Creator: Rolnick, Arthur J., 1944-, Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002, and Weber, Warren E. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 592 Abstract:
Before the establishment of federal deposit insurance, the U.S. experienced periodic banking panics, during which banks suspended specie payments and reduced lending. There was often a corresponding economic slowdown. The Panic of 1837 is considered one of the worst banking panics, and it coincided with a slowdown that lasted for almost five years. The economic disruption was not uniform across the country, however. The slowdown in New England was substantially less severe than elsewhere. Here we suggest that the Suffolk Bank, a private bank, was one reason for New England’s relative success. We argue that the Suffolk Bank’s provision of note-clearing and lender of last resort services (via the Suffolk Banking System) lessened the effects of the Panic of 1837 in New England relative to the rest of the country, where no bank provided such services.
Fach: N11 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
Creator: Schreft, Stacey Lee and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 562 Abstract:
We examine an otherwise standard model of capital accumulation to which spatial separation and limited communication create a role for money and shocks to portfolio needs create a role for banks. In this context we examine the existence, multiplicity, and dynamical properties of monetary equilibria with positive nominal interest rates. Moderate levels of risk aversion can lead to the existence of multiple monetary steady states, all of which can be approached from a given set of initial conditions. In addition, even if there is a unique monetary steady state, monetary equilibria can be indeterminate, and oscillatory equilibrium paths can be observed. Thus financial market frictions are a potential source of both indeterminacies and endogenously arising economic volatility.
We also consider the consequences of monetary policy actions that rearrange the composition of government liabilities. Contractionary monetary policy activities can have complicated consequences, depending especially on the nature of the steady state equilibrium that obtains when there are multiple steady states. Under plausible conditions, however, a permanent contractionary change in monetary policy raises both the nominal rate of interest and the rate of inflation, and reduces long-run output levels. Thus liquidity provision by a central bank—just as by the banking system as a whole—can be growth promoting. Loose monetary policy also is conducive to avoiding development trap phenomena.
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 537 Abstract:
We consider an environment in which risk-neutral firms must obtain external finance. They have access to two kinds of linear, stochastic investment opportunities. For one, return realizations are costlessly observed by all agents. For the other, return realizations are costlessly observed only by the investing firm; however, they can be (privately) observed by outsiders who bear a fixed verification cost. Thus, the second investment opportunity is subject to a standard costly state verification (CSV) problem of the type considered by Townsend (1979), Gale and Hellwig (1985), or Williamson (1986, 1987).
We examine the optimal allocations of investment between the two kinds of projects, as well as the optimal contract used to finance it. We show that the optimal contractual outcome can be supported by having firms issue appropriate (and determinate) quantities of debt and equity securities to outside investors.
The optimal debt-equity ratio necessarily depends (in part) on the firm’s asset structure. Investments in projects subject to CSV problems are associated (in a sense to be made precise) with the use of debt—as might be expected from the existing CSV literature. Investments in projects with publicly observable returns are associated with the use of external equity.
We examine in detail the relationship between the optimal asset and liability structure of the firm. We also describe conditions under which an increase in the cost of state verification shifts the composition of investment towards projects with observable returns, and reduces the optimal debt-equity ratio. Interestingly, the optimal debt-equity ratio is also shown to depend on factors that are irrelevant to asset allocations.
Finally, a large part of the interest in CSV environments has been due to the fact that they may result in equilibrium credit rationing. Our analysis has strong implications for the possibility of equilibrium credit rationing in more general CSV models.
Fach: E51 - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers and G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
Creator: Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 230 Abstract:
An overlapping generations model is developed that contains labor markets in which adverse selection problems arise. As a response to these problems, quantity rationing of labor occurs. In addition, the model is capable of generating (a) random employment and prices despite the absence of underlying uncertainty in equilibrium; (b) a statistical (nondegenerate) Phillips curve; (c) procyclical movements in productivity; (d) correlations between aggregate demand and unemployment (and output); (e) an absence of correlation between unemployment (employment) and real wages. In addition, the Phillips curve obtained typically has the "correct" slope. Finally, the model reconciles the theoretical importance and observed unimportance of intertemporal substitution effects, and explains why price level stability may be a poor policy objective.
Stichwort: Philips curve, Prices, Labor, Productivity, Money, and Unemployment Fach: E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, E12 - General Aggregative Models: Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian, and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 240 Abstract:
A model of a labor market is developed in which agents possess private information about their marginal products. As a result, involuntary unemployment may arise as a consequence of attempts by firms to create appropriate self-selection incentives. Moreover, employment lotteries may arise for the same reason despite the fact that, in equilibrium, there is no uncertainty in the model. When employment is random, this is both privately and socially desirable. Finally, it is shown that the unemployment that arises is consistent with (a) pro-cyclical aggregate real wages and productivity, (b) employment that fluctuates (at individual and aggregate levels) much more than real wages.
Stichwort: Wages, Employment, Private information, and Labor market Fach: E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, E12 - General Aggregative Models: Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian, and D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design