Creator: Faust, Jon. Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
The Federal Reserve Act erected a unique structure of government decisionmaking, independent with elaborate rules balancing internal power. Historical evidence suggests that this outcome was a response to public conflict over inflation's redistributive powers. This paper documents and formalizes this argument: in the face of conflict over redistributive inflation, policy by majority can lead to policy that is worse, even fo the majority, than obvious alternatives. The bargaining solution of an independent board with properly balanced interests leads to a better outcome. Technically, this paper extends earlier work in making policy preferences endogenous and in extending the notion of equilibirum policy to such a world. Substantively, this work provides a simple grounding of policy preferences-largely missing heretofore-linking game theoretic models of policy to historical evidence about the formation of an independent monetary authority.
Subject (JEL): E58 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Central banks and their policies, N12 - Macroeconomics and monetary economics ; Growth and fluctuations - United States ; Canada : 1913-, and E52 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Monetary policy
Creator: Geweke, John Series: New methods in business cycle research Abstract:
A simple stochastic model of the firm is constructed in which a dynamic monopolist who maximizes a discounted profits stream subject to labor adjustment costs and given factor prices sets output price as a distributed lag of past wages and input prices. If the observed relation of wages and prices in manufacturing arises solely from this behavior then wages and input prices are exogenous with respect to output prices. In tests using quarterly and monthly series for the straight time wage, an index of raw materials prices and the wholesale price index for manufacturing and its durable and nondurable subsectors this hypothesis cannot be refuted for the period 1955:1 to 1971:11. During the period 1926:1 to 1940:11, however, symmetrically opposite behavior is observed manufacturing wholesale prices are exogenous with respect to the wage rate, a relation which can arise if dynamically monopsonistic firms compete in product markets. Neither structural relation has withstood direct wage and price controls.
Keyword: Wholesale, Labor, Wages, Prices, and Manufacturing Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation, and L60 - Industry Studies: Manufacturing: General
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy J. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff Report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Dept.) Number: 418 Abstract:
Three of the arguments made by Temin (2008) in his review of Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century are demonstrably wrong: that the treatment of the data in the volume is cursory; that the definition of great depressions is too general and, in particular, groups slow growth experiences in Latin America in the 1980s with far more severe great depressions in Europe in the 1930s; and that the book is an advertisement for the real business cycle methodology. Without these three arguments — which are the results of obvious conceptual and arithmetical errors, including copying the wrong column of data from a source — his review says little more than that he does not think it appropriate to apply our dynamic general equilibrium methodology to the study of great depressions, and he does not like the conclusion that we draw: that a successful model of a great depression needs to be able to account for the effects of government policy on productivity.
In 2008, Peter Temin wrote a review of the book that appeared in the Journal of Economic Literature. This staff report and accompanying data file are in response to the review.
Citation for review: Temin, Peter. 2008. "Real Business Cycle Views of the Great Depression and Recent Events: A Review of Timothy J. Kehoe and Edward C. Prescott's Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century." Journal of Economic Literature, 46 (3): 669-84. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1257/jel.46.3.669
Creator: Bryant, John B. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 155 Abstract:
A new approach to market behavior is suggested. This approach has a coherent game theoretic foundaton, addresses such anomalous economic behaviors as strikes, rigid wages and unemployment, regulation of financial markets, depresssion, and nonmarket allocation, and, more generally, provides insights for Finance, Oligopoly Theory, Industrial Organization, and Macroeconomics. The central theme of the approach is that exchange technologies are a basic building block in a model, as are tastes, endowments, and production technologies. Moreover, the key feature of an institution of exchange is that it allows the making of a binding final offer.
Keyword: Competitive allocation, Market behavior, and Bargaining problem Subject (JEL): C72 - Noncooperative Games and D51 - Exchange and Production Economies
Creator: Boyd, John H., Daley, Lane A., 1953-, and Runkle, David Edward Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 515 Abstract:
This paper examines the seasonal pattern of accruals for loan-loss provisions and chargeoffs chosen by bank managers. Using the existing literature on intra-year discretionary accruals, knowledge of the incentive systems used to evaluate bank managers' performance, and various regulatory characteristics, we predict that accruals for provisions and chargeoffs will cluster in the fourth quarter of each year. We examine quarterly data for 105 large bank holding companies from the first quarter of 1980 through the fourth quarter of 1990. Our results indicate that: (1) provisions and chargeoffs are clustered in the fourth quarter, (2) this clustering is not related to the level of business activity of the banks, (3) the proximity of a bank's actual capital to its regulatory capital requirement does not affect this clustering, and (4) current provisions are affected both by current chargeoffs and by expectations about future chargeoffs. To examine whether the systematic characteristics of these loan-loss provision and chargeoff decisions are understood by users, we also estimate a quarterly equity valuation model in which quarterly provisions should be differentially weighted to reflect their seasonal characteristics. We find strong evidence to indicate that equity prices behave as if the market participants take these seasonal properties into account.
Keyword: Bank lending, Loan-loss provision, Seasonality, Loans, Loan losses, Charge-off, and Banks Subject (JEL): G14 - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading and G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
Creator: Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 406 Keyword: Inflation, Money, Monetary policy, Prices, Quantity theory of money, and Central banking Subject (JEL): E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation and E52 - Monetary Policy
Creator: Braun, R. Anton Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 506 Abstract:
This paper investigates the macroeconomic effects of cyclical fluctuations in marginal tax rates. It finds that systematically including tax variables in a standard real business cycle model substantially improves the model's ability to reproduce basic facts about postwar U.S. business cycle fluctuations. In particular, modeling fluctuations in personal and corporate income tax rates increases the model's predicted relative variability of hours and decreases its predicted correlation between hours and average productivity. Fluctuations in tax rates produce large substitution effects that alter the leisure/labor supply decision.
Keyword: Corporate tax , Taxes, Business cycle, Tax, Income tax, Tax rates, Real business cycle model, Productivity, and Taxation Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, H25 - Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT), and H24 - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; includes inheritance and gift taxes