Creator: Greenwood, Jeremy, 1953- and Williamson, Stephen D. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 112 Abstract:
This paper presents a two-country overlapping generations model in which financial intermediation arises endogenously as an incentive-compatible means of economizing on monitoring costs. Because of the existence of transactions costs, money markets in the two countries are segmented and investors have differential access to international credit markets. The model is used to generate predictions about the role of international intermediation in economic development and to examine the nature of business cycle phenomena across alternative exchange rate regimes. Disturbances are propagated by a credit allocation mechanism, which also lends a novel flavor to the model’s long-run properties.
Creator: Han, Suyoun and Kleiner, Morris Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 556 Abstract:
The length of time from the implementation of an occupational licensing statute (i.e., licensing duration) may matter in influencing labor market outcomes. Adding to or raising the entry barriers are likely easier once an occupation is established and has gained influence in a political jurisdiction. States often enact grandfather clauses and ratchet up requirements that protect existing workers and increase entry costs to new entrants. We analyze the labor market influence of the duration of occupational licensing statutes for 13 major universally licensed occupations over a 75-year period. These occupations comprise the vast majority of workers in these regulated occupations in the United States. We provide among the first estimates of potential economic rents to grandfathering. We find that duration years of occupational licensure are positively associated with wages for continuing and grandfathered workers. The estimates show a positive relationship of duration with hours worked, but we find moderately negative results for participation in the labor market. The universally licensed occupations, however, exhibit heterogeneity in outcomes. Consequently, unlike some other labor market public policies, such as minimum wages or direct unemployment insurance benefits, occupational licensing would likely influence labor market outcomes when measured over a longer period of time.
Keyword: Duration and grandfathering effects on wage determination, Labor market regulation, Hours worked, Occupational licensing, and Workforce participation Subject (JEL): L88 - Industry Studies: Services: Government Policy, J80 - Labor Standards: General, L38 - Public Policy, J38 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs: Public Policy, J30 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs: General, L51 - Economics of Regulation, K00 - Law and Economics: General, J08 - Labor Economics Policies, J44 - Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing, K20 - Regulation and Business Law: General, L12 - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies, J88 - Labor Standards: Public Policy, and L84 - Personal, Professional, and Business Services
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 636 Abstract:
Expensed investments are expenditures financed by the owners of capital that increase future profits but, by national accounting rules, are treated as an operating expense rather than as a capital expenditure. Sweat investment is financed by worker-owners who allocate time to their business and receive compensation at less than their market rate. Such investments are made with the expectation of realizing capital gains when the business goes public or is sold. But these investments are not included in GDP. Taking into account hours spent building equity while ignoring the output introduces an error in measured productivity and distorts the picture of what is happening in the economy. In this paper, we incorporate expensed and sweat equity in an otherwise standard business cycle model. We use the model to analyze productivity in the United States during the 1990s boom. We find that expensed plus sweat investment was large during this period and critical for understanding the dramatic rise in hours and the modest growth in measured productivity.
Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 223 Abstract:
The conventional wisdom is that monetary shocks interact with sticky goods prices to generate the observed volatility and persistence in real exchange rates. We investigate this conventional wisdom in a quantitative model with sticky prices. We find that with preferences as in the real business cycle literature, irrespective of the length of price stickiness, the model necessarily produces only a fraction of the volatility in exchange rates seen in the data. With preferences which are separable in leisure, the model can produce the observed volatility in exchange rates. We also show that long stickiness is necessary to generate the observed persistence. In addition, we show that making asset markets incomplete does not measurably increase either the volatility or persistence of real exchange rates.
Creator: Anderson, Paul A. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 019 Abstract:
This paper puts forward a method of policy simulation with an existing macroeconometric model under the maintained assumption that individuals form their expectations rationally. This new simulation technique grows out of Lucas’ criticism that standard econometric policy evaluation permits policy rules to change but doesn’t allow expectations mechanisms to respond as economic theory predicts they will. The technique is applied to versions of the St. Louis Federal Reserve model and the Federal Reserve-MIT-Penn (FMP) model to simulate the effects of different constant money growth policies. The results of these simulations indicate that the problem identified by Lucas may be of great quantitative importance in the econometric analysis of policy alternatives.
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- and Ruhl, Kim J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 391 Abstract:
International trade is frequently thought of as a production technology in which the inputs are exports and the outputs are imports. Exports are transformed into imports at the rate of the price of exports relative to the price of imports: the reciprocal of the terms of trade. Cast this way, a change in the terms of trade acts as a productivity shock. Or does it? In this paper, we show that this line of reasoning cannot work in standard models. Starting with a simple model and then generalizing, we show that changes in the terms of trade have no first-order effect on productivity when output is measured as chain-weighted real GDP. The terms of trade do affect real income and consumption in a country, and we show how measures of real income change with the terms of trade at business cycle frequencies and during financial crises.
Keyword: Terms of trade, Total factor productivity, Gross domestic product, and National income accounting Subject (JEL): F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, and F43 - Economic Growth of Open Economies
Creator: Jagannathan, Ravi and Wang, Zhenyu Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 165 Abstract:
In empirical studies of the CAPM, it is commonly assumed that, (a) the return to the value-weighted portfolio of all stocks is a reasonable proxy for the return on the market portfolio of all assets in the economy, and (b) betas of assets remain constant over time. Under these assumptions, Fama and French (1992) find that the relation between average return and beta is flat. We argue that these two auxiliary assumptions are not reasonable. We demonstrate that when these assumptions are relaxed, the empirical support for the CAPM is very strong. When human capital is also included in measuring wealth, the CAPM is able to explain 28% of the cross sectional variation in average returns in the 100 portfolios studied by Fama and French. When, in addition, betas are allowed to vary over the business cycle, the CAPM is able to explain 57%. More important, relative size does not explain what is left unexplained after taking sampling errors into account.
Subject (JEL): G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
Creator: Litterman, Robert B. and Weiss, Laurence M. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 089 Abstract:
This paper reexamines U.S. postwar data to investigate if the observed comovements between money, interest rates, inflation, and output are compatible with the money to real interest to output links suggested by existing monetary theories of the business cycle, which include both Keynesian and equilibrium models. We find these theories are incompatible with the data, and in light of these results, we propose an alternative structural model which can account for the major dynamic interactions among the variables. This model has two central features: (i) output is unaffected by the money supply; and (ii) the money supply process is influenced by policies designed to achieve short-run price stability.
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 398 Abstract:
In simple one-good international macro models, the presence of non-diversifiable labor income risk means that country portfolios should be heavily biased toward foreign assets. The fact that the opposite pattern of diversification is observed empirically constitutes the international diversification puzzle. We embed a portfolio choice decision in a frictionless two-country, two-good version of the stochastic growth model. In this environment, which is a workhorse for international business cycle research, we derive a closed-form expression for equilibrium country portfolios. These are biased towards domestic assets, as in the data. Home bias arises because endogenous international relative price fluctuations make domestic stocks a good hedge against non-diversifiable labor income risk. We then use our theory to link openness to trade to the level of diversification, and find that it offers a quantitatively compelling account for the patterns of international diversification observed across developed economies in recent years.
Subject (JEL): F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics and F36 - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 277 Abstract:
The central puzzle in international business cycles is that fluctuations in real exchange rates are volatile and persistent. We quantity the popular story for real exchange rate fluctuations: they are generated by monetary shocks interacting with sticky goods prices. If prices are held fixed for at least one year, risk aversion is high, and preferences are separable in leisure, then real exchange rates generated by the model are as volatile as in the data and quite persistent, but less so than in the data. The main discrepancy between the model and the data, the consumption—real exchange rate anomaly, is that the model generates a high correlation between real exchange rates and the ratio of consumption across countries, while the data show no clear pattern between these variables.