Creator: Holmes, Thomas J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 205 Abstract:
This paper provides new evidence that state policies play a role in the location of industry. The paper classifies a state as pro-business or anti-business depending upon whether or not the state has a right-to-work law. The paper finds that, on average, there is a large abrupt increase in manufacturing activity when crossing a state border from an anti-business state into a pro-business state.
Subject (JEL): R38 - Production Analysis and Firm Location: Government Policy, L60 - Industry Studies: Manufacturing: General, and L52 - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
Creator: Mercenier, Jean and Yeldan, Erinç Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 207 Abstract:
We highlight an example of considerable bias in officially published input-output data (factor-income shares) by an LDC (Turkey), which many researchers use without question. We make use of an intertemporal general equilibrium model of trade and production to evaluate the dynamic gains for Turkey from currently debated trade policy options and compare the predictions using conservatively adjusted, rather than official, data on factor shares. We show that the predicted welfare gains are not only of a different order of magnitude, but in some cases, of a different sign, hence, suggesting contradictory policy recommendations.
Creator: Cole, Harold Linh, 1957- and Rogerson, Richard Donald Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 224 Abstract:
We examine whether the Mortensen-Pissarides matching model can account for the business cycle facts on employment, job creation, and job destruction. A novel feature of our analysis is its emphasis on the reduced-form implications of the matching model. Our main finding is that the model can account for the business cycle facts, but only if the average duration of a nonemployment spell is relatively high—about nine months or longer.
Creator: Fernandes, Ana and Phelan, Christopher Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 259 Abstract:
There is now an extensive literature regarding the efficient design of incentive mechanisms in dynamic environments. In this literature, there are no exogenous links across time periods because either privately observed shocks are assumed time independent or past private actions have no influence on the realizations of current variables. The absence of exogenous links across time periods ensures that preferences over continuation contracts are common knowledge, making the definition of incentive compatible contracts at a point in time a simple matter. In this paper, we present general recursive methods to handle environments where privately observed variables are linked over time. We show that incentive compatible contracts are implemented recursively with a threat keeping constraint in addition to the usual temporary incentive compatibility conditions.
Keyword: Repeated agency and Mechanism design Subject (JEL): D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design, D30 - Distribution: General, D80 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty: General, and D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
Creator: Cole, Harold Linh, 1957- and Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 270 Abstract:
This paper quantitatively evaluates the hypothesis that deflation can account for much of the Great Depression (1929–33). We examine two popular explanations of the Depression: (1) The “high wage” story, according to which deflation, combined with imperfectly flexible wages, raised real wages and reduced employment and output. (2) The “bank failure” story, according to which deflationary money shocks contributed to bank failures and to a reduction in the efficiency of financial intermediation, which in turn reduced lending and output. We evaluate these stories using general equilibrium business cycle models, and find that wage shocks and banking shocks account for a small fraction of the Great Depression. We also find that some other predictions of the theories are at variance with the data.
Creator: Chin, Daniel M., Geweke, John, and Miller, Preston J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 267 Abstract:
This paper presents a new method for predicting turning points. The paper formally defines a turning point; develops a probit model for estimating the probability of a turning point; and then examines both the in-sample and out-of-sample forecasting performance of the model. The model performs better than some other methods for predicting turning points.
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 472 Abstract:
A problem that faces many countries including the United States is how to finance retirement consumption as the population ages. Proposals for switching to a saving-for-retirement system that do not rely on high payroll taxes have been challenged on the grounds that welfare would fall for some groups such as retirees or the working poor. We show how to devise a transition path from the current U.S. system to a saving-for-retirement system that increases the welfare of all current and future generations, with estimates of future gains higher than those found in typically used macroeconomic models. The gains are large because there is more productive capital than commonly assumed. Our quantitative results depend importantly on accounting for differences between actual government tax revenues and what revenues would be if all income were taxed at the income-weighted average marginal tax rates used in our analysis.
Keyword: Medicare, Social Security, Retirement, and Taxation Subject (JEL): I13 - Health Insurance, Public and Private, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and H55 - Social Security and Public Pensions
Creator: Cole, Harold Linh, 1957- and Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 295 Abstract:
Between 1913 and 1929, real GDP per person in the UK fell 1 percent, while this same measure of economic activity rose about 25 percent in the rest of the world. Why was Britain so depressed in a decade of strong economic activity around the world? This paper argues that the standard explanations of contractionary monetary shocks and an overvalued nominal exchange rate are not the prime suspects for killing the British economy. Rather, we argue that large, negative sectoral shocks, coupled with generous unemployment benefits and housing subsidies, are the primary causes of this long and deep depression.
Keyword: Sectoral shocks, Workweek restriction, and Unemployment benefits Subject (JEL): E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data) and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Atkeson, Andrew and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 297 Abstract:
Monetary policy instruments differ in tightness—how closely they are linked to inflation—and transparency—how easily they can be monitored. Tightness is always desirable in a monetary policy instrument; when is transparency? When a government cannot commit to follow a given policy. We apply this argument to a classic question: Is the exchange rate or the money growth rate the better monetary policy instrument? We show that if the instruments are equally tight and a government cannot commit to a policy, then the exchange rate’s greater transparency gives it an advantage as a monetary policy instrument.
Keyword: Nominal Anchor, Monetary Instrument, Exchange Rate Regime, Time Consistency, and Fixed Exchange Rates Subject (JEL): F33 - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions, E50 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: General, E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination, F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, and E52 - Monetary Policy