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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.
Mot-clé: Rigid prices, Rational inattention, and Inflation dynamics Assujettir: E50 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: General and E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Green, Edward J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 509 Abstract:
Thinking regarding the privatization of state industries and enterprises in the former Comecon countries has tended to focus on the efficiency gains that would occur in the privatized sector. Based on the comparatively good performance and the rather rigid configuration of Comecon production institutions, the scope for such productivity gains seems small. Rather, productivity and innovation in the post-Comecon economies are likely to depend greatly on the emergence of new, initially small, entrepreneurial firms. The extent and form of privatization may affect these firms' prospects for success. How the privatized-firm and entrepreneurial sector will interact depends on public-finance considerations as well as on considerations of industrial organization.
Mot-clé: Soviet bloc, Entrepreneurship, State enterprise, Comecon, Eastern bloc, Privatization, Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, Private enterprise, and Growth Assujettir: G38 - Corporate Finance and Governance: Government Policy and Regulation, L16 - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics: Industrial Structure and Structural Change; Industrial Price Indices, and L33 - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprises and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
Creator: Mulligan, Casey B. Series: Great depressions of the twentieth century Abstract:
I prove some theorems for competitive equilibria in the presence of distortionary taxes and other restraints of trade, and use those theorems to motivate an algorithm for (exactly) computing and empirically evaluating competitive equilibria in dynamic economies. Although its economics is relatively sophisticated, the algorithm is so computationally economical that it can be implemented with a few lines in a spreadsheet. Although a competitive equilibrium models interactions between all sectors, all consumer types, and all time periods, I show how my algorithm permits separate empirical evaluation of these pieces of the model and hence is practical even when very little data is available. For similar reasons, these evaluations are not particularly sensitive to how data is partitioned into "trends" and "cycles." I then compute a real business cycle model with distortionary taxes that fits aggregate U.S. time series for the period 1929-50 and conclude that, if it is to explain aggregate behavior during the period, government policy must have heavily taxed labor income during the Great Depression and lightly taxed it during the war. In other words, the challenge for the competitive equilibrium approach is not so much why output might change over time, but why the marginal product of labor and the marginal value of leisure diverged so much and why that wedge persisted so long. In this sense, explaining aggregate behavior during the period has been reduced to a public finance question - were actual government policies distorting behavior in the same direction and magnitude as government policies in the model?
Mot-clé: Depressions, Taxes, World War 2, and Competitive equilibrium models Assujettir: H30 - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents: General, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, and C68 - Computable General Equilibrium Models
Creator: Perri, Fabrizio and Quadrini, Vincenzo Series: Great depressions of the twentieth century Abstract:
We analyze the Italian economy in the interwar years. In Italy, as in many other countries, the years immmediately after 1929 were characterized by a major slowdown in economic activity as non farm output declined almost 12. We argue that the slowdown cannot be explained solely by productivity shocks and that other factors must have contributed to the depth and duration of the the 1929 crisis. We present a model in which trade restrictions together with wage rigidities produce a slowdown in economic activity that is consistent with the one observed in the data. The model is also consistent with evidence from sectorial disaggregated data. Our model predicts that trade restrictions can account for about 3/4 of the observed slowdown while wage rigidity (monetary shocks) can account for the remaining fourth.
Mot-clé: Wage rigidity, Italy, Depressions, and Trade restrictions Assujettir: N14 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: Europe: 1913- and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Townsend, Robert M., 1948- Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 077 Abstract:
This thesis consists of a series of essays on the theory of exchange under uncertainty. The first essay examines the welfare implications of futures markets in the context of complete markets for contingent claims. It is shown that in a C-good, S-state world the equilibrium allocations resulting from the operation of pre-state noncontingent futures markets and post-state spot markets may be Pareto optimal. This proposition turns on the fact that a futures contract can be interpreted as a security whose state-specific return is the post-state spot price. If the matrix of spot prices has rank S, then, with futures and spot markets, agents can achieve the same allocations over states as with complete markets for contingent claims.
Mot-clé: Uncertainty and Markets Assujettir: D80 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty: General, Y40 - Dissertations (unclassified), and G10 - General Financial Markets: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Nevin, Edward Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 009 La description:
The 1972 version of WP9 was published as part of the Ninth District Economic Series.
Mot-clé: Policy making, Banking, and Regionalism Assujettir: G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages and R58 - Regional Development Planning and Policy