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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas  Series:Working Papers 

Working Paper
A Robust Test for Weak Instruments with Multiple Endogenous Regressors

We extend the popular bias-based test of Stock and Yogo (2005) for instrument strength in linear instrumental variables regressions with multiple endogenous regressors to be robust to heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation. Equivalently, we extend the robust test of Montiel Olea and Pflueger (2013) for one endogenous regressor to the general case with multiple endogenous regressors. We describe a simple procedure for applied researchers to conduct our generalized first-stage test of instrument strength and provide efficient and easy-to-use Matlab code for its implementation. We demonstrate ...
Working Papers , Paper 2208

Working Paper
Immigrants in the U.S. labor market

Immigrants supply skills that are in relatively short supply in the U.S. labor market and account for almost half of labor force growth since the mid-1990s. Migrant inflows have been concentrated at the low and high ends of the skill distribution. Large-scale unauthorized immigration has fueled growth of the low-skill labor force, which has had modest adverse fiscal and labor market effects on taxpayers and U.S.-born workers. High-skilled immigration has been beneficial in most every way, fueling innovation and spurring entrepreneurship in the high tech sector. Highly skilled immigrants have ...
Working Papers , Paper 1306

Working Paper
The Returns to Government R&D: Evidence from U.S. Appropriations Shocks

Based on a narrative classification of all significant postwar changes in R&D appropriations for five major federal agencies, we find that an increase in nondefense R&D appropriations leads to increases in various measures of innovative activity and higher business-sector productivity in the long run. We structurally estimate the production function elasticity of nondefense government R&D capital using the SP-IV methodology of Lewis and Mertens (2023) and obtain implied returns of 150 to 300 percent over the postwar period. The estimates indicate that government-funded R&D accounts for one ...
Working Papers , Paper 2305

Working Paper
The Death of the Phillips Curve?

Are inflation dynamics well captured by Phillips Curve models, or has this framework become less relevant over time? The evidence for the U.S. suggests that the slopes of the price and wage Phillips Curves? the short-run inflation-unemployment trade-offs ? are low and have got a little flatter. For example, the recursive estimate of the unemployment coefficient in the core PCE Phillips Curve has fallen a little from -0.09 to -0.07 since the Great Recession. However, the decline is not statistically significant. Dynamic forecasts from the wage and price Phillips Curves estimated using data ...
Working Papers , Paper 1801

Working Paper
The Returns to Government R&D: Evidence from U.S. Appropriations Shocks

We estimate the causal impact of government-funded R&D on business-sector productivity growth. Identification is based on a novel narrative classification of all significant postwar changes in appropriations for R&D funded by five major federal agencies. Using long-horizon local projections and the narrative measures, we find that an increase in appropriations for nondefense R&D leads to increases in various measures of innovative activity, and higher productivity in the long run. We structurally estimate the production function elasticity of nondefense government R&D capital using the SP-IV ...
Working Papers , Paper 2305

Working Paper
The Role of the Prior in Estimating VAR Models with Sign Restrictions

Several recent studies have expressed concern that the Haar prior typically imposed in estimating sign-identified VAR models may be unintentionally informative about the implied prior for the structural impulse responses. This question is indeed important, but we show that the tools that have been used in the literature to illustrate this potential problem are invalid. Specifically, we show that it does not make sense from a Bayesian point of view to characterize the impulse response prior based on the distribution of the impulse responses conditional on the maximum likelihood estimator of ...
Working Papers , Paper 2030

Working Paper
Who Signs up for E-Verify? Insights from DHS Enrollment Records

E-Verify is a federal electronic verification system that allows employers to check whether their newly hired workers are authorized to work in the United States. To use E-Verify, firms first must enroll with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Participation is voluntary for most private-sector employers in the United States, but eight states currently require all or most employers to use E-Verify. This article uses confidential data from DHS to examine patterns of employer enrollment in E-Verify. The results indicate that employers are much more likely to sign up in mandatory E-Verify ...
Working Papers , Paper 2002

Working Paper
Forward guidance and the state of the economy

This paper examines forward guidance using a nonlinear New Keynesian model with a zero lower bound (ZLB) constraint on the nominal interest rate. Forward guidance is modeled with news shocks to the monetary policy rule. The effectiveness of forward guidance depends on the state of the economy, the speed of the recovery, the ZLB constraint, the degree of uncertainty, the monetary response to inflation, the size of the news shocks, and the forward guidance horizon. Specifically, the stimulus from forward guidance falls as the economy deteriorates or as households expect a slower recovery. When ...
Working Papers , Paper 1612

Working Paper
Mortgage Borrowing and the Boom-Bust Cycle in Consumption and Residential Investment

This paper studies the transmission of the major shocks in the U.S. housing market in the 2000s to consumption and residential investment. Using geographically disaggregated data, I show that residential investment is more responsive to these shocks than consumption, as measured by elasticities and the implied contributions to GDP growth. I develop a structural life-cycle model featuring multiple types of housing investment to understand the large responses of residential investment. Consistent with the microdata, the model generates lumpy debt accumulation, lumpy housing investment and a ...
Working Papers , Paper 2103

Working Paper
Oil Prices, Exchange Rates and Interest Rates

There has been much interest in the relationship between the price of crude oil, the value of the U.S. dollar, and the U.S. interest rate since the 1980s. For example, the sustained surge in the real price of oil in the 2000s is often attributed to the declining real value of the U.S. dollar as well as low U.S. real interest rates, along with a surge in global real economic activity. Quantifying these effects one at a time is difficult not only because of the close relationship between the interest rate and the exchange rate, but also because demand and supply shocks in the oil market in turn ...
Working Papers , Paper 1914

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