Creator: Chari, V. V., Nicolini, Juan Pablo, and Teles, Pedro Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 752 Abstract:
We revisit the question of how capital should be taxed, arguing that if governments are allowed to use the kinds of tax instruments widely used in practice, for preferences that are standard in the macroeconomic literature, the optimal approach is to never distort capital accumulation. We show that the results in the literature that lead to the presumption that capital ought to be taxed for some time arise because of the initial confiscation of wealth and because the tax system is restricted.
Keyword: Long run, Capital income tax, and Uniform taxation 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: Cavallo, Michele, Del Negro, Marco, Frame, W. Scott, Grasing, Jamie, Malin, Benjamin A., and Rosa, Carlo Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 747 Abstract:
The paper surveys the recent literature on the fiscal implications of central bank balance sheets, with a special focus on political economy issues. It then presents the results of simulations that describe the effects of different scenarios for the Federal Reserve's longer-run balance sheet on its earnings remittances to the U.S. Treasury and, more broadly, on the government's overall fiscal position. We find that reducing longer-run reserve balances from $2.3 trillion (roughly the current amount) to $1 trillion reduces the likelihood of posting a quarterly net loss in the future from 30 percent to under 5 percent. Further reducing longer-run reserve balances from $1 trillion to pre-crisis levels has little effect on the likelihood of net losses.
Keyword: Central bank balance sheets, Remittances, and Monetary policy Subject (JEL): E59 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: Other, E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies, and E69 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: Other
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: 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: Chodorow-Reich, Gabriel and Karabarbounis, Loukas Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 733 Abstract:
By how much does an extension of unemployment benefits affect macroeconomic outcomes such as unemployment? Answering this question is challenging because U.S. law extends benefits for states experiencing high unemployment. We use data revisions to decompose the variation in the duration of benefits into the part coming from actual differences in economic conditions and the part coming from measurement error in the real-time data used to determine benefit extensions. Using only the variation coming from measurement error, we find that benefit extensions have a limited influence on state-level macroeconomic outcomes. We use our estimates to quantify the effects of the increase in the duration of benefits during the Great Recession and find that they increased the unemployment rate by at most 0.3 percentage point.
Keyword: Unemployment, Unemployment insurance, and Measurement error Subject (JEL): E62 - Fiscal Policy, J64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search, J65 - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings, and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Kaplan, Greg and Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 731 Abstract:
We use scanner data to estimate inflation rates at the household level. Households' inflation rates are remarkably heterogeneous, with an interquartile range of 6.2 to 9.0 percentage points on an annual basis. Most of the heterogeneity comes not from variation in broadly defined consumption bundles but from variation in prices paid for the same types of goods - a source of variation that previous research has not measured. The entire distribution of household inflation rates shifts in parallel with aggregate inflation. Deviations from aggregate inflation exhibit only slightly negative serial correlation within each household over time, implying that the difference between a household's price level and the aggregate price level is persistent. Together, the large cross-sectional dispersion and low serial correlation of household-level inflation rates mean that almost all of the variability in a household's inflation rate over time comes from variability in household-level prices relative to average prices for the same goods, not from variability in the aggregate inflation rate. We provide a characterization of the stochastic process for household inflation that can be used to calibrate models of household decisions.
Keyword: Inflation and Heterogeneity Subject (JEL): D12 - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis, D30 - Distribution: General, and E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
Creator: Hall, Robert E. and Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 721 Abstract:
Matching efficiency is the productivity of the process for matching jobseekers to available jobs. Job-finding is the output; vacant jobs and active jobseekers are the inputs. Measurement of matching efficiency follows the same principles as measuring a Hicks-neutral index of productivity of production. We develop a framework for measuring matching productivity when the population of jobseekers is heterogeneous. The efficiency index for each type of jobseeker is the monthly job-finding rate for the type adjusted for the overall tightness of the labor market. We find that overall matching efficiency declined over the period, at just below its earlier downward trend. We develop a new approach to measuring matching rates that avoids counting short-duration jobs as successes. And we show that the outward shift in the Beveridge curve in the post-crisis period is the result of pre-crisis trends, not a downward shift in matching efficiency attributable to the crisis.
Keyword: Beveridge curve, Job-finding rates, and Matching efficiency Subject (JEL): J63 - Labor Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Adam, Klaus, Marcet, Albert, and Nicolini, Juan Pablo Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 720 Abstract:
Consumption-based asset pricing models with time-separable preferences can generate realistic amounts of stock price volatility if one allows for small deviations from rational expectations. We consider rational investors who entertain subjective prior beliefs about price behavior that are not equal but close to rational expectations. Optimal behavior then dictates that investors learn about price behavior from past price observations. We show that this imparts momentum and mean reversion into the equilibrium behavior of the price-dividend ratio, similar to what can be observed in the data. When estimating the model on U.S. stock price data using the method of simulated moments, we find that it can quantitatively account for the observed volatility of returns, the volatility and persistence of the price-dividend ratio, and the predictability of long-horizon returns. For reasonable degrees of risk aversion, the model generates up to one-half of the equity premium observed in the data. It also passes a formal statistical test for the overall goodness of fit, provided one excludes the equity premium from the set of moments to be matched.
Keyword: Subjective beliefs, Asset pricing, Learning, and Internal rationality Subject (JEL): E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy and G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
Creator: Guvenen, Fatih, Karahan, Fatih, Ozkan, Serdar, and Song, Jae Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 719 Abstract:
We study the evolution of individual labor earnings over the life cycle using a large panel data set of earnings histories drawn from U.S. administrative records. Using fully nonparametric methods, our analysis reaches two broad conclusions. First, earnings shocks display substantial deviations from lognormality–the standard assumption in the incomplete markets literature. In particular, earnings shocks display strong negative skewness and extremely high kurtosis–as high as 30 compared with 3 for a Gaussian distribution. The high kurtosis implies that in a given year, most individuals experience very small earnings shocks, and a small but non-negligible number experience very large shocks. Second, these statistical properties vary significantly both over the life cycle and with the earnings level of individuals. We also estimate impulse response functions of earnings shocks and find important asymmetries: positive shocks to high-income individuals are quite transitory, whereas negative shocks are very persistent; the opposite is true for low-income individuals. Finally, we use these rich sets of moments to estimate econometric processes with increasing generality to capture these salient features of earnings dynamics.
Keyword: Earnings dynamics, Nonparametric estimation, Life-cycle earnings risk, Kurtosis, Non-Guassian shocks, Normal mixture, and Skewness Subject (JEL): J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials, and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Lucas, Jr., Robert E. and Nicolini, Juan Pablo Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 718 Abstract:
We show that regulatory changes that occurred in the banking sector in the early eighties, which considerably weakened Regulation Q, can explain the apparent instability of money demand during the same period. We evaluate the effects of the regulatory changes using a model that goes beyond aggregates as M1 and treats currency and different deposit types as alternative means of payments. We use the model to construct a new monetary aggregate that performs remarkably well for the entire period 1915-2012.
Keyword: Money demand and Monetary base Subject (JEL): E41 - Demand for Money and E40 - Money and Interest Rates: General