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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis  Series:Economic Policy Paper 

Discussion Paper
Insuring Against Adverse Outcomes at Birth

To what extent should government policy try to equalize economic outcomes due to differences among individuals in their most basic, innate circumstances: the kind of family they?re born into, their level of intelligence, their marketable talents, their health? Should policy tilt economic resources away from ?genetic winners? and toward less fortunate newborns? {{p}} This paper points to the usefulness of considering different perspectives regarding at-birth risks. It argues that law and policy need to focus on allowing tools for parents to mitigate the real risk to themselves associated with ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 16-12

Discussion Paper
On the Importance of Easing Consumer Credit Frictions

The vast bulk of the government financial interventions during the Great Recession was directed at helping banks weather the financial crisis. The design of these programs was heavily influenced by the view that helping banks preserve their means of providing finance to firms was the most important ingredient in ensuring a quick recovery from the crisis. We argue that the cross-state patterns of employment, output and debt in the United States suggest that financial frictions that led to a tightening of credit to consumers were more important in accounting for the recession than those that ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 17-5

Discussion Paper
Chronic sovereign debt crises in the Eurozone, 2010-2012

Two years after the rescue package for Greece provided by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in May 2010, sovereign debt crises continue to threaten a growing number of countries in the eurozone. We develop a theory for analyzing these crises based on the research of Cole and Kehoe (1996, 2000) and Conesa and Kehoe (2012). In this theory, the need to frequently sell large quantities of bonds leaves a country vulnerable to sovereign debt crisis. This vulnerability provides a strong incentive to the country?s government to run surpluses to pay down its debt to a level where ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 12-4

Discussion Paper
Macroeconomic Policy during a Credit Crunch

Most economic models used by central banks prior to the recent financial crisis omitted two fundamental elements: financial markets and liquidity measures. Those models therefore failed to foresee the crisis or understand the policy reaction that followed. In contrast to more orthodox models, we develop a theory in which credit markets and measures of liquidity are central. Our model emphasizes the role of collateral constraints on credit lines and the role of money in transactions, and it can be used to study the effects of alternative monetary policies during and after a financial crisis. ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 15-2

Discussion Paper
New and Larger Costs of Monopoly and Tariffs

Fifty-eight years ago, Harberger (1954) estimated that the costs of monopoly, which resulted from misallocation of resources across industries, were trivial. Others showed that the same was true for tariffs. This research soon led to the consensus that monopoly costs are of little significance?a consensus that persists to this day. This paper reports on a new literature that takes a different approach to the costs of monopoly. It examines the costs of monopoly and tariffs within industries. In particular, it examines the histories of industries in which a monopoly is destroyed (or tariffs ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 12-5

Discussion Paper
On the Ethics of Redistribution

Analysts of optimal policy often advocate for redistributive policies within developed economies using a behind-the-veil-of-ignorance criterion. Such analyses almost invariably ignore the effects of these policies on the well-being of people in poor countries. We argue that this approach is fundamentally misguided because it violates the criterion itself.
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 15-6

Discussion Paper
Self-fulfilling Prophecies in Sovereign Debt Markets

In this paper, we discuss conditions under which adverse expectations can trigger abrupt and large changes in the interest rate at which a sovereign country can borrow in international financial markets. We argue that such changes are caused by self-fulfilling expectations outcomes, in which interest rates are high because the perceptions of future defaults are high, but those perceptions are high precisely because the interest rates are high. {{p}} A model based on these elements successfully simulates the near-default experience of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, among other countries. ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 16-8

Discussion Paper
Assessing Community Bank Consolidation

Observers argue that increased regulation and supervision added in response to the financial crisis will speed the decline of community banks. Determining if the rate of community bank consolidation is higher than it would have been absent this additional regulation requires a baseline estimate of community bank consolidation. A baseline estimate is particularly important because the number of community banks in the states of the Ninth Federal Reserve District and the nation as a whole has been in a steady rate of decline for several decades. This paper uses several simple methods to provide ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 14-1

Discussion Paper
Innovation and Growth with Frictions

The generation and implementation of new ideas are major factors in economic performance and growth. If some people are better at research and others at development, there emerges a role for an ?idea market,? where technology transfers reallocate knowledge to those best able to develop and apply it. Financial institutions can facilitate this reallocation by providing credit for these transfers. {{p}} However, the idea market is rife with frictions. These include so-called search-and-bargaining problems. Another obstacle is credit friction: If a debtor reneges, it is not always easy to ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 16-11

Discussion Paper
Quantifying the costs of additional regulation on community banks

In this Economic Policy Paper, we quantify the cost of increased regulation on community banks. We do so by modeling the impact of new regulatory costs as the hiring of additional staff, resulting in higher total compensation and lower profitability. We then analyze the changes in the distribution of community bank profitability.
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 13-3




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