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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 

Journal Article
The Efficacy of Enhanced Unemployment Benefits during a Pandemic
To help laid-off and furloughed workers, providing enhanced unemployment insurance benefits may be quicker and more efficient than using small business payroll loans.
AUTHORS: Dupor, Bill
DATE: 2020-01

Working Paper
Tax Progressivity, Economic Booms, and Trickle-Up Economics
We propose a method to decompose changes in the tax structure into orthogonal components measuring the level and progressivity of taxes. While our focus is on the progessivity results, we find that the level shock is similar to standard tax shocks found in the empirical literature in that a rise in the level is contractionary. We find that an increase in tax progressivity sets off an economic boom. When tax progressivity increases, those at the bottom of the income distribution experience an increase in disposable income; these consumers have a high marginal propensity to consume, and this increase in income results in a consumption boom which expands the overall economy. This overall economic expansion benefits those at the top of the income distribution as well, and the income and capital gains they experience as a result of the economic boom more than offset the losses they experienced due to the increase in tax progressivity. The net result is that an increase in progressivity leads to an increase in inequality, not a decrease as conventional wisdom would suggest. We interpret these results as evidence in favor of trickle up, not trickle down, economics.
AUTHORS: Jackson, Laura E.; Otrok, Christopher; Owyang, Michael T.
DATE: 2020-04-04

Working Paper
International Stock Comovements with Endogenous Clusters
We examine international stock return comovements of country-industry portfolios. Our model allows comovements to be driven by a global and a cluster component, with the cluster membership endogenously determined. Results indicate that country-industry portfolios tend to cluster mainly within geographical areas that can include one or more countries. The cluster compositions substantially changed over time, with the emergence of clusters among European countries from the early 2000s. The cluster component was the main driver of country-industry portfolio returns for most of the sample, except from the mid-2000s to the mid-2010s when the global component had a more prominent role.
AUTHORS: Coroneo, Laura; Jackson, Laura E.; Owyang, Michael T.
DATE: 2020-03-27

Journal Article
Fiscal Policy and COVID-19: Insights from a Quantitative Model
Unemployment insurance may be the most effective way to help households right now.
AUTHORS: Faria-e-Castro, Miguel
DATE: 2020-08

Working Paper
Modeling Time-Varying Uncertainty of Multiple-Horizon Forecast Errors
We develop uncertainty measures for point forecasts from surveys such as the Survey of Professional Forecasters, Blue Chip, or the Federal Open Market Committee's Summary of Economic Projections. At a given point of time, these surveys provide forecasts for macroeconomic variables at multiple horizons. To track time-varying uncertainty in the associated forecast errors, we derive a multiple-horizon specification of stochastic volatility. Compared to constant-variance approaches, our stochastic-volatility model improves the accuracy of uncertainty measures for survey forecasts.
AUTHORS: Clark, Todd E.; McCracken, Michael W.; Mertens, Elmar
DATE: 2017-08-28

Working Paper
Fiscal Policy during a Pandemic
I study the effects of the 2019-20 coronavirus outbreak in the United States and subsequent fiscal policy response in a nonlinear DSGE model. The pandemic is a shock to the utility of contact-intensive services that propagates to other sectors via general equilibrium, triggering a deep recession. I use a calibrated version of the model to analyze different types of fiscal policies. I find that UI benefits are the most effective tool to stabilize income for borrowers, who are the hardest hit, while savers may favor unconditional transfers. Liquidity assistance programs are effective if the policy objective is to stabilize employment in the affected sector. I also study the effects of the $2 trillion CARES Act of 2020.
AUTHORS: Faria-e-Castro, Miguel
DATE: 2020-03-24

Working Paper
Superstar Economists: Coauthorship networks and research output
We study the impact of research collaborations in coauthorship networks on research output and how optimal funding can maximize it. Through the links in the collaboration network, researchers create spillovers not only to their direct coauthors but also to researchers indirectly linked to them. We characterize the equilibrium when agents collaborate in multiple and possibly overlapping projects. We bring our model to the data by analyzing the coauthorship network of economists registered in the RePEc Author Service. We rank the authors and research institutions according to their contribution to the aggregate research output and thus provide a novel ranking measure that explicitly takes into account the spillover effect generated in the coauthorship network. Moreover, we analyze funding instruments for individual researchers as well as research institutions and compare them with the economics funding program of the National Science Foundation. Our results indicate that, because current funding schemes do not take into account the availability of coauthorship network data, they are ill-designed to take advantage of the spillover effects generated in scientific knowledge production networks.
AUTHORS: Liu, Xiaodong; Zimmermann, Christian; Konig, Michael D.; Hsieh, Chih-Sheng
DATE: 2018-10-09

Working Paper
Improving forecast accuracy by combining recursive and rolling forecasts
This paper presents analytical, Monte Carlo, and empirical evidence on combining recursive and rolling forecasts when linear predictive models are subject to structural change. Using a characterization of the bias-variance tradeoff faced when choosing between either the recursive and rolling schemes or a scalar convex combination of the two, we derive optimal observation windows and combining weights designed to minimize mean square forecast error. Monte Carlo experiments and several empirical examples indicate that combination can often provide improvements in forecast accuracy relative to forecasts made using the recursive scheme or the rolling scheme with a fixed window width.
AUTHORS: Clark, Todd E.; McCracken, Michael W.
DATE: 2008

Working Paper
Credit Search and Credit Cycles
The supply and demand of credit are not always well aligned and matched, as is reflected in the countercyclical excess reserve-to-deposit ratio and interest spread between the lending rate and the deposit rate. We develop a search-based theory of credit allocations to explain the cyclical fluctuations in both bank reserves and the interest spread. We show that search frictions in the credit market can not only naturally explain the countercyclical bank reserves and interest spread, but also generate endogenous business cycles driven primarily by the cyclical utilization rate of credit resources, as long conjectured by the Austrian school of the business cycle. In particular, we show that credit search can lead to endogenous local increasing returns to scale and variable capital utilization in a model with constant returns to scale production technology and matching functions, thus providing a micro-foundation for the indeterminacy literature of Benhabib and Farmer (1994) and Wen (1998).
AUTHORS: Dong, Feng; Wang, Pengfei; Wen, Yi
DATE: 2015-08-01

Working Paper
Majority Voting in a Model of Means Testing
We study a model of endogenous means testing where households differ in their income and where the in-kind transfer received by each household declines with income. Majority voting determines the two dimensions of public policy: the size of the welfare program and the means-testing rate. We establish the existence of a sequential majority voting equilibrium and show that the means-testing rate increases with the size of the program but the fraction and the identity of the households receiving the transfers are independent of the program size. Furthermore, the set of subsidy recipients does not depend on households' preferences, but depends only on income heterogeneity.
AUTHORS: Ravikumar, B.; Glomm, Gerhard; Cardak, Buly A.
DATE: 2019-11-27



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