Creator: Chari, V. V., Nicolini, Juan Pablo, and Teles, Pedro Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 745 Abstract:
We study cooperative optimal Ramsey equilibria in the open economy addressing classic policy questions: Should restrictions be placed to free trade and capital mobility? Should capital income be taxed? Should goods be taxed based on origin or destination? What are desirable border adjustments? How can a Ramsey allocation be implemented with residence-based taxes on assets? We characterize optimal wedges and analyze alternative policy implementations.
Keyword: Capital income tax, Border adjustment, Value-added taxes, Origin- and destination-based taxation, Free trade, and Production efficiency Subject (JEL): E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General, E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination, and E62 - Fiscal Policy
Creator: Johnson, Janna and Kleiner, Morris Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 561 Abstract:
Occupational licensure, one of the most significant labor market regulations in the United States, may restrict the interstate movement of workers. We analyze the interstate migration of 22 licensed occupations. Using an empirical strategy that controls for unobservable characteristics that drive long-distance moves, we find that the between-state migration rate for individuals in occupations with state-specific licensing exam requirements is 36 percent lower relative to members of other occupations. Members of licensed occupations with national licensing exams show no evidence of limited interstate migration. The size of this effect varies across occupations and appears to be tied to the state specificity of licensing requirements. We also provide evidence that the adoption of reciprocity agreements, which lower re-licensure costs, increases the interstate migration rate of lawyers. Based on our results, we estimate that the rise in occupational licensing can explain part of the documented decline in interstate migration and job transitions in the United States.
Keyword: Interstate migration, Labor market regulation, and Occupational licensing Subject (JEL): L38 - Public Policy, K00 - Law and Economics: General, J44 - Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing, J10 - Demographic Economics: General, and J01 - Labor Economics: General
Creator: Hevia, Constantino and Nicolini, Juan Pablo Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 744 Abstract:
In this paper, we use a simple model of money demand to characterize the behavior of monetary aggregates in the United States from 1960 to 2016. We argue that the demand for the currency component of the monetary base has been remarkably stable during this period. We use the model to make projections of the nominal quantity of cash in circulation under alternative future paths for the federal funds rate. Our calculations suggest that if the federal funds rate is lifted up as suggested by the survey of economic projections made by the members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the fall in total currency demanded in the next two years ranges between 50 and 200 billion. Our discussion suggests that specific measures by the Federal Reserve to absorb that cash could be worth considering to make the future path of the price level consistent with the price stability mandate.
Keyword: Money demand, Inflation, and Currency in circulation Subject (JEL): E51 - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers, E41 - Demand for Money, and E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
Creator: Ayres, João, Hevia, Constantino, and Nicolini, Juan Pablo Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 743 Abstract:
In this paper, we show that a substantial fraction of the volatility of real exchange rates between developed economies such as Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom against the US dollar can be accounted for by shocks that affect the prices of primary commodities such as oil, aluminum, maize, or copper. Our analysis implies that existing models used to analyze real exchange rates between large economies that mostly focus on trade between differentiated ﬁnal goods could benefit, in terms of matching the behavior of real exchange rates, by also considering trade in primary commodities.
Keyword: Primary commodity prices and Real exchange rate disconnect puzzle Subject (JEL): F31 - Foreign Exchange and F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics
Creator: Arellano, Cristina, Bai, Yan, and Lizarazo, Sandra Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 559 Abstract:
We develop a theory of sovereign risk contagion based on financial links. In our multi-country model, sovereign bond spreads comove because default in one country can trigger default in other countries. Countries are linked because they borrow, default, and renegotiate with common lenders, and the bond price and recovery schedules for each country depend on the choices of other countries. A foreign default increases the lenders' pricing kernel, which makes home borrowing more expensive and can induce a home default. Countries also default together because by doing so they can renegotiate the debt simultaneously and pay lower recoveries. We apply our model to the 2012 debt crises of Italy and Spain and show that it can replicate the time path of spreads during the crises. In a counterfactual exercise, we find that the debt crisis in Spain (Italy) can account for one-half (one-third) of the increase in the bond spreads of Italy (Spain).
Keyword: Bond spreads, Sovereign default, Renegotiation, and European debt crisis Subject (JEL): G01 - Financial Crises and F30 - International Finance: General
Creator: Mongey, Simon J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 558 Abstract:
I propose an equilibrium menu cost model with a continuum of sectors, each consisting of strategically engaged firms. Compared to a model with monopolistically competitive sectors that is calibrated to the same data on good-level price flexibility, the dynamic duopoly model features a smaller inflation response to monetary shocks and output responses that are more than twice as large. The model also implies (i) four times larger welfare losses from nominal rigidities, (ii) smaller menu costs and idiosyncratic shocks are needed to match the data, (iii) a U-shaped relationship between market concentration and price flexibility, for which I find empirical support.
Keyword: Menu costs, Firm dynamics, Monetary policy, and Oligopoly Subject (JEL): L13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets, E39 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: Other, E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data), L11 - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms, and E51 - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
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: Bocola, Luigi and Lorenzoni, Guido Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 557 Abstract:
We study financial panics in a small open economy with floating exchange rates. In our model, bank runs trigger a decline in domestic wealth and a currency depreciation. Runs are more likely when banks have dollar debt. Dollar debt emerges endogenously in response to the precautionary motive of domestic savers: dollar savings provide insurance against crises; so when crises are possible it becomes relatively more expensive for banks to borrow in local currency, which gives them an incentive to issue dollar debt. This feedback between aggregate risk and savers’ behavior can generate multiple equilibria, with the bad equilibrium characterized by financial dollarization and the possibility of bank runs. A domestic lender of last resort can eliminate the bad equilibrium, but interventions need to be fiscally credible. Holding foreign currency reserves hedges the fiscal position of the government and enhances its credibility, thus improving financial stability.
Keyword: Lending of last resort, Foreign reserves, Financial crises, and Dollarization Subject (JEL): E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems, G11 - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions, and G15 - International Financial Markets
Creator: Conesa, Juan Carlos and Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 465 Abstract:
We develop a model for analyzing the sovereign debt crises of 2010–2013 in the Eurozone. The government sets its expenditure-debt policy optimally. The need to sell large quantities of bonds every period leaves the government vulnerable to self-fulfilling crises in which investors, anticipating a crisis, are unwilling to buy the bonds, thereby provoking the crisis. In this situation, the optimal policy of the government is to reduce its debt to a level where crises are not possible. If, however, the economy is in a recession where there is a positive probability of recovery in fiscal revenues, the government also has an incentive to smooth consumption and increase debt. Our exercise identifies conditions on fundamentals for which the incentive to smooth consumption dominates, giving rise to a situation where governments optimally “gamble for redemption,” running fiscal deficits and increasing their debt, thereby increasing their vulnerability to crises.
Keyword: Recession, Debt crisis, Rollover crisis, and Eurozone Subject (JEL): F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems, E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General, F44 - International Business Cycles, and H13 - Economics of Eminent Domain; Expropriation; Nationalization
Creator: Amador, Manuel, Bianchi, Javier, Bocola, Luigi, and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 740 Abstract:
Recently, several economies with interest rates close to zero have received large capital inflows while their central banks accumulated large foreign reserves. Concurrently, significant deviations from covered interest parity have appeared. We show that, with limited international arbitrage, a central bank's pursuit of an exchange rate policy at the ZLB can explain these facts. We provide a measure of the costs associated with this policy and show they can be sizable. Changes in external conditions that increase capital inflows are detrimental, even when they are beneficial away from the ZLB. Negative nominal rates and capital controls can reduce the costs.
Keyword: Capital flows, Negative interest rates, Currency pegs, CIP deviations, International reserves, and Foreign exchange interventions Subject (JEL): F32 - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements, F31 - Foreign Exchange, and F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics
Creator: Bianchi, Javier and Bigio, Saki Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 503 Abstract:
We develop a new tractable model of banks' liquidity management and the credit channel of monetary policy. Banks finance loans by issuing demand deposits. Because loans are illiquid, deposit transfers across banks must be settled with reserves. Deposit withdrawals are random, and banks manage liquidity risk by holding a precautionary buffer of reserves. We show how different shocks affect the banking system by altering the trade-off between profiting from lending and incurring greater liquidity risk. Through various tools, monetary policy affects the real economy by altering that trade-off. In a quantitative application, we study the driving forces behind the decline in lending and liquidity hoarding by banks during the 2008 financial crisis. Our analysis underscores the importance of disruptions in interbank markets followed by a persistent decline in credit demand.
Keyword: Liquidity, Banks, Capital requirements, and Monetary policy Subject (JEL): E52 - Monetary Policy, E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E51 - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers, and G10 - General Financial Markets: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 508 Abstract:
Between 2007 and 2013, U.S. households experienced a large and persistent decline in net worth. The objective of this paper is to study the business cycle implications of such a decline. We first develop a tractable monetary model in which households face idiosyncratic unemployment risk that they can partially self-insure using savings. A low level of liquid household wealth opens the door to self-fullfilling fluctuations: if wealth-poor households expect high unemployment, they have a strong precautionary incentive to cut spending, which can make the expectation of high unemployment a reality. Monetary policy, because of the zero lower bound, cannot rule out such expectations-driven recessions. In contrast, when wealth is sufficiently high, an aggressive monetary policy can keep the economy at full employment. Finally, we document that during the U.S. Great Recession wealth-poor households increased saving more sharply than richer households, pointing towards the importance of the precautionary channel over this period.
Keyword: Self-fulfilling crises, Zero lower bound, Aggregate demand, Business cycles, Precautionary saving, and Multiple equilibria Subject (JEL): E12 - General Aggregative Models: Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, and E52 - Monetary Policy
Creator: Arellano, Cristina, Bai, Yan, and Mihalache, Gabriel Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 555 Abstract:
Sovereign debt crises are associated with large and persistent declines in economic activity, disproportionately so for nontradable sectors. This paper documents this pattern using Spanish data and builds a two-sector dynamic quantitative model of sovereign default with capital accumulation. Recessions are very persistent in the model and more pronounced for nontraded sectors because of default risk. An adverse domestic shock increases the likelihood of default, limits capital inﬂows, and thus restricts the ability of the economy to exploit investment opportunities. The economy responds by reducing investment and reallocating capital toward the traded sector to support debt service payments. The real exchange rate depreciates, a reﬂection of the scarcity of traded goods. We ﬁnd that these mechanisms are quantitatively important for rationalizing the experience of Spain during the recent debt crisis.
Keyword: Capital accumulation, Traded and nontraded production, European debt crisis, Real exchange rate, and Sovereign default with production economy Subject (JEL): E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data) and F30 - International Finance: General
Creator: Eggertsson, Gauti B., Mehrotra, Neil R., and Robbins, Jacob A. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 742 Abstract:
This paper formalizes and quantifies the secular stagnation hypothesis, defined as a persistently low or negative natural rate of interest leading to a chronically binding zero lower bound (ZLB). Output-inflation dynamics and policy prescriptions are fundamentally different from those in the standard New Keynesian framework. Using a 56-period quantitative life cycle model, a standard calibration to US data delivers a natural rate ranging from -1.5% to -2%, implying an elevated risk of ZLB episodes for the foreseeable future. We decompose the contribution of demographic and technological factors to the decline in interest rates since 1970 and quantify changes required to restore higher rates.
Keyword: Secular stagnation, Zero lower bound, and Monetary policy Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation, and E52 - Monetary Policy
Creator: Crouzet, Nicolas and Mehrotra, Neil R. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 741 Abstract:
Drawing from confidential firm-level data of US manufacturing firms, we provide new evidence on the cyclicality of small and large firms. We show that the cyclicality of sales and investment declines with firm size. The effect is primarily driven by differences between the top 0.5% of firms and the rest. Moreover, we show that, due to the skewness of sales and investment, the higher cyclicality of small firms has a negligible influence on the behavior of aggregates. We argue that the size asymmetry is unlikely to be driven by financial frictions given 1) the absence of statistically significant differences in the behavior of production inputs or debt in recessions, 2) the survival of the size effect after directly controlling for proxies of financial strength, and 3) the predictions of a simple financial frictions model, in which unconstrained (large) firms contract more in recessions than constrained (small) firms.
Keyword: Financial accelerator, Firm size, and Business cycles Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, G30 - Corporate Finance and Governance: General, and E23 - Macroeconomics: Production
Creator: Perri, Fabrizio and Stefanidis, Georgios Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 554 Abstract:
We use balance sheet data and stock market data for the major U.S. banking institutions during and after the 2007-8 financial crisis to estimate the magnitude of the losses experienced by these institutions because of the crisis. We then use these estimates to assess the impact of the crisis under alternative, and higher, capital requirements. We find that substantially higher capital requirements (in the 20% to 30% range) would have substantially reduced the vulnerability of these financial institutions, and consequently they would have significantly reduced the need of a public bailout.
Keyword: Financial crises and Too big to fail Subject (JEL): G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages and G01 - Financial Crises
Creator: Gavazza, Alessandro, Mongey, Simon J., and Violante, Giovanni L. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 553 Abstract:
We develop an equilibrium model of firm dynamics with random search in the labor market where hiring firms exert recruiting effort by spending resources to fill vacancies faster. Consistent with microevidence, fast-growing firms invest more in recruiting activities and achieve higher job-filling rates. These hiring decisions of firms aggregate into an index of economy-wide recruiting intensity. We study how aggregate shocks transmit to recruiting intensity, and whether this channel can account for the dynamics of aggregate matching efficiency during the Great Recession. Productivity and financial shocks lead to sizable pro-cyclical fluctuations in matching efficiency through recruiting effort. Quantitatively, the main mechanism is that firms attain their employment targets by adjusting their recruiting effort in response to movements in labor market slackness.
Keyword: Firm dynamics, Unemployment, Macroeconomic shocks, Recruiting intensity, Aggregate matching efficiency, and Vacancies Subject (JEL): E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, D25 - Intertemporal Firm Choice: Investment, Capacity, and Financing, G01 - Financial Crises, J23 - Labor Demand, J64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search, and J63 - Labor Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
Creator: Chari, V. V. and Christiano, Lawrence J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 552 Abstract:
The ﬁnancialization view is that increased trading in commodity futures markets is associated with increases in the growth rate and volatility of commodity spot prices. This view gained credence be-cause in the 2000s trading volume increased sharply and many commodity prices rose and became more volatile. Using a large panel dataset we constructed, which includes commodities with and with-out futures markets, we ﬁnd no empirical link between increased futures market trading and changes in price behavior. Our data sheds light on the economic role of futures markets. The conventional view is that futures markets provide one-way insurance by allowing outsiders, traders with no direct interest in a commodity, to insure insiders, traders with a direct interest. The data are not consistent with the conventional view and we argue that they point to an alternative mutual insurance view, in which all participants insure each other. We formalize this view in a model and show that it is consistent with key features of the data.
Keyword: Spot price volatility, Open interest, Futures market returns, and Net financial flows Subject (JEL): E02 - Institutions and the Macroeconomy, G23 - Pension Funds; Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors, and G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
Creator: Conesa, Juan Carlos and Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 550 Abstract:
In the early 1970s, hours worked per working-age person in Spain were higher than in the United States. Starting in 1975, however, hours worked in Spain fell by 40 percent. We find that 80 percent of the decline in hours worked can be accounted for by the evolution of taxes in an otherwise standard neoclassical growth model. Although taxes play a crucial role, we cannot argue that taxes drive all of the movements in hours worked. In particular, the model underpredicts the large decrease in hours in 1975–1986 and the large increase in hours in 1994–2007. The lack of productivity growth in Spain during 1994–2015 has little impact on the model’s prediction for hours worked.
Keyword: Distortionary taxes, Total factor productivity, Hours worked, and Dynamic general equilibrium Subject (JEL): C68 - Computable General Equilibrium Models, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and H31 - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents: Household
Creator: Fitzgerald, Doireann and Haller, Stefanie Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 549 Abstract:
We use micro data for Ireland to estimate how export participation and the export revenue of incumbent exporters respond to tariffs and real exchange rates. Both participation and revenue, but especially revenue, are more responsive to tariffs than to real exchange rates. Our estimates translate into an elasticity of aggregate exports with respect to tariffs of between -3.8 and -5.4, and with respect to real exchange rates of between 0.45 and 0.6, consistent with estimates in the literature based on aggregate data. We argue that forward-looking investment in customer base combined with the fact that tariffs are much more predictable than real exchange rates can explain why export revenue responds so much more to tariffs.
Keyword: Tariffs, Real exchange rates, and International elasticity puzzle Subject (JEL): F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics and F14 - Empirical Studies of Trade