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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas  Series:Working Papers 

Working Paper
Rationally Inattentive Savers and Monetary Policy Changes: A Laboratory Experiment

We present a model where rationally inattentive agents decide how much to save while imperfectly tracking interest rate changes. Suitable assumptions on agents’ preferences and interest rate distribution allow us to derive testable theoretical predictions and their implications for monetary policy. We probe these predictions using a laboratory experiment with induced inattention that closely reflects the theoretical assumptions. We find that, empirically, the laboratory data corroborates the results of the theoretical model. In particular, we show that experimental subjects respond to ...
Working Papers , Paper 1915

Working Paper
Targeted business incentives and the debt behavior of households

The empirical effects of place-based tax incentive schemes designed to aid low-income communities are unclear. While a growing number of studies find beneficial effects on employment, there is little investigation into other behaviors of households affected by such programs. We analyze the impact of the Texas Enterprise Zone Program on household debt and delinquency. Specifically, we utilize detailed information on all household liabilities, delinquencies, and credit scores from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax, a quarterly longitudinal 5% random sample of ...
Working Papers , Paper 1602

Working Paper
Oil Prices, Gasoline Prices and Inflation Expectations: A New Model and New Facts

The conventional wisdom that inflation expectations respond to the level of the price of oil (or the price of gasoline) is based on testing the null hypothesis of a zero slope coefficient in a static single-equation regression model fit to aggregate data. Given that the regressor in this model is not stationary, the null distribution of the t-test statistic is nonstandard, invalidating the use of the normal approximation. Once the critical values are adjusted, these regressions provide no support for the conventional wisdom. Using a new structural vector regression model, however, we ...
Working Papers , Paper 2025

Working Paper
The stock market and monetary policy: the role of macroeconomic states

Working Papers , Paper 9516

Working Paper
The welfare effects of pay-as-you-go retirement programs: the role of tax and benefit timing

It is well known that pay-as-you-go retirement programs reduce steady-state welfare and the capital stock in dynamically efficient OLG economies. The common two-period OLG model obscures, however, the dependence of these effects on the ages at which taxes are paid and benefits are received. Program changes that shift taxes to older workers or benefits to younger retirees have effects similar to reductions in program size, yielding steady-state welfare gains and increases in capital accumulation while imposing transition costs on current generations. This analysis has policy implications for ...
Working Papers , Paper 0602

Journal Article
Closer to One Great Pool? Evidence from Structural Breaks in Oil Price Differentials

We show that the oil market has become closer to "one great pool," in the sense that price differentials between crude oils of different qualities have generally become smaller over time. We document, in particular, that many of these price differentials experienced a major structural break in or around 2008, after which there was a marked reduction in their means and volatilities. Differentials between residual fuel oil, a low-quality fuel, and higher-valued products, such as gasoline and diesel, experienced similar breaks during the same time period. A growing ability of the global refinery ...
Working Papers , Volume 42 , Issue 2

Working Paper
Nonparametric estimation of the impact of taxes on female labor supply

Econometric models with nonlinear budgets sets frequently arise in the study of impact of taxation on labor supply. Blomquist and Newey (2002) have suggested a nonparametric method to estimate the uncompensated wage and income effects when the budget set is nonlinear. This paper extends their nonparametric estimation method to censored dependent variables. The modified method is applied to estimate female wage and income elasticities using the 1987 PSID. I find evidence of bias if the nonlinearity in the budget set is ignored. The median compensated elasticity is estimated at 1.19 (with a ...
Working Papers , Paper 0505

Working Paper
Measuring Real Activity Using a Weekly Economic Index

This paper describes a weekly economic index (WEI) developed to track the rapid economic developments associated with the onset of and policy response to the novel coronavirus in the United States. The WEI is a weekly composite index of real economic activity, with eight of 10 series available the Thursday after the end of the reference week. In addition to being a weekly real activity index, the WEI has strong predictive power for output measures and provided an accurate nowcast of current-quarter GDP growth in the first half of 2020, with weaker performance in the second half. We document ...
Working Papers , Paper 2011

Working Paper
Macroelasticities and the U.S. sequestration budget cuts

Microeconomic studies keep reporting that the intertemporal substitution in consumption and the Frisch elasticity of aggregate labor supply have significantly lower values than macroeconomic models find consistent with the dynamics of aggregate variables. The paper argues that in the U.S. such dynamics have been influenced since 2013 by the temporary spending cuts imposed by the so-called budget sequestration. The paper exploits the "policy experiment" features of that measure to gauge macroelasticity values from the evidence associated with it, adopting to that effect a macroeconomic model ...
Working Papers , Paper 1412

Working Paper
Spurious seasonal patterns and excess smoothness in the BLS local area unemployment

State level unemployment statistics are some of the most important and widely used data sources for local analysts and public officials to gauge the health of their state?s economy. We find statistically significant seasonal patterns in the state level seasonally adjusted Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We find that the pro-rata factors used in the benchmarking process can invoke spurious seasonal patterns in this data. We also find that the Henderson 13 filter used by the BLS to smooth the seasonally adjusted data may reduce ...
Working Papers , Paper 1305

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