Creator: Bergoeing, Raphael, Kehoe, Patrick J., Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953-, and Soto, Raimundo Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 292 Abstract:
Chile and Mexico experienced severe economic crises in the early 1980s. This paper analyzes four possible explanations for why Chile recovered much faster than did Mexico. Comparing data from the two countries allows us to rule out a monetarist explanation, an explanation based on falls in real wages and real exchange rates, and a debt overhang explanation. Using growth accounting, a calibrated growth model, and economic theory, we conclude that the crucial difference between the two countries was the earlier policy reforms in Chile that generated faster productivity growth. The most crucial of these reforms were in banking and bankruptcy procedures.
Keyword: Depression, Growth accounting, Mexico, Chile, and Total factor productivity Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General, and N16 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: Latin America; Caribbean
Creator: Uhlig, Harald, 1961- Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 342 Abstract:
[Please note that the following Greek lettering is improperly transcribed.] If [0,1] is a measure space of agents and X---- a collection of pairwise uncorrelated random variables with common finite mean U and variance a , one would like to establish a law of large numbers () Xdl = U. In this paper we propose to interpret () as a Pettis integral. Using the corresponding Riemann-type version of this integral, we establish (*) and interpret it as an L2-law of large numbers. Intuitively, the main idea is to integrate before drawing an W, thus avoiding well-know measurability problems. We discuss distributional properties of i.i.d. random shocks across the population. We given examples for the economic interpretability of our definition. Finally, we establish a vector-valued version of the law of large numbers for economies.
Keyword: Khinchines law of large numbers, Pettis integral, L2 law of large numbers, Riemann integral, Large numbers, and Random variable Subject (JEL): C10 - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
Creator: Wallace, Neil Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 000 Description:
This paper was published with no issue number.
Keyword: Economic models, Forecasts, Policy studies , and Neutrality view Subject (JEL): E17 - General Aggregative Models: Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications, R15 - General Regional Economics: Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Models, and E52 - Monetary Policy
Creator: Roberds, William Series: Business analysis committee meeting Abstract:
One of the more significant developments in econometric modeling over the past decade has been the invention of the forecasting technique known as Bayesian vector autoregression (BVAR). This paper provides a detailed description of the process of specifying a BVAR model of quarterly time series on the U.S. macroeconomy. The postsample forecasting performance of the model is evaluated at an informal level by comparing the model's performance to certain naive forecasting methods, and is evaluated at a formal level by means of efficiency tests. Although the null hypothesis of efficiency is rejected for the model's forecasts, the accuracy of the model exceeds that of naive forecasting methods, and seems comparable to that of commercial forecasting firms for early quarter forecasts.
Keyword: BVAR, Vector autoregression, and Bayesian analysis Subject (JEL): C11 - Bayesian Analysis: General and C53 - Forecasting Models; Simulation Methods
Creator: Olsen, Claire L. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 011 Keyword: Organizational structure, Federal Reserve System, and Organizational change Subject (JEL): N22 - Economic History: Financial Markets and Institutions: U.S.; Canada: 1913- and E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies
Creator: Supel, Thomas M. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 006 Abstract:
Previous work on discrete time portfolio selection models encompassed (a) transaction's costs, and (b) uncertainty about cash flows during the first (and only) period. This paper extends these models by considering uncertainty about asset yields in the second period and the optimal strategy for portfolio selection over a two-period horizon. Among the implications are i) the optimal initial portfolio is, in general, diversified and contains more short-term assets than the myopic investor's portfolio, and ii) the shape of the mean-variance locus ensures diversification for all (two-moment) types of investors, except certain forms of risk lovers. Other partial derivatives are investigated.
Working paper 6 is based largely on chapter 3 of Supel's University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation, "A two-period balance sheet model for banks."
Keyword: Cash flow, Portfolio diversifying behavior, Optimal strategy, and Diversification Subject (JEL): D81 - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty and G11 - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
Creator: Brinca, Pedro, Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 531 Abstract:
We elaborate on the business cycle accounting method proposed by Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan (2007), clear up some misconceptions about the method, and then apply it to compare the Great Recession across OECD countries as well as to the recessions of the 1980s in these countries. We have four main findings. First, with the notable exception of the United States, Spain, Ireland, and Iceland, the Great Recession was driven primarily by the efficiency wedge. Second, in the Great Recession, the labor wedge plays a dominant role only in the United States, and the investment wedge plays a dominant role in Spain, Ireland, and Iceland. Third, in the recessions of the 1980s, the labor wedge played a dominant role only in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and New Zealand. Finally, overall in the Great Recession the efficiency wedge played a more important role and the investment wedge played a less important role than they did in the recessions of the 1980s.
Keyword: 1982 recession, Business cycle accounting, and Great Recession Subject (JEL): G28 - Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation, E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination, G33 - Bankruptcy; Liquidation, and E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General
Creator: Karabarbounis, Loukas and Neiman, Brent Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 749 Abstract:
Comparing U.S. GDP to the sum of measured payments to labor and imputed rental payments to capital results in a large and volatile residual or “factorless income.” We analyze three common strategies of allocating and interpreting factorless income, speciﬁcally that it arises from economic proﬁts (Case Π), unmeasured capital (Case K), or deviations of the rental rate of capital from standard measures based on bond returns (Case R). We are skeptical of Case Π as it reveals a tight negative relationship between real interest rates and markups, leads to large ﬂuctuations in inferred factor-augmenting technologies, and results in markups that have risen since the early 1980s but that remain lower today than in the 1960s and 1970s. Case K shows how unmeasured capital plausibly accounts for all factorless income in recent decades, but its value in the 1960s would have to be more than half of the capital stock, which we ﬁnd less plausible. We view Case R as most promising as it leads to more stable factor shares and technology growth than the other cases, though we acknowledge that it requires an explanation for the pattern of deviations from common measures of the rental rate. Using a model with multiple sectors and types of capital, we show that our assessment of the drivers of changes in output, factor shares, and functional inequality depends critically on the interpretation of factorless income.
Keyword: Missing capital, Factor shares, Profits, and Return to capital Subject (JEL): E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity, E25 - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution, E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, and E01 - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
Creator: Ales, Laurence and Maziero, Pricila Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 663 Abstract:
We study the quantitative properties of constrained efficient allocations in an environment where risk sharing is limited by the presence of private information. We consider a life cycle version of a standard Mirrlees economy where shocks to labor productivity have a component that is public information and one that is private information. The presence of private shocks has important implications for the age profiles of consumption and income. First, they introduce an endogenous dispersion of continuation utilities. As a result, consumption inequality rises with age even if the variance of the shocks does not. Second, they introduce an endogenous rise of the distortion on the marginal rate of substitution between consumption and leisure over the life cycle. This is because, as agents age, the ability to properly provide incentives for work must become less and less tied to promises of benefits (through either increased leisure or consumption) in future periods. Both of these features are also present in the data. We look at the data through the lens of our model and estimate the fraction of labor productivity that is private information. We find that for the model and data to be consistent, a large fraction of shocks to labor productivities must be private information.
Keyword: Risk sharing, Consumption inequality, and Private information Subject (JEL): D58 - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models, D86 - Economics of Contract: Theory, D11 - Consumer Economics: Theory, D91 - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making, D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design, and H21 - Taxation and Subsidies: Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
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: Recruiting intensity, Firm dynamics, Aggregate matching efficiency, Vacancies, Unemployment, and Macroeconomic shocks Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, J64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search, G01 - Financial Crises, D25 - Intertemporal Firm Choice: Investment, Capacity, and Financing, J23 - Labor Demand, J63 - Labor Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs, E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 234 Abstract:
Current approaches to monetary theory and policy owe much to the "quantity theory of money." However, recent theoretical developments suggest that the manner in which money is introduced is more important, even for price level movements, than the quantity of money. Colonial American experience provides a laboratory for discriminating between these views. It is shown here that the nature of backing, rather than the quantity of money, determined its value. Large secular inflations were ended by changing the nature of backing despite the continuance of large note issues (and despite the absence of a metallic standard). Extremely large note issues and note withdrawals are shown not to have produced inflation (currency depreciation) or deflation (currency appreciation).
Keyword: Fiat money, Quantity theory, Currency, and Colonial America Subject (JEL): N11 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913, E52 - Monetary Policy, and E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System; Payment Systems
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 320 Abstract:
This paper evaluates the performances of three of the most prominent multisectoral static applied general equilibrium models used to predict the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement. These models drastically underestimated the impact of NAFTA on North American trade. Furthermore, the models failed to capture much of the relative impacts on different sectors. Ex-post performance evaluations of applied GE models are essential if policymakers are to have confidence in the results produced by these models. Such valuations also help make applied GE analysis a scientific discipline in which there are well-defined puzzles with clear successes and failures for competing theories. Analyzing sectoral trade data indicates the need for a new theoretical mechanism that generates large increases in trade in product categories with little or no previous trade. To capture changes in macroeconomic aggregates, the models need to be able to capture changes in productivity.
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Gertler, Mark Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 531 Abstract:
This paper reexamines the conventional wisdom that commercial banking is an industry in severe decline. We find that a careful reading of the evidence does not justify this conclusion. It is true that on-balance sheet assets held by commercial banks have declined as a share of total intermediary assets. But this measure overstates any drop in banking, for three reasons. First, it ignores the rapid growth in commercial banks' off-balance sheet activities. Second, it fails to take account of the substantial growth in off-shore C&I lending by foreign banks. Third, it ignores the fact that over the last several decades financial intermediation has grown rapidly relative to the rest of the economy. We find that after adjusting the measure of bank assets to account for these considerations there is no clear evidence of secular decline. To corroborate these findings, we also construct an alternative measure of the importance of banking, using data from the National Income Accounts. Again, we find no clear evidence of a sustained declined. At most the industry may have suffered a slight loss of market share over the last decade. But as we discuss, this loss may reflect a transitory response to a series of adverse shocks and the phasing in of new regulatory requirements, rather than the beginning of a permanent decline.
Keyword: Lending, Bank assets, Banking, Intermediation, and Commercial banks Subject (JEL): G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
Creator: Krusell, Per, Quadrini, Vincenzo, and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor Series: Lucas expectations anniversary conference Abstract:
We use political-equilibrium theory and the neoclassical growth model to compare the quantitative properties of different tax systems. We first explore whether societies which can only use consumption taxes fare better than societies which can only use income taxes. We find that if government outlays are used mainly for redistribution through transfers, then the answer is no, contradicting conventional wisdom in public finance. The reason for this is that when taxes are endogenous, and voted on by a selfish constituency, the distortionary effects of taxation are taken into account in choosing the level of taxation. Hence, political equilibria have the property that taxes which are relatively distortionary will be relatively low. These results are overturned if the government outlays are used only for the providing of public goods, implying that less distortionary taxes give better outcomes. We also investigate the properties of a tax systems in which both consumption and income taxes are used and voted on simultaneously. Since the ability to use more tax instruments allows redistribution with less distortions, the total amount of transfers tends to be higher here than in one-tax systems. Typically, tax systems tend to be self-perpetuating in the sense that changes of the tax system result in a reduction in the welfare of the median voter.
Keyword: Tax system, Tax, Consumption tax, Taxes, and Income tax Subject (JEL): E62 - Fiscal Policy, H24 - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; includes inheritance and gift taxes, and H25 - Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT)
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, National income accounting, Gross domestic product, and Total factor productivity Subject (JEL): E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, F43 - Economic Growth of Open Economies, and F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics
Creator: Ohanian, Lee E., Restrepo-Echavarria, Paulina, and Wright, Mark L. J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 563 Abstract:
After World War II, international capital flowed into slow-growing Latin America rather than fast-growing Asia. This is surprising as, everything else equal, fast growth should imply high capital returns. This paper develops a capital flow accounting framework to quantify the role of different factor market distortions in producing these patterns. Surprisingly, we find that distortions in labor markets — rather than domestic or international capital markets — account for the bulk of these flows. Labor market distortions that indirectly depress investment incentives by lowering equilibrium labor supply explain two-thirds of observed flows, while improvement in these distortions over time accounts for much of Asia’s rapid growth.
Keyword: International capital markets, Domestic capital markets, Capital flows, and Labor markets Subject (JEL): J20 - Demand and Supply of Labor: General, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, and F21 - International Investment; Long-term Capital Movements
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Graham, Stanley L. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 378 Keyword: Securities , Risk, Real estate, Nonbank activities, Bank holding companies, and Insurance Subject (JEL): C15 - Statistical Simulation Methods: General and G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Graham, Stanley L. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 398 Abstract:
This study estimates the effects of allowing bank holding companies (BHCs) to enter several lines of financial business not now permitted. A simulation technique is used to estimate the risk and return of hypothetical financial corporations after merger between a BHC and a large firm in each of these industries: securities, real estate, life insurance, property and casualty insurance, and insurance agencies. The study concludes that a merger between a BHC and a life insurance company may decrease the probability of bankruptcy for the merged firm relative to the BHC alone. This result does not hold true, however, for BHC mergers with firms in the other industries. In particular, BHC mergers with securities or real estate firms are found to increase the probability of bankruptcy.
Keyword: Merger, Bank holding companies, Insurance, Real estate, Bankruptcy, Securities, Risk, and Bank holding company Subject (JEL): G28 - Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation, G32 - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill, and G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 328 Abstract:
We propose a simple method to help researchers develop quantitative models of economic fluctuations. The method rests on the insight that many models are equivalent to a prototype growth model with time-varying wedges which resemble productivity, labor and investment taxes, and government consumption. Wedges corresponding to these variables—efficiency, labor, investment, and government consumption wedges—are measured and then fed back into the model in order to assess the fraction of various fluctuations they account for. Applying this method to U.S. data for the Great Depression and the 1982 recession reveals that the efficiency and labor wedges together account for essentially all of the fluctuations; the investment wedge plays a decidedly tertiary role, and the government consumption wedge, none. Analyses of the entire postwar period and alternative model specifications support these results. Models with frictions manifested primarily as investment wedges are thus not promising for the study of business cycles. (See Additional Material for a response to Christiano and Davis (2006).)
Keyword: Sticky wages, Great Depression , Productivity decline, Equivalence theorems, Financial frictions, Capacity utilization, and Sticky prices Subject (JEL): E12 - General Aggregative Models: Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian and E10 - General Aggregative Models: General
Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Joint committee on business and financial analysis Abstract:
This paper proposes a simple method for guiding researchers in developing quantitative models of economic fluctuations. We show that a large class of models, including models with various frictions, are equivalent to a prototype growth model with time varying wedges that, at least on face value, look like time-varying productivity, labor taxes, and capital income taxes. We label the time varying wedges as efficiency wedges, labor wedges, and investment wedges. We use data to measure these wedges and then feed them back into the prototype growth model. We then assess the fraction of fluctuations accounted for by these wedges during the great depressions of the 1930s in the United States, Germany, and Canada. We find that the efficiency and labor wedges in combination account for essentially all of the declines and subsequent recoveries. Investment wedge plays at best a minor role.
Keyword: Business cycle, Cycle, Economic fluctuations, Fluctuation, and Growth Subject (JEL): O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, O47 - Economic growth and aggregate productivity - Measurement of economic growth ; Aggregate productivity ; Cross-country output convergence, and E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles
Creator: Gopinath, Gita, 1971-, Kalemli-Özcan, Şebnem, Karabarbounis, Loukas, and Villegas-Sanchez, Carolina Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 728 Abstract:
Starting in the early 1990s, countries in southern Europe experienced low productivity growth alongside declining real interest rates. We use data for manufacturing ﬁrms in Spain between 1999 and 2012 to document a signiﬁcant increase in the dispersion of the return to capital across ﬁrms, a stable dispersion of the return to labor, and a signiﬁcant increase in productivity losses from capital misallocation over time. We develop a model with size-dependent ﬁnancial frictions that is consistent with important aspects of ﬁrms’ behavior in production and balance sheet data. We illustrate how the decline in the real interest rate, often attributed to the euro convergence process, leads to a signiﬁcant decline in sectoral total factor productivity as capital inﬂows are misallocated toward ﬁrms that have higher net worth but are not necessarily more productive. We show that similar trends in dispersion and productivity losses are observed in Italy and Portugal but not in Germany, France, and Norway.
Keyword: Europe, Misallocation, Capital flows, Dispersion, and Productivity Subject (JEL): E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity, O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence, D24 - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity, O16 - Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance, and F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics
Creator: Stevens, Lacramioara Luminita Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 520 Abstract:
The puzzling behavior of inflation in the Great Recession and its aftermath has increased the need to better understand the constraints that firms face when setting prices. Using new data and theory, I demonstrate that each firm's choice of how much information to acquire to set prices determines aggregate price dynamics through the patterns of pricing at the micro level, and through the large heterogeneity in pricing policies across firms. Viewed through this lens, the behavior of prices in recent years becomes less puzzling, as firms endogenously adjust their information acquisition strategies. In support of this mechanism, I present micro evidence that firms price goods using plans that are sticky, coarse, and volatile. A theory of information-constrained price setting generates such policies endogenously, and quantitatively matches the discreteness, duration, volatility, and heterogeneity of policies in the data. Policies track the state noisily, resulting in sluggish adjustment to shocks. A higher volatility of shocks does not reduce monetary non-neutrality and generates slight inflation, while progress in the technology to acquire information results in deflation.
Keyword: Rigid prices, Rational inattention, and Inflation dynamics Subject (JEL): E50 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: General and E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Redish, Angela, 1952- and Weber, Warren E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 416 Abstract:
Contemporaries, and economic historians, have noted several features of medieval and early modern European monetary systems that are hard to analyze using models of centralized exchange. For example, contemporaries complained of recurrent shortages of small change and argued that an abundance/dearth of money had real effects on exchange. To confront these facts, we build a random matching monetary model with two indivisible coins with different intrinsic values. The model shows that small change shortages can exist in the sense that adding small coins to an economy with only large coins is welfare improving. This effect is amplified by increases in trading opportunities. Further, changes in the quantity of monetary metals affect the real economy and the amount of exchange as well as the optimal denomination size. Finally, the model shows that replacing full-bodied small coins with tokens is not necessarily welfare improving.
Keyword: Gresham’s Law, Optimal Denominations, Commodity Money, and Random Matching
Creator: Redish, Angela, 1952- and Weber, Warren E. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 658 Abstract:
Commodity money standards in medieval and early modern Europe were characterized by recurring complaints of small change shortages and by numerous debasements of the coinage. To confront these facts, we build a random matching monetary model with two indivisible coins with different intrinsic values. The model shows that small change shortages can exist in the sense that changes in the size of the small coin affect ex ante welfare. Further, the optimal ratio of coin sizes is shown to depend upon the trading opportunities in a country and a country’s wealth. Thus, coinage debasements can be interpreted as optimal responses to changes in fundamentals. Further, the model shows that replacing full-bodied small coins with tokens is not necessarily welfare-improving.
Keyword: Gresham's Law, Random matching, Commodity money, and Optimal denominations
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 348 Abstract:
With a monetary union in place, many European countries are now debating if and how to coordinate their tax policies. Of particular interest to EU ministers is taxation of mobile factors like capital. Mendoza and Tesar (MT) use a game-theoretic approach to address the question, What is the outcome of tax competition and tax coordination when countries choose the tax on capital income and adjust other tax rates to keep revenues constant? MT predict very large welfare gains (losses) to tax competition for European countries that had high (low) tax rates prior to financial integration. In particular they predict a large gain for the United Kingdom and a large loss for countries in continental Europe. A second finding is that the welfare gains of tax coordination relative to that of tax competition are small. I discuss these findings in light of current policy debates and possible future extensions of this work.
Creator: Wallace, Neil Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 370 Abstract:
The Diamond-Dybvig model of banking (Journal of Political Economy, 1983) is amended by introducing communication barriers—these being implicit in their model and in most explanations of why people hold so-called liquid assets. These barriers imply the sequential-service constraint that Diamond and Dybvig imposed on private intermediation and have other implications: infeasibility of the policy that Diamond and Dybvig identify with deposit insurance and desirability of dependence of the realized return on deposits on the random order of withdrawals.
Keyword: Deposit insurance, Sequential service constraint, Communication barrier, Diamond, Liquid assets, Banks, and Dybvig Subject (JEL): G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan, Storesletten, Kjetil, and Violante, Giovanni L. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 432 Abstract:
This paper develops a model with partial insurance against idiosyncratic wage shocks to quantify risk sharing, and to decompose inequality into life-cycle shocks versus initial heterogeneity in preferences and productivity. Closed-form solutions are obtained for equilibrium allocations and for moments of the joint distribution of consumption, hours, and wages. We prove identification and estimate the model with data from the CEX and the PSID over the period 1967–2006. We find that (i) 40% of permanent wage shocks pass through to consumption; (ii) the share of wage risk insured privately increased until the early 1980s and remained stable thereafter; (iii) life-cycle productivity shocks account for half of the cross-sectional variance of wages and earnings, but for much less of dispersion in consumption or hours worked.
Subject (JEL): E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, and E52 - Monetary Policy
Creator: Croushore, Dean Darrell, 1956- and Evans, Charles, 1958- Series: Joint committee on business and financial analysis Abstract:
Monetary policy research using time series methods has been criticized for using more information than the Federal Reserve had available in setting policy. To quantify the role of this criticism, we propose a method to estimate a VAR with real-time data while accounting for the latent nature of many economic variables, such as output. Our estimated monetary policy shocks are closely correlated with a typically estimated measure. The impulse response functions are broadly similar across the methods. Our evidence suggests that the use of revised data in VAR analyses of monetary policy shocks may not be a serious limitation.
Keyword: Monetary policy, Identification, VARs, Data revisions, Real-time data, and Shocks Subject (JEL): C82 - Data collection and data estimation methodology ; Computer programs - Methodology for collecting, estimating, and organizing macroeconomic data, C32 - Multiple or simultaneous equation models - Time-series models ; Dynamic quantile regressions, and E52 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Monetary policy
Creator: Miller, Preston J. and Todd, Richard M. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 494 Abstract:
This paper investigates the macroeconomic and welfare effects of a particular public finance decision. That decision was to use debt rather than current taxation to finance deposit insurance payments related to the savings and loan debacle. We find that this decision could have significantly raised real interest rates and affected welfare. The analysis is conducted in a dynamic, open-economy, monetary general equilibrium model in which parameters are set based on empirical observations.
Keyword: Savings and loan, Welfare, Real interest rates, Deposit insurance, Government debt, Public finance, Taxation, and S & L Subject (JEL): H63 - National Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt and G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
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: Sovereign default with production economy, Capital accumulation, Traded and nontraded production, European debt crisis, and Real exchange rate Subject (JEL): E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data) and F30 - International Finance: General
Creator: Cole, Harold Linh, 1957-, Leung, Ron, and Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 356 Abstract:
This paper presents a dynamic, stochastic general equilibrium study of the causes of the international Great Depression. We use a fully articulated model to assess the relative contributions of deflation/monetary shocks, which are the most commonly cited shocks for the Depression, and productivity shocks. We find that productivity is the dominant shock, accounting for about 2/3 of the Depression, with the monetary shock accounting for about 1/3. The main reason deflation doesn’t account for more of the Depression is because there is no systematic relationship between deflation and output during this period. Our finding that a persistent productivity shock is the key factor stands in contrast to the conventional view that a continuing sequence of unexpected deflation shocks was the major cause of the Depression. We also explore what factors might be causing the productivity shocks. We find some evidence that they are largely related to industrial activity, rather than agricultural activity, and that they are correlated with real exchange rates and non-deflationary shocks to the financial sector.
Keyword: Deflation, Great Depression, Monetary Shocks, and Productivity Shocks Subject (JEL): F40 - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance: General and E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Kareken, John H., Muench, Thomas J., Supel, Thomas M., and Wallace, Neil Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 000 Description:
This paper was published with no issue number.
Keyword: Central banks and Monetary policy Subject (JEL): E52 - Monetary Policy
Creator: Krueger, Dirk and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 363 Abstract:
Using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, we first document that the recent increase in income inequality in the United States has not been accompanied by a corresponding rise in consumption inequality. Much of this divergence is due to different trends in within-group inequality, which has increased significantly for income but little for consumption. We then develop a simple framework that allows us to analytically characterize how within-group income inequality affects consumption inequality in a world in which agents can trade a full set of contingent consumption claims, subject to endogenous constraints emanating from the limited enforcement of intertemporal contracts (as in Kehoe and Levine, 1993). Finally, we quantitatively evaluate, in the context of a calibrated general equilibrium production economy, whether this setup, or alternatively a standard incomplete markets model (as in Aiyagari, 1994), can account for the documented stylized consumption inequality facts from the U.S. data.
Keyword: Limited Enforcement, Risk Sharing, and Consumption Inequality Subject (JEL): G22 - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies, D91 - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions, and D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
Creator: Arellano, Cristina and Heathcote, Jonathan Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 385 Abstract:
How does a country’s choice of exchange rate regime impact its ability to borrow from abroad? We build a small open economy model in which the government can potentially respond to shocks via domestic monetary policy and by international borrowing. We assume that debt repayment must be incentive compatible when the default punishment is equivalent to permanent exclusion from debt markets. We compare a floating regime to full dollarization.
We find that dollarization is potentially beneficial, even though it means the loss of the monetary instrument, precisely because this loss can strengthen incentives to maintain access to debt markets. Given stronger repayment incentives, more borrowing can be supported, and thus dollarization can increase international financial integration. This prediction of theory is consistent with the experiences of El Salvador and Ecuador, which recently dollarized, as well as with that of highly-indebted countries like Italy which adopted the Euro as part of Economic and Monetary Union: in each case, around the time of regime change, spreads on foreign currency government debt declined substantially.
Keyword: Dollarization, Exchange rate regime, Borrowing limits, and Debt policy Subject (JEL): E40 - Money and Interest Rates: General and F30 - International Finance: General
Creator: Backus, David and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 323 Abstract:
We examine deviations from trend of net exports and other components of GNP for the United States and attempt to build models consistent with their behavior. The most striking fact is that net exports have consistently been countercyclical. We show, first, that dynamic pure-exchange models can only produce a negative correlation between net exports and GNP if the variance of consumption exceeds that of output. In (he United Slates it does not, so this class of models cannot explain observed comovements between output and trade. We then examine government spending and nontraded goods as potential remedies, but show that their behavior is either inconsistent with the data or can be made consistent with any pattern of comovements. The most promising model introduces production and capital formation. Fluctuations are driven by country-specific productivity shocks, in which high productivity domestically leads to high domestic investment and a deficit in the balance of trade. This theory also receives support from the large negative covariance between net exports and investment in American data.
Keyword: Investment, Risk sharing, Non-traded goods, Government deficits, Competitive equilibrium, and Productivity Subject (JEL): F21 - International Investment; Long-term Capital Movements, F30 - International Finance: General, and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Goodfriend, Marvin and McDermott, John H. Series: Economic growth and development Abstract:
We explain how a long period of slow pre-industrial development triggers an Industrial Revolution that leads to modern balanced growth. Development in the preindustrial period is driven by increasing returns to specialization made possible by a growing population. Increasing access to specialized intermediate goods eventually makes fundamental technological innovation possible. Innovation initiates the Industrial Revolution, after which productivity grows endogenously regardless of population growth. Industrialization reconciles the crucial role of population early on with its weak relation to per capita product in developed economies. Faster population growth speeds early development, though if it results from a highly productive primitive technology, the consequences for development are ambiguous.
Keyword: Growth and Industrial Revolution Subject (JEL): O11 - Economic development - Macroeconomic analyses of economic development and N10 - Macroeconomics and monetary economics ; Growth and fluctuations - General, international, or comparative
Creator: Townsend, Robert M., 1948- Series: Financial history conference Abstract:
ln environments with private information and spatial separation, the ability of agents to establish mutually beneficial arrangements can be limited by their ability to communicate contemporary dealings and histories of past dealings. Indeed, with the extension of some recent work in contract theory and mechanism design, this paper argues that location or person-specific assignment systems, portable object record-keeping systems, written message systems, and telecommunication systems can be viewed as communication systems which are successively more complete in this sense. An attempt is made also to match these various communication systems with systems in use in historical primitive, and/or contemporary societies and to interpret these communication systems as financial structures.
Subject (JEL): C44 - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory, D83 - Information, knowledge, and uncertainty - Search ; Learning ; Information and knowledge ; Communication ; Belief, and D23 - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
Creator: Fernandez, Raquel, 1959- and Rogerson, Richard Donald Series: Law and economics of federalism Abstract:
This paper examines the effect of different education financing systems on the level and distribution of resources devoted to public education. We focus on California, which in the 1970's was transformed from a system of mixed local and state financing to one of effectively pure state finance and subsequently saw its funding of public education fall between ten and fifteen percent relative to the rest of the US. We show that a simple political economy model of public finance can account for the bulk of this drop. We find that while the distribution of spending became more equal, this was mainly at the cost of a large reduction in spending in the wealthier communities with little increase for the poorer districts. Our model implies that there is no simple trade-off between equity and resources; we show that if California had moved to the opposite extreme and abolished state aid altogether, funding for public education would also have dropped by almost ten percent.
Keyword: Education finance reform, Public finance, California, State government policy, and Human capital Subject (JEL): I22 - Educational Finance; Financial Aid, H42 - Publicly Provided Private Goods, and I28 - Education: Government Policy
Creator: Lacker, Jeffrey Malcolm Series: Foundations of policy toward electronic money Abstract:
Briefly reviews the potential consequences of electronic money for the management of the government's balance sheet through open market operations and for the regulations governing the public and private issue of payment instruments.
Keyword: Monetary policy, Payment instruments, and Electronic money Subject (JEL): E52 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Monetary policy, E58 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Central banks and their policies, and E42 - Money and interest rates - Monetary systems ; Standards ; Regimes ; Government and the monetary system ; Payment systems
Creator: Huo, Zhen and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 478 Abstract:
We build a variation of the neoclassical growth model in which financial shocks to households or wealth shocks (in the sense of wealth destruction) generate recessions. Two standard ingredients that are necessary are (1) the existence of adjustment costs that make the expansion of the tradable goods sector difficult and (2) the existence of some frictions in the labor market that prevent enormous reductions in real wages (Nash bargaining in Mortensen-Pissarides labor markets is enough). We pose a new ingredient that greatly magnifies the recession: a reduction in consumption expenditures reduces measured productivity, while technology is unchanged due to reduced utilization of production capacity. Our model provides a novel, quantitative theory of the current recessions in southern Europe.
Keyword: Paradox of thrift, Great Recession, and Endogenous productivity Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data), and F44 - International Business Cycles