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Working Paper
Average Is Good Enough: Average-Inflation Targeting and the ELB

The Great Recession and current pandemic have focused attention on the constraint on nominal interest rates from the effective lower bound. This has renewed interest in monetary policies that embed makeup strategies, such as price-level or average-inflation targeting. This paper examines the properties of average-inflation targeting in a two-agent New Keynesian (TANK) model in which a fraction of firms have adaptive expectations. We examine the optimal degree of history dependence under average-inflation targeting and find it to be relatively short for business cycle shocks of standard ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-21

Working Paper
Bank Risk-Taking and Monetary Policy Transmission: Evidence from China

We present evidence that monetary policy easing reduces bank risk-taking but exacerbates capital misallocation in China after implementing the Basel III capital regulationsin2013. Thenewregulationstightenedbankcapitalrequirementsandintroduced a new risk-weighting approach to calculating the capital adequacy ratio (CAR). To meet tightened capital requirements, a bank can boost its effective CAR by raising capital or by increasing the share of lending to low-risk borrowers. Using confidential loan-level data from a large Chinese commercial bank, merged with firm-level data on a large set of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-27

Working Paper
The Credit Line Channel

Aggregate bank lending to firms expands following adverse macroeconomic shocks, such as the outbreak of COVID-19 or a monetary policy tightening, at odds with canonical models. Using loan-level supervisory data, we show that these dynamics are driven by draws on credit lines by large firms. Banks that experience larger drawdowns restrict term lending more — an externality onto smaller firms. Using a structural model, we show that credit lines are necessary to reproduce the flow of credit toward less constrained firms after adverse shocks. While credit lines increase total credit ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-26

Working Paper
Reservation Benefits: Assessing job acceptance impacts of increased UI payments

Job acceptance decisions weigh the value of an entire job spell relative to remaining unemployed. There exists a reservation level of benefit payments in this dynamic decision problem at which an individual is indifferent between accepting and refusing an offer. This reservation benefit is a simple statistic to test the job acceptance deterrence effects of current unemployment insurance (UI) payments, summarizing the decision problem conditional on the believed state of the labor market and the weeks of UI compensation remaining. Estimating the reservation benefit for a wide range of US ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-28

Working Paper
Pricing-to-market, trade costs, and international relative prices

Data on international relative prices from industrialized countries show large and systematic deviations from relative purchasing power parity. We embed a model of imperfect competition and variable markups in some of the recently developed quantitative models of international trade to examine whether such models can reproduce the main features of the fluctuations in international relative prices. We find that when our model is parameterized to match salient features of the data on international trade and market structure in the U.S., it reproduces deviations from relative purchasing power ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2007-26

Working Paper
Capital account liberalization: theory, evidence, and speculation

Writings on the macroeconomic impact of capital account liberalization find few, if any, robust effects of liberalization on real variables. In contrast to the prevailing wisdom, I argue that the textbook theory of liberalization holds up quite well to a critical reading of this literature. The lion's share of papers that find no effect of liberalization on real variables tell us nothing about the empirical validity of the theory, because they do not really test it. This paper explains why it is that most studies do not really address the theory they set out to test. It also discusses what is ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2007-32

Working Paper
Steps toward identifying central bank policy preferences

This paper takes the parameters in central bank loss functions as fundamental preferences to be estimated from the data. It is these preferences (along with target values) that define the policy regime in operation and that potentially change with senior central bank appointments. Optimizing central banks apply policy rules whose feedback coefficients are functions of its preferences. Consequently, under some conditions, it is possible to back out estimates of the preference parameters from estimated policy reaction functions. This paper establishes conditions under which a policy regime can ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2000-13

Working Paper
Black-white wage inequality in the 1990s: a decade of progress

Using Current Population Survey data, we find that the gap between wages by black and white males declined during the 1990s at a rate of 0.59 percentage point per year. The reduction in occupational crowding appears to be most important in explaining this trend. Recent wage convergence was most rapid among younger workers with less than 10 years experience; for this group the black-white wage gap declined by 1.40 percentage points per year. Among younger workers greater occupational diversity and a reduction in unexplained or residual differences are important in explaining this trend. For ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2000-07

Working Paper
Heeding Daedalus: Optimal inflation and the zero lower bound

This paper reexamines the implications of the zero lower bound on interest rates for monetary policy and the optimal choice of steady-state inflation in light of the experience of the recent global recession. There are two main findings. First, the zero lower bound did not materially contribute to the sharp declines in output in the United States and many other economies through the end of 2008, but it is a significant factor slowing recovery. Model simulations imply that an additional 4 percentage points of rate cuts would have kept the unemployment rate from rising as much as it has and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2009-23

Working Paper
Historical Patterns of Inequality and Productivity around Financial Crises

To understand the determinants of financial crises, previous research focused on developments closely related to financial markets. In contrast, this paper considers changes originating in the real economy as drivers of financial instability. Based on long-run historical data for advanced economies, I find that rising top income inequality and low productivity growth are robust predictors of crises ? even outperforming well known early-warning indicators such as credit growth. Moreover, if crises are preceded by such developments, output declines more during the subsequent recession. In ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2017-23

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