Creator: Kleiner, Morris and Soltas, Evan J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 590 Abstract:
We assess the welfare consequences of occupational licensing for workers and consumers. We estimate a model of labor market equilibrium in which licensing restricts labor supply but also affects labor demand via worker quality and selection. On the margin of occupations licensed differently between U.S. states, we find that licensing raises wages and hours but reduces employment. We estimate an average welfare loss of 12 percent of occupational surplus. Workers and consumers respectively bear 70 and 30 percent of the incidence. Higher willingness to pay offsets 80 percent of higher prices for consumers, and higher wages compensate workers for 60 percent of the cost of mandated investment in occupation-specific human capital.
Keyword: Labor supply, Welfare analysis, Human capital, and Occupational licensing Subject (JEL): J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, D61 - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis, K31 - Labor Law, J44 - Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing, and J38 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs: Public Policy
Creator: Chen, Daphne, Guvenen, Fatih, Kambourov, Gueorgui, Kuruscu, Burhanettin, and Ocampo, Sergio Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 764 Abstract:
How does wealth taxation differ from capital income taxation? When the return on investment is equal across individuals, a well-known result is that the two tax systems are equivalent. Motivated by recent empirical evidence documenting persistent heterogeneity in rates of return across individuals, we revisit this question. With such heterogeneity, the two tax systems have opposite implications for both efficiency and inequality. Under capital income taxation, entrepreneurs who are more productive, and therefore generate more income, pay higher taxes. Under wealth taxation, entrepreneurs who have similar wealth levels pay similar taxes regardless of their productivity, which expands the tax base, shifts the tax burden toward unproductive entrepreneurs, and raises the savings rate of productive ones. This reallocation increases aggregate productivity and output. In the simulated model parameterized to match the US data, replacing the capital income tax with a wealth tax in a revenue-neutral fashion delivers a significantly higher average lifetime utility to a newborn (about 7.5% in consumption-equivalent terms). Turning to optimal taxation, the optimal wealth tax (OWT) in a stationary equilibrium is positive and yields even larger welfare gains. In contrast, the optimal capital income tax (OCIT) is negative—a subsidy—and large, and it delivers lower welfare gains than the wealth tax. Furthermore, the subsidy policy increases consumption inequality, whereas the wealth tax reduces it slightly. We also consider an extension that models the transition path and find that individuals who are alive at the time of the policy change, on average, would incur large welfare losses if the new policy is OCIT but would experience large welfare gains if the new policy is an OWT. We conclude that wealth taxation has the potential to raise productivity while simultaneously reducing consumption inequality.
Keyword: Capital income tax, Wealth taxation, Wealth inequality, Power law models, and Rate of return heterogeneity Subject (JEL): E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, H21 - Taxation and Subsidies: Efficiency; Optimal Taxation, E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity, and E62 - Fiscal Policy
Creator: Macera, Manuel, Marcet, Albert, and Nicolini, Juan Pablo Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 760 Abstract:
Following the sovereign debt crisis of 2012, some southern European countries have debated proposals to leave the Euro. We evaluate this policy change in a standard monetary model with seigniorage financing of the deficit. The main novel feature is that we depart from rational expectations while maintaining full rationality of agents in a sense made very precise. Our first contribution is to show that small departures from rational expectations imply that inflation upon exit can be orders of magnitude higher than under rational expectations. Our second contribution is to provide a framework for policy analysis in models without rational expectations.
Keyword: Internal rationality, Inflation, and Seigniorage Subject (JEL): E52 - Monetary Policy, E63 - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy, and E41 - Demand for Money
Creator: Arellano, Cristina, Bai, Yan, Bocola, Luigi, and test Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 547 Abstract:
This paper measures the output costs of sovereign risk by combining a sovereign debt model with firm- and bank-level data. In our framework, an increase in sovereign risk lowers the price of government debt and has an adverse impact on banks’ balance sheets, disrupting their ability to finance firms. Importantly, firms are not equally affected by these developments: those that have greater financing needs and borrow from banks that are more exposed to government debt cut their production the most in a debt crisis. We measure the extent of this heterogeneity using Italian data and parameterize the model to match these cross-sectional facts. In counterfactual analysis, we find that heightened sovereign risk was responsible for one-third of the observed output decline during the 2011-2012 crisis in Italy.
Keyword: Micro data, Firm heterogeneity, Business cycles, Financial intermediation, and Sovereign debt crises Subject (JEL): E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems, G15 - International Financial Markets, and G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
Creator: Chodorow-Reich, Gabriel, Karabarbounis, Loukas, and Kekre, Rohan Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 758 Abstract:
The Greek economy experienced a boom until 2007, followed by a prolonged depression resulting in a 25 percent shortfall of GDP by 2016. Informed by a detailed analysis of macroeconomic patterns in Greece, we estimate a rich dynamic general equilibrium model to assess quantitatively the sources of the boom and bust. Lower external demand for traded goods and contractionary fiscal policies account for the largest fraction of the Greek depression. A decline in total factor productivity, due primarily to lower factor utilization, substantially amplifies the depression. Given the significant adjustment of prices and wages observed throughout the cycle, a nominal devaluation would only have short-lived stabilizing effects. By contrast, shifting the burden of adjustment away from taxes toward spending or away from capital taxes toward other taxes would generate longer-term production and consumption gains. Eliminating the rise in transfers to households during the boom would significantly reduce the burden of tax adjustment in the bust and the magnitude of the depression.
Keyword: Greek depression, Taxes, Fiscal policy, Nominal rigidity, and Productivity Subject (JEL): E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E62 - Fiscal Policy, F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, and E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Ayres, João, Hevia, Constantino, and Nicolini, Juan Pablo Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 584 Abstract:
In this paper, we show that there is substantial comovement between prices of primary commodities such as oil, aluminum, maize, or copper and real exchange rates between developed economies such as Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom against the US dollar. We therefore explicitly consider the production of commodities in a two-country model of trade with productivity shocks and shocks to the supplies of commodities. We calibrate the model so as to reproduce the volatility and persistence of primary commodity prices and show that it delivers equilibrium real exchange rates that are as volatile and persistent as in the data. The model rationalizes an empirical strategy to identify the fraction of the variance of real exchange rates that can be accounted for by the underlying shocks, even if those are not observable. We use this strategy to argue that shocks that move primary commodity prices account for a large fraction of the volatility of real exchange rates in the data. 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: Real exchange rate disconnect puzzle and Primary commodity prices Subject (JEL): F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics and F31 - Foreign Exchange
Creator: Engbom, Niklas Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 756 Abstract:
I develop an idea flows theory of firm and worker dynamics in order to assess the consequences of population aging. Older people are less likely to attempt entrepreneurship and switch employers because they have found better jobs. Consequently, aging reduces entry and worker mobility through a composition effect. In equilibrium, the lower entry rate implies fewer new, better job opportunities for workers, while the better matched labor market dissuades job creation and entry. Aging accounts for a large share of substantial declines in firm and worker dynamics since the 1980s, primarily due to equilibrium forces. Cross-state evidence supports these predictions.
Keyword: Demographics, Entrpreneurial choice, Labor turnover, Economic growth, and Employment Subject (JEL): J11 - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, and O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan, Storesletten, Kjetil, and Violante, Giovanni L. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 551 Abstract:
This paper studies optimal taxation of earnings when the degree of tax progressivity is allowed to vary with age. The setting is an overlapping-generations model that incorporates irreversible skill investment, flexible labor supply, ex-ante heterogeneity in the disutility of work and the cost of skill acquisition, partially insurable wage risk, and a life cycle productivity profile. An analytically tractable version of the model without intertemporal trade is used to characterize and quantify the salient trade-offs in tax design. The key results are that progressivity should be U-shaped in age and that the average marginal tax rate should be increasing and concave in age. These findings are confirmed in a version of the model with borrowing and saving that we solve numerically.
Keyword: Skill investment, Labor supply, Tax progressivity, Incomplete markets, Income distribution, and Life cycle Subject (JEL): J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply, H20 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General, D30 - Distribution: General, E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data), and H40 - Publicly Provided Goods: General
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953-, Machicado, Carlos Gustavo, and Peres Cajías, José Alejandro, 1982- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 579 Abstract:
After the economic reforms that followed the National Revolution of the 1950s, Bolivia seemed positioned for sustained growth. Indeed, it achieved unprecedented growth from 1960 to 1977. Mistakes in economic policies, especially the rapid accumulation of debt due to persistent deficits and a fixed exchange rate policy during the 1970s, led to a debt crisis that began in 1977. From 1977 to 1986, Bolivia lost almost all the gains in GDP per capita that it had achieved since 1960. In 1986, Bolivia started to grow again, interrupted only by the financial crisis of 1998–2002, which was the result of a drop in the availability of external financing. Bolivia has grown since 2002, but government policies since 2006 are reminiscent of the policies of the 1970s that led to the debt crisis, in particular, the accumulation of external debt and the drop in international reserves due to a de facto fixed exchange rate since 2012.
Keyword: Hyperinflation, Bolivia, Fiscal policy, Monetary policy, and Public enterprises Subject (JEL): N16 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: Latin America; Caribbean, E52 - Monetary Policy, E63 - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy, and H63 - National Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
Creator: Asturias, Jose, Hur, Sewon, Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953-, and Ruhl, Kim J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 544 Abstract:
Applying the Foster, Haltiwanger, and Krizan (FHK) (2001) decomposition to plant-level manufacturing data from Chile and Korea, we find that the entry and exit of plants account for a larger fraction of aggregate productivity growth during periods of fast GDP growth. Studies of other countries confirm this empirical relationship. To analyze this relationship, we develop a simple model of firm entry and exit based on Hopenhayn (1992) in which there are analytical expressions for the FHK decomposition. When we introduce reforms that reduce entry costs or reduce barriers to technology adoption into a calibrated model, we find that the entry and exit terms in the FHK decomposition become more important as GDP grows rapidly, just as they do in the data from Chile and Korea.
Keyword: Entry, Exit, Productivity, Barriers to technology adoption, and Entry costs Subject (JEL): O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence, O10 - Economic Development: General, O38 - Technological Change: Government Policy, and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: Alvarez, Fernando, 1964- and Atkeson, Andrew Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 577 Abstract:
We develop a new general equilibrium model of asset pricing and asset trading volume in which agents’ motivations to trade arise due to uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks to agents’ risk tolerance. In response to these shocks, agents trade to rebalance their portfolios between risky and riskless assets. We study a positive question — When does trade volume become a pricing factor? — and a normative question — What is the impact of Tobin taxes on asset trading on welfare? In our model, economies in which marketwide risk tolerance is negatively correlated with trade volume have a higher risk premium for aggregate risk. Likewise, for a given economy, we ﬁnd that assets whose cash ﬂows are concentrated on states with high trading volume have higher prices and lower risk premia. We then show that Tobin taxes on asset trade have a ﬁrst-order negative impact on ex-ante welfare, i.e., a small subsidy to trade leads to an improvement in ex-ante welfare. Finally, we develop an alternative version of our model in which asset trade arises from uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks to agents’ hedging needs rather than shocks to their risk tolerance. We show that our positive results regarding the relationship between trade volume and asset prices carry through. In contrast, the normative implications of this speciﬁcation of our model for Tobin taxes or subsidies depend on the speciﬁcation of agents’ preferences and non-traded endowments.
Keyword: Liquidity, Tobin taxes, Asset pricing, and Trade volume Subject (JEL): G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
Creator: Ayres, João, Garcia, Márcio Gomes Pinto, Guillen, Diogo, and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 575 Abstract:
Brazil has had a long period of high inflation. It peaked around 100 percent per year in 1964, decreased until the first oil shock (1973), but accelerated again afterward, reaching levels above 100 percent on average between 1980 and 1994. This last period coincided with severe balance of payments problems and economic stagnation that followed the external debt crisis in the early 1980s. We show that the high-inflation period (1960-1994) was characterized by a combination of fiscal deficits, passive monetary policy, and constraints on debt financing. The transition to the low-inflation period (1995-2016) was characterized by improvements in all of these features, but it did not lead to significant improvements in economic growth. In addition, we document a strong positive correlation between inflation rates and seigniorage revenues, although inflation rates are relatively high for modest levels of seigniorage revenues. Finally, we discuss the role of the weak institutional framework surrounding the fiscal and monetary authorities and the role of monetary passiveness and inflation indexation in accounting for the unique features of inflation dynamics in Brazil.
Keyword: Brazil's stagnation, Brazil's hyperinflation, Fiscal deficit, Stabilization plans, and Debt accounting Subject (JEL): E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System; Payment Systems, H62 - National Deficit; Surplus, E63 - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy, and H63 - National Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
Creator: Arellano, Cristina, Bai, Yan, and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 466 Abstract:
The U.S. Great Recession featured a large decline in output and labor, tighter financial conditions, and a large increase in firm growth dispersion. We build a model in which increased volatility at the firm level generates a downturn and worsened credit conditions. The key idea is that hiring inputs is risky because financial frictions limit firms' ability to insure against shocks. An increase in volatility induces firms to reduce their inputs to reduce such risk. Out model can generate most of the decline in output and labor in the Great Recession and the observed increase in firms' interest rate spreads.
Keyword: Credit crunch, Credit constraints, Uncertainty shocks, Firm heterogeneity, Firm credit spreads, Labor wedge, and Great Recession Subject (JEL): E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, D53 - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium: Financial Markets, and D52 - Incomplete Markets
Creator: Fogli, Alessandra and Veldkamp, Laura Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 572 Abstract:
Does the pattern of social connections between individuals matter for macroeconomic outcomes? If so, where do these differences come from and how large are their effects? Using network analysis tools, we explore how different social network structures affect technology diffusion and thereby a country's rate of growth. The correlation between high-diffusion networks and income is strongly positive. But when we use a model to isolate the effect of a change in social networks, the effect can be positive, negative, or zero. The reason is that networks diffuse ideas and disease. Low-diffusion networks have evolved in countries where disease is prevalent because limited connectivity protects residents from epidemics. But a low-diffusion network in a low-disease environment needlessly compromises the diffusion of good ideas. In general, social networks have evolved to fit their economic and epidemiological environment. Trying to change networks in one country to mimic those in a higher-income country may well be counterproductive.
Keyword: Social networks, Economic networks, Disease , Development, Growth, Technology diffusion, and Pathogens Subject (JEL): I10 - Health: General, O10 - Economic Development: General, E02 - Institutions and the Macroeconomy, and O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
Creator: Lagos, Ricardo and Zhang, Shengxing Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 734 Abstract:
We provide empirical evidence of a novel liquidity-based transmission mechanism through which monetary policy influences asset markets, develop a model of this mechanism, and assess the ability of the quantitative theory to match the evidence.
Keyword: Liquidity, Monetary transmission, Monetary policy, and Asset prices Subject (JEL): G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates, D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness, and E52 - Monetary Policy
Creator: Bengui, Julien and Bianchi, Javier Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 754 Abstract:
The outreach of macroprudential policies is likely limited in practice by imperfect regulation enforcement, whether due to shadow banking, regulatory arbitrage, or other regulation circumvention schemes. We study how such concerns affect the design of optimal regulatory policy in a workhorse model in which pecuniary externalities call for macroprudential taxes on debt, but with the addition of a novel constraint that financial regulators lack the ability to enforce taxes on a subset of agents. While regulated agents reduce risk taking in response to debt taxes, unregulated agents react to the safer environment by taking on more risk. These leakages undermine the effectiveness of macroprudential taxes but do not necessarily call for weaker interventions. A quantitative analysis of the model suggests that aggregate welfare gains and reductions in the severity and frequency of financial crises remain, on average, largely unaffected by even significant leakages.
Keyword: Regulatory arbitrage, Macroprudential policy, Financial crises, and Limited regulation enforcement Subject (JEL): F32 - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements, E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, and D62 - Externalities
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: Return to capital, Missing capital, Profits, and Factor shares Subject (JEL): E01 - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts, E25 - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution, E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity, and E23 - Macroeconomics: Production
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J., Midrigan, Virgiliu, and Pastorino, Elena Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 566 Abstract:
Modern business cycle theory focuses on the study of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models that generate aggregate fluctuations similar to those experienced by actual economies. We discuss how this theory has evolved from its roots in the early real business cycle models of the late 1970s through the turmoil of the Great Recession four decades later. We document the strikingly different pattern of comovements of macro aggregates during the Great Recession compared to other postwar recessions, especially the 1982 recession. We then show how two versions of the latest generation of real business cycle models can account, respectively, for the aggregate and the cross-regional fluctuations observed in the Great Recession in the United States.
Keyword: New Keynesian models, Financial frictions, and External validation Subject (JEL): E52 - Monetary Policy, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Creator: Prescott, Edward C. and Wessel, Ryan Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 562 Abstract:
Businesses hold large quantities of cash reserves, which have average returns well below their investments in tangible capital. Businesses do this because these monetary assets provide services. One implication is that money services is a factor of production in capital theoretic valuation equilibrium models. Our aggregate production function is consistent with both the classical demand for money function relationship and with extended periods of near zero short-term nominal interest rates. In our model economy, there is a 100 percent reserve requirement on all demand deposits. Demand deposits are legal tender. We find (i) money services in the production function necessitates revisions in the national accounts; (ii) monetary and fiscal policy cannot be completely separated; (iii) for a given policy, equilibrium is either unique or does not exist; and (iv) Friedman’s monetary satiation is not optimal. We make quantitative comparisons between interest rate targeting regimes and between inflation rate targeting regimes. The best inflation rate target was 2 percent.
Keyword: Money in production function, Friedman monetary satiation, Interest rate targeting, Zero lower bound, Inflation rate targeting, and 100 percent reserve banking Subject (JEL): E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics: General, E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General, E50 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: General, and E40 - Money and Interest Rates: General
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
Creator: Conesa, Juan Carlos, Costa, Daniela, Kamali, Parisa , Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953-, Nygaard, Vegard M., Raveendranathan, Gajendran, and Saxena, Akshar Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 548 Abstract:
This paper develops an overlapping generations model to study the macroeconomic effects of an unexpected elimination of Medicare. We ﬁnd that a large share of the elderly respond by substituting Medicaid for Medicare. Consequently, the government saves only 46 cents for every dollar cut in Medicare spending. We argue that a comparison of steady states is insufficient to evaluate the welfare effects of the reform. In particular, we ﬁnd lower ex-ante welfare gains from eliminating Medicare when we account for the costs of transition. Lastly, we ﬁnd that a majority of the current population benefits from the reform but that aggregate welfare, measured as the dollar value of the sum of wealth equivalent variations, is higher with Medicare.
Keyword: Steady state, Medicare, Transition path, Medicaid, and Overlapping generations Subject (JEL): I13 - Health Insurance, Public and Private, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, E62 - Fiscal Policy, and H51 - National Government Expenditures and Health
Creator: Chen, Peter, Karabarbounis, Loukas, and Neiman, Brent Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 736 Abstract:
The sectoral composition of global saving changed dramatically during the last three decades. Whereas in the early 1980s most of global investment was funded by household saving, nowadays nearly two-thirds of global investment is funded by corporate saving. This shift in the sectoral composition of saving was not accompanied by changes in the sectoral composition of investment, implying an improvement in the corporate net lending position. We characterize the behavior of corporate saving using both national income accounts and firm-level data and clarify its relationship with the global decline in labor share, the accumulation of corporate cash stocks, and the greater propensity for equity buybacks. We develop a general equilibrium model with product and capital market imperfections to explore quantitatively the determination of the flow of funds across sectors. Changes including declines in the real interest rate, the price of investment, and corporate income taxes generate increases in corporate profits and shifts in the supply of sectoral saving that are of similar magnitude to those observed in the data.
Keyword: Cost of capital, Profits, Corporate saving, and Labor share Subject (JEL): G32 - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill, G35 - Payout Policy, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, and E25 - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
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: Misallocation, Productivity, Dispersion, Europe, and Capital flows Subject (JEL): F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, D24 - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity, O16 - Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance, O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence, and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J. and Pastorino, Elena Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 543 Abstract:
Before the advent of sophisticated international financial markets, a widely accepted belief was that within a monetary union, a union-wide authority orchestrating fiscal transfers between countries is necessary to provide adequate insurance against country-specific economic fluctuations. A natural question is then: Do sophisticated international financial markets obviate the need for such an active union-wide authority? We argue that they do. Specifically, we show that in a benchmark economy with no international financial markets, an activist union-wide authority is necessary to achieve desirable outcomes. With sophisticated financial markets, however, such an authority is unnecessary if its only goal is to provide cross-country insurance. Since restricting the set of policy instruments available to member countries does not create a fiscal externality across them, this result holds in a wide variety of settings. Finally, we establish that an activist union-wide authority concerned just with providing insurance across member countries is optimal only when individual countries are either unable or unwilling to pursue desirable policies
Keyword: International transfers, International financial markets, Cross-country externalities, Cross-country insurance, Optimal currency area, Fiscal externalities, and Cross-country transfers Subject (JEL): G28 - Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation, G33 - Bankruptcy; Liquidation, E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General, E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination, F33 - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions, G15 - International Financial Markets, F42 - International Policy Coordination and Transmission, F38 - International Financial Policy: Financial Transactions Tax; Capital Controls, and F35 - Foreign Aid
Creator: Benati, Luca, Lucas, Jr., Robert E., Nicolini, Juan Pablo, and Weber, Warren E. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 737 Abstract:
We explore the long-run demand for M1 based on a data set that has comprised 32 countries since 1851. In many cases, cointegration tests identify a long-run equilibrium relationship between either velocity and the short rate or M1, GDP, and the short rate. Evidence is especially strong for the United States and the United Kingdom over the entire period since World War I and for moderate and high-inflation countries. With the exception of high-inflation countries–for which a “log-log” specification is preferred–the data often prefer the specification in the levels of velocity and the short rate originally estimated by Selden (1956) and Latané (1960). This is especially clear for the United States and other low-inflation countries.
Keyword: Long-run money demand and Cointegration Subject (JEL): C32 - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models: Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models and E41 - Demand for Money
Creator: Fitzgerald, Doireann, Haller, Stefanie, and Yedid-Levi, Yaniv Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 524 Abstract:
We document how export quantities and prices evolve after entry to a market. Controlling for marginal cost, and taking account of selection on idiosyncratic demand, there are economically and statistically significant dynamics of quantities, but no dynamics of prices. To match these facts, we estimate a model where firms invest in customer base through non-price actions (e.g. marketing and advertising), and learn gradually about their idiosyncratic demand. The model matches quantity, price and exit moments. Parameter estimates imply costs of adjusting investment in customer base, and slow learning about demand, both of which generate sluggish responses of sales to shocks.
Keyword: Exporter dynamics, Firm dynamics, and Customer base Subject (JEL): E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data), F10 - Trade: General, and L10 - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance: General
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan, Storesletten, Kjetil, and Violante, Giovanni L. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 496 Abstract:
What shapes the optimal degree of progressivity of the tax and transfer system? On the one hand, a progressive tax system can counteract inequality in initial conditions and substitute for imperfect private insurance against idiosyncratic earnings risk. On the other hand, progressivity reduces incentives to work and to invest in skills, distortions that are especially costly when the government must finance public goods. We develop a tractable equilibrium model that features all of these trade-offs. The analytical expressions we derive for social welfare deliver a transparent understanding of how preference, technology, and market structure parameters influence the optimal degree of progressivity. A calibration for the U.S. economy indicates that endogenous skill investment, flexible labor supply, and the desire to finance government purchases play quantitatively similar roles in limiting optimal progressivity. In a version of the model where poverty constrains skill investment, optimal progressivity is close to the U.S. value. An empirical analysis on cross-country data offers support to the theory.
Keyword: Skill investment, Cross-country evidence, Partial insurance, Labor supply, Tax progressivity, Income distribution, Welfare, and Government expenditures Subject (JEL): E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data), H40 - Publicly Provided Goods: General, H20 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General, D30 - Distribution: General, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, and J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
Creator: Bianchi, Javier, Hatchondo, Juan Carlos, and Martinez, Leonardo Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 735 Abstract:
We study the optimal accumulation of international reserves in a quantitative model of sovereign default with long-term debt and a risk-free asset. Keeping higher levels of reserves provides a hedge against rollover risk, but this is costly because using reserves to pay down debt allows the government to reduce sovereign spreads. Our model, parameterized to mimic salient features of a typical emerging economy, can account for a significant fraction of the holdings of international reserves, and the larger accumulation of both debt and reserves in periods of low spreads and high income. We also show that income windfalls, improved policy frameworks, larger contingent liabilities, and an increase in the importance of rollover risk imply increases in the optimal holdings of reserves that are consistent with the upward trend in reserves in emerging economies. It is essential for our results that debt maturity exceeds one period.
Keyword: Safe assets, Rollover risk, Sovereign default, and International reserves Subject (JEL): F32 - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements, F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, and F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J., Midrigan, Virgiliu, and Pastorino, Elena Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 536 Abstract:
During the Great Recession, regions of the United States that experienced the largest declines in household debt also experienced the largest drops in consumption, employment, and wages. Employment declines were larger in the nontradable sector and for firms that were facing the worst credit conditions. Motivated by these findings, we develop a search and matching model with credit frictions that affect both consumers and firms. In the model, tighter debt constraints raise the cost of investing in new job vacancies and thus reduce worker job finding rates and employment. Two key features of our model, on-the-job human capital accumulation and consumer-side credit frictions, are critical to generating sizable drops in employment. On-the-job human capital accumulation makes the flows of benefits from posting vacancies long-lived and so greatly amplifies the sensitivity of such investments to credit frictions. Consumer-side credit frictions further magnify these effects by leading wages to fall only modestly. We show that the model reproduces well the salient cross-regional features of the U.S. data during the Great Recession.
Keyword: Search and matching, Human capital, Employment, and Debt constraints Subject (JEL): E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, J21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure, and J64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
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, G33 - Bankruptcy; Liquidation, E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General, and E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Creator: Bengui, Julien, Bianchi, Javier, and Coulibaly, Louphou Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 535 Abstract:
In this paper, we study the optimal design of financial safety nets under limited private credit. We ask when it is optimal to restrict ex ante the set of investors that can receive public liquidity support ex post. When the government can commit, the optimal safety net covers all investors. Introducing a wedge between identical investors is inefficient. Without commitment, an optimally designed financial safety net covers only a subset of investors. Compared to an economy where all investors are protected, this results in more liquid portfolios, better social insurance, and higher ex ante welfare. Our result can rationalize the prevalent limited coverage of safety nets, such as the lender of last resort facilities.
Keyword: Public liquidity provision, Bailouts, Time inconsistency, and Safety nets Subject (JEL): G28 - Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation, E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies, and E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Creator: Krueger, Dirk, Mitman, Kurt, and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 529 Abstract:
The goal of this chapter is to study how, and by how much, household income, wealth, and preference heterogeneity amplify and propagate a macroeconomic shock. We focus on the U.S. Great Recession of 2007-2009 and proceed in two steps. First, using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we document the patterns of household income, consumption and wealth inequality before and during the Great Recession. We then investigate how households in different segments of the wealth distribution were affected by income declines, and how they changed their expenditures differentially during the aggregate downturn. Motivated by this evidence, we study several variants of a standard heterogeneous household model with aggregate shocks and an endogenous cross-sectional wealth distribution. Our key finding is that wealth inequality can significantly amplify the impact of an aggregate shock, and it does so if the distribution features a sufficiently large fraction of households with very little net worth that sharply increase their saving (i.e. they are not hand-to mouth) as the recession hits. We document that both these features are observed in the PSID. We also investigate the role that social insurance policies, such as unemployment insurance, play in shaping the cross-sectional income and wealth distribution, and through it, the dynamics of business cycles.
Keyword: Wealth Inequality, Recessions, and Social Insurance Subject (JEL): E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, and J65 - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
Creator: Amador, Manuel, Bianchi, Javier, Bocola, Luigi, and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 528 Abstract:
In January 2015, in the face of sustained capital inflows, the Swiss National Bank abandoned the floor for the Swiss Franc against the Euro, a decision which led to the appreciation of the Swiss Franc. The objective of this paper is to present a simple framework that helps to better understand the timing of this episode, which we label a “reverse speculative attack". We model a central bank which wishes to maintain a peg, and responds to increases in demand for domestic currency by expanding its balance sheet. In contrast to the classic speculative attacks, which are triggered by the depletion of foreign assets, reverse attacks are triggered by the concern of future balance sheet losses. Our key result is that the interaction between the desire to maintain the peg and the concern about future losses, can lead the central bank to first accumulate a large amount of reserves, and then to abandon the peg, just as we have observed in the Swiss case.
Keyword: Fixed exchange rates, Currency crises, and Balance sheet concerns Subject (JEL): F32 - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements and F31 - Foreign Exchange
Creator: Prescott, Edward C. and Wessel, Ryan Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 530 Abstract:
We explore monetary policy in a world without currency. In our world, money is a form of government debt that bears interest, which can be negative as well as positive. Services of money are a factor of production. We show that the national accounts must be revised in this world. Using our baseline economy, we determine the balanced growth paths for a set of money interest rate target policy regimes. Besides this interest rate, the only policy variable that differs across regimes is either the labor income tax rate or the inflation rate. We find that Friedman monetary satiation without deflation is possible. We also examine a set of inflation rate targeting regimes. Here, the only other policy variable that differs across policy regimes is the tax rate. There is a sequence of markets with outcome in each market being a Debreu valuation equilibrium, which determines the vector of assets and liabilities households take into the subsequent period. Evaluating a policy regime is an advanced exercise in public finance. Monetary satiation is not optimal even though money is costless to produce. A preliminary version of this paper circulated under the title “Monetary Policy with 100 Percent Reserve Banking: An Exploration.”
Keyword: Inflation rate targeting, 100 percent reserve banking, Interest rate targeting, Money in production function, and Friedman monetary satiation Subject (JEL): E40 - Money and Interest Rates: General, E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General, E50 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: General, and E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics: General
Creator: Huo, Zhen and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 526 Abstract:
We study financial shocks to households’ ability to borrow in an economy that quantitatively replicates U.S. earnings, financial, and housing wealth distributions and the main macro aggregates. Such shocks generate large recessions via the negative wealth effect associated with the large drop in house prices triggered by the reduced access to credit of a large number of households. The model incorporates additional margins that are crucial for a large recession to occur: that it is difficult to reallocate production from consumption to investment or net exports, and that the reductions in consumption contribute to reductions in measured TFP.
Keyword: Balance sheet recession, Labor market frictions, Asset price, and Goods market frictions Subject (JEL): E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data), E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Bianchi, Javier Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 730 Abstract:
We develop a quantitative equilibrium model of financial crises to assess the interaction between ex-post interventions in credit markets and the buildup of risk ex ante. During a systemic crisis, bailouts relax balance sheet constraints and mitigate the severity of the recession. Ex ante, the anticipation of such bailouts leads to an increase in risk-taking, making the economy more vulnerable to a financial crisis. We find that moral hazard effects are limited if bailouts are systemic and broad-based. If bailouts are idiosyncratic and targeted, however, this makes the economy significantly more exposed to financial crises.
Keyword: Credit crunch, Macroprudential policy, Moral hazard, and Financial shocks Subject (JEL): E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, G18 - General Financial Markets: Government Policy and Regulation, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, and F40 - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance: General
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 523 Abstract:
In a standard two-country international macro model, we ask whether imposing restrictions on international non contingent borrowing and lending is ever desirable. The answer is yes. If one country imposes capital controls unilaterally, it can generate favorable changes in the dynamics of equilibrium interest rates and the terms of trade, and thereby benefit at the expense of its trading partner. If both countries simultaneously impose capital controls, the welfare effects are ambiguous. We identify calibrations in which symmetric capital controls improve terms of trade insurance against country-specific shocks and thereby increase welfare for both countries.
Keyword: Capital controls, Terms of trade, and International risk sharing Subject (JEL): F32 - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements, F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, and F42 - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
Creator: Koijen, Ralph S. J., Nieuwerburgh, Stijn van, and Yogo, Motohiro Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 499 Abstract:
We develop a pair of risk measures, health and mortality delta, for the universe of life and health insurance products. A life-cycle model of insurance choice simplifies to replicating the optimal health and mortality delta through a portfolio of insurance products. We estimate the model to explain the observed variation in health and mortality delta implied by the ownership of life insurance, annuities including private pensions, and long-term care insurance in the Health and Retirement Study. For the median household aged 51 to 57, the lifetime welfare cost of market incompleteness and suboptimal choice is 3.2% of total wealth.
Keyword: Life insurance, Annuities, Portfolio choice, Health insurance, and Life-cycle model Subject (JEL): I13 - Health Insurance, Public and Private, D14 - Household Saving; Personal Finance, G11 - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions, and D91 - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
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: Rational inattention, Inflation dynamics, and Rigid prices Subject (JEL): E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data) and E50 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: General