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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  Series:Working Papers 

Working Paper
International Stock Comovements with Endogenous Clusters

We use an endogenous cluster factor model to examine international stock return comovements of country-industry portfolios. Our model allows country-industry portfolio 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 component was the main driver of country-industry portfolio returns for most of the sample, except from mid-2000 to mid-2010s when the global component had a more ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-038

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 ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-038

Working Paper
The Nonlinear Effects of Uncertainty Shocks

We consider the effects of uncertainty shocks in a nonlinear VAR that allows uncertainty to have amplification effects. When uncertainty is relatively low, fluctuations in uncertainty have small, linear effects. In periods of high uncertainty, the effect of a further increase in uncertainty is magnified. We find that uncertainty shocks in this environment have a more pronounced effect on real economic variables. We also conduct counterfactual experiments to determine the channels through which uncertainty acts. Uncertainty propagates through both the household consumption channel and through ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-035

Journal Article
The Nonlinear Effects of Uncertainty Shocks

We consider the effects of uncertainty shocks in a nonlinear VAR that allows uncertainty to have amplification effects. When uncertainty is relatively low, fluctuations in uncertainty have small, linear effects. In periods of high uncertainty, the effect of a further increase in uncertainty is magnified. We find that uncertainty shocks in this environment have a more pronounced effect on real economic variables. We also conduct counterfactual experiments to determine the channels through which uncertainty acts. Uncertainty propagates through both the household consumption channel and through ...
Working Papers , Volume 24 , Issue 4

Working Paper
How to Starve the Beast: Fiscal Policy Rules

Countries have widely imposed fiscal rules designed to constrain government spending and ensure fiscal responsibility. This paper studies the effectiveness and welfare implications of revenue, deficit and debt rules when governments are discretionary and profligate. The optimal prescription is a revenue ceiling coupled with a balance budget requirement. For the U.S., the optimal revenue ceiling is about 15% of output, 3 percentage points below the postwar average. Most of the benefits can still be reaped with a milder constraint or escape clauses during adverse times. Imposing a single fiscal ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-026

Working Paper
Anatomy of Corporate Credit Spreads: The Great Recession vs. COVID-19

We compare the evolution of corporate credit spreads during the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. The two crises featured increases of similar magnitudes in the median and cross-sectional dispersion of credit spreads, but the pandemic was short-lived and different sectors were affected. The micro-data reveal larger differences between the two episodes: the Great Recession featured an increase in the across-firm dispersion, and leverage was an important predictor of credit spreads. Differently, the COVID-19 crisis displayed a larger increase in within-firm dispersion, and funding ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-035

Working Paper
Optimal Taxes Under Private Information: The Role of the Inflation

We consider an overlapping generation framework with search and private information to study optimal taxation. Agents sequentially trade in markets that are characterized by different frictions and trading protocols. In frictional decentralized markets, agents receive shocks that determine if they are going to be consumers or producers. Shocks are private information. Mechanism design is used to solve for the constrained optimal allocation. We then study whether a government can replicate the constrained optimal allocation with an array of policy instruments including fiat money. We show that ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-014

Working Paper
Interregional Migration and Housing Vacancy: Theory and Empirics

We examine homeowner vacancy rate interdependencies over time and space through the channel of migration. Our theoretical analysis extends the Wheaton (1990) search and matching model for housing by incorporating interregional spillovers due to some households’ desires to migrate between regions and by allowing for regime-switching behavior. Our empirical analysis of vacancy rates for the entire U.S. and for Census regions provides visual evidence for the possibility of regime-switching behavior. We explicitly test our model by estimating basic Vector Autoregression (VAR) and ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-007

Working Paper
Measuring Sectoral Supply and Demand Shocks during COVID-19

We measure labor demand and supply shocks at the sector level around the COVID-19 outbreak by estimating a Bayesian structural vector autoregression on monthly statistics of hours worked and real wages. Most sectors were subject to historically large negative labor supply and demand shocks in March and April, with substantial heterogeneity in the size of shocks across sectors. Our estimates suggest that two-thirds of the drop in the aggregate growth rate of hours in March and April 2020 are attributable to labor supply. We validate our estimates of supply shocks by showing that they are ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-011

Working Paper
The Gravity of Experience

In this paper, we establish the importance of experience in international trade in reducing unmeasured trade costs and facilitating bilateral trade. We find a strong role for experience, measured in years of positive trade, for both aggregate and sectoral bilateral trade. In an augmented gravity framework, with a very comprehensive set of fixed-effects and trend variables, we find that a 1% increase in experience at the country-pair level increases bilateral exports by 0.417% and reduces trade costs by 0.105%. Non-parametric estimates imply that nine years of experience is equivalent to a ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-041

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