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Working Paper
Five open questions about prediction markets

Interest in prediction markets has increased in the last decade, driven in part by the hope that these markets will prove to be valuable tools in forecasting, decisionmaking and risk management--in both the public and private sectors. This paper outlines five open questions in the literature, and we argue that resolving these questions is crucial to determining whether current optimism about prediction markets will be realized.
Working Paper Series , Paper 2006-06

Working Paper
Evaluating interest rate covariance models within a value-at-risk framework

We find that covariance matrix forecasts for an international interest rate portfolio generated by a model that incorporates interest-rate level volatility effects perform best with respect to statistical loss functions. However, within a value-at-risk (VaR) framework, the relative performance of the covariance matrix forecasts depends greatly on the VaR distributional assumption. Simple forecasts based just on weighted averages of past observations perform best using a VaR framework. In fact, we find that portfolio variance forecasts that ignore the individual assets in the portfolio ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2004-03

Working Paper
Estimating the Euler equation for output

New Keynesian macroeconomic models have generally emphasized that expectations of future output are a key factor in determining current output. The theoretical motivation for such forward-looking behavior relies on a straightforward generalization of the well-known Euler equation for consumption. In this paper, we use maximum likelihood and generalized method of moments (GMM) methods to explore the empirical importance of output expectations. We find little evidence that rational expectations of future output help determine current output, especially after taking into account the small-sample ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2002-12

Working Paper
Taylor Rule Estimation by OLS

Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) estimation of monetary policy rules produces potentially inconsistent estimates of policy parameters. The reason is that central banks react to variables, such as inflation and the output gap, which are endogenous to monetary policy shocks. Endogeneity implies a correlation between regressors and the error term, and hence, an asymptotic bias. In principle, Instrumental Variables (IV) estimation can solve this endogeneity problem. In practice, IV estimation poses challenges as the validity of potential instruments also depends on other economic relationships. We ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2018-11

Working Paper
The Future of U.S. Economic Growth

Modern growth theory suggests that more than 3/4 of growth since 1950 reflects rising educational attainment and research intensity. As these transition dynamics fade, U.S. economic growth is likely to slow at some point. However, the rise of China, India, and other emerging economies may allow another few decades of rapid growth in world researchers. Finally, and more speculatively, the shape of the idea production function introduces a fundamental uncertainty into the future of growth. For example, the possibility that artificial intelligence will allow machines to replace workers to some ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2014-2

Working Paper
Dollar bloc or dollar block: external currency pricing and the East Asian crisis

This paper provides a quantitative investigation of the East Asian crisis of 1997-99. The two essential features of the crisis that we focus on are a) the crisis was a regional phenomenon; the depth and severity of the crisis was exacerbated by a large decline in regional demand, and b) the practice of setting export goods prices in dollars (which we document empirically) led to a powerful internal propagation effect of the crisis within the region, contributing greatly to the decline in regional trade flows. We construct a model with these two features, and show that it can do a reasonable ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2004-35

Working Paper
“Conditional PPP” and Real Exchange Rate Convergence in the Euro Area

While economic theory highlights the usefulness of flexible exchange rates in promoting adjustment in international relative prices, flexible exchange rates also can be a source of destabilizing shocks. We find that when countries joining the euro currency union abandoned their national exchange rates, the adjustment of real exchange rates toward their long-run equilibrium surprisingly became faster. To investigate, we distinguish between differing rates of purchasing power parity (PPP) convergence conditional on alternative shocks, which we refer to as ?conditional PPP.? We find that the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2016-29

Working Paper
Expectations and economic fluctuations: an analysis using survey data

Using survey-based measures of future U.S. economic activity from the Livingston Survey and the Survey of Professional Forecasters, we study how changes in expectations, and their interaction with monetary policy, contribute to fluctuations in macroeconomic aggregates. We find that changes in expected future economic activity are a quantitatively important driver of economic fluctuations: a perception that good times are ahead typically leads to a significant rise in current measures of economic activity and inflation. We also find that the short-term interest rate rises in response to ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2010-09

Working Paper
Learning and the value of information: the case of health plan report cards

We estimate a Bayesian learning model in order to assess the value of health plan performance information and the extent to which the explicit provision of information about product quality alters consumer behavior. We take advantage of a natural experiment in which health plan performance information for HMOs was released to employees of a Fortune 50 company for the first time. Our empirical work indicates that the release of information had a small but statistically significant effect on health plan choices, causing 3.1% of employees to switch health plans. Although consumers were willing ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2002-17

Working Paper
Monetary policy in a low inflation economy with learning

In theory, monetary policies that target the price level, as opposed to the inflation rate, should be highly effective at stabilizing the economy and avoiding deflation in the presence of the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. With such a policy, if the short-term interest rate is constrained at zero and the inflation rate declines below its trend, the public expects that policy will eventually engineer a period of above-trend inflation that restores the price level to its target level. Expectations of future monetary accommodation stimulate output and inflation today, mitigating the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2006-30

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