is less or more severe in the presence of negative economic shocks than in more normal economic times. We find a significant amount of downward nominal wage rigidity in ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-02R

Working Paper
Federal Reserve Structure and the Production of Monetary Policy Ideas

We evaluate the decentralized structure of the Federal Reserve System as a mechanism for generating and processing new ideas on monetary policy over the 1960 - 2000 period. We document the introduction of monetarism, rational expectations, credibility, transparency, and other monetary policy ideas by Reserve Banks into the Federal Reserve System. We argue that the Reserve Banks were willing to support and develop new ideas due to internal reforms to the FOMC that Chairman William McChesney Martin implemented in the 1950s and the increased ties with academia that developed in this period. ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-29

Working Paper
Macroprudential Policy: Results from a Tabletop Exercise

This paper presents a tabletop exercise designed to analyze macroprudential policy. Several senior Federal Reserve officials were presented with a hypothetical economy as of 2020:Q2 in which commercial real estate and nonfinancial debt valuations were very high. After analyzing the economy and discussing the use of monetary and macroprudential policy tools, participants were then presented with a hypothetical negative shock to commercial real estate valuations that occurred in the second half of 2020. Participants then discussed the use of the tools during an incipient downturn. Some of the ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-11

Working Paper
Quantitative Easing and Direct Lending in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

When the COVID-19 crisis hit the economy in 2020, the Federal Reserve responded with numerous programs designed to prevent a collapse in bank credit and firms’ available funds. I develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to study how these programs work and to evaluate their effectiveness. In the model, quantitative easing works through three channels: the expansion of bank reserves lowers a liquidity premium, the purchase of assets lowers a volatility risk premium, and the economic stimulus lowers a credit risk premium. Since bank reserves are currently larger than in the past, the ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-29

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