This paper summarizes relocation patterns in the U.S. manufacturing industry over the period 1972-1992, using plant- and firm-level data from the U.S. Census of Manufactures. This study contributes to the existing literature on firm dynamics by distinguishing entry due to relocation from entry by new firms, and exit due to relocation from permanent exit. In contrast to previous studies which report that entering plants experience relatively lower productivity, I find that some entering plants—specifically, those that are not new but merely relocated—have higher productivity. I also find a pattern of relocation that suggests that plants tend to be relocated to areas that are becoming new centers for the industry; namely, plants are moved out of areas in which the industry is heavily concentrated to areas where it is not, but these areas also have higher employment growth rates than other areas.
We modify the Diamond-Dybvig model studied in Green and Lin to incorporate a self-interested banker who has a private record-keeping technology. A public record-keeping device does not exist. We find that there is a trade-off between sophisticated contracts that possess relatively good risk-sharing properties but allocate resources inefficiently for incentive reasons, and simple contracts that possess relatively poor risk-sharing properties but economize on the inefficient use of resources. While this trade-off depends on model parameters, we find that simple contracts prevail under a wide range of empirically plausible parameter values. Although moral hazard in banking may simplify the optimal structure of deposit liabilities, this simple structure does not enhance the prospect of bank runs.
From 1883 to 1892, the circulation of national bank notes in the United States fell nearly 50 percent. Previous studies have attributed this to supply-side factors that led to a decline in the profitability of note issue during this period. This paper provides an alternative explanation. The decline in note issue was, in large part, demand-driven. The presence of a competing currency with superior features caused the public to substitute away from national bank notes.
We document increased central bank independence within the set of industrialized nations. This increased independence can account for nearly two thirds of the improved inflation performance of these nations over the last two decades.
How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project
by William T. Dickens, Lorenz Goette, Erica L. Groshen, Steinar Holden, Julian Messina, Mark E. Schweitzer, Jarkko Turunen, and Melanie E. Ward
How do the complex institutions involved in wage setting affect wage changes? The International Wage Flexibility Project provides new microeconomic evidence on how wages change for continuing workers. We analyze individuals’ earnings in 31 different data sets from sixteen countries, from which we obtain a total of 360 wage change distributions. We find a remarkable amount of variation in wage changes across workers. Wage changes have a notably non-normal distribution; they are tightly clustered around the median and also have many extreme values. Furthermore, nearly all countries show asymmetry in their wage distributions below the median. Indeed, we find evidence of both downward nominal and real wage rigidities. We also find that the extent of both these rigidities varies substantially across countries. Our results suggest that variations in the extent of union presence in wage bargaining play a role in explaining differing degrees of rigidities among countries.
Jump Starting GARCH: Pricing and Hedging Options with Jumps in Returns and Volatilities
by Jin-Chuan Duan, Peter Ritchken, and Zhiqiang Sun
This paper considers the pricing of options when there are jumps in the pricing kernel and correlated jumps in asset returns and volatilities. Our model nests Duan’s GARCH option models, where conditional returns are constrained to being normal, as well as mixed jump processes as used in Merton. The diffusion limits of our model have been shown to include jump diffusion models, stochastic volatility models and models with both jumps and diffusive elements in both returns and volatilities. Empirical analysis on the S&P 500 index reveals that the incorporation of jumps in returns and volatilities adds significantly to the description of the time series process and improves option pricing performance. In addition, we provide the first-ever hedging effectiveness tests of GARCH option models.
A vast literature on the effects of sterilized intervention by the monetary authorities in the foreign exchange markets concludes that intervention systematically moves the spot exchange rate only if it is publicly announced, coordinated across countries, and consistent with the underlying stance of fiscal and monetary policy. Over the past fifteen years, researchers have also attempted to determine if intervention has any effects on the dispersion and directionality of market views concerning the future exchange rate. These studies usually focus on the variance around the expected future exchange rate—the second moment. In this paper we demonstrate how to use over-the-counter option prices to recover the risk-neutral probability density function (PDF) for the future exchange rate. Using the yen/dollar exchange rate as an example, we calculate measures of dispersion and directionality, such as variance and skewness, from estimated PDFs to test whether intervention by the Japanese Ministry of Finance had any impact on the higher moments of the exchange rate. We find little or no systematic effect, consistent with the findings of the literature on the spot rate as Japanese intervention during the period 1996-2004 was not publicly announced, rarely coordinated across countries and, in hindsight, probably inconsistent with the underlying stance of monetary policy.
Relationship lending theory suggests that lenders in close proximity to their borrowers might be the most efficient providers of screening and monitoring services, because the cost of collecting information declines with distance. The author presents evidence that ties bank branch presence to borrower performance in the low-income housing market, which provides support for this theory.
Banks specialize in lending to informationally opaque borrowers by collecting soft information about them. Some researchers claim that this process requires a physical presence in the market to lower information collection costs. The author provides evidence in support of this argument in the mortgage market for low-income borrowers. Mortgage originations increase and interest spreads decline when there is a bank branch located in a low-to-moderate income neighborhood.
Green and Lin study a version of the Diamond-Dybvig model with a finite number of agents, independence (independent determination of each agent’s type), and sequential service. For special preferences, they show that the ex ante first-best allocation is the unique equilibrium outcome of the model with private information about types. Via a simple argument, it is shown that uniqueness of the truth-telling equilibrium holds for general preferences, and, in particular, for a constrained-efficient allocation whether first-best or not. The crucial assumption is independence.
In an interesting paper Barsky, House, and Kimball (2005) demonstrate that in a standard sticky price model a monetary contraction will lead to a decline in nondurable goods production but an increase in durable goods production, so that aggregate output is little changed. This lack of co-movement between nondurables and durables is wildly at odds with the data and occurs because, by assumption, durable goods prices are relatively more flexible than nondurable goods prices. We investigate possible solutions to this puzzle: nominal wage stickiness and credit constraints. We demonstrate that by adding adjustment costs as in Topel-Rosen, the sticky wage model solves the co-movement puzzle and delivers reasonable volatilities.
We empirically test whether SBA-guaranteed lending has a greater impact on economic performance in markets with a high percentage of potential minority small businesses. This hypothesis is predicated on priors related to three overlapping assumptions. These three assumptions are: (1) The classic type of credit rationing developed in the seminal paper by Stiglitz and Weiss (1981) is more likely to occur in markets with a higher per capita percentage of minority small businesses because such markets are more likely to have more severe information asymmetry problems, (2) SBA-guaranteed lending is likely to reduce these credit rationing problems—thus improving the level of development of the local financial market, and (3) increased local financial market development helps to lubricate the wheels of economic performance (Rajan and Zingales, 1998). Using local labor market employment rates as our measure of economic performance, we find evidence consistent with this proposition. In particular, we find a positive and significant impact on the average annual level of employment in a local market of SBA-guaranteed lending in that local market. This impact is 200 percent larger in markets with a high percentage of potential minority small businesses. This result has important implications for public policy in general and SBA-guaranteed lending in particular.
Two Flaws in Business Cycle Dating
by Lawrence J. Christiano and Joshua M. Davis
Using “business cycle accounting,” Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan (2006) conclude that models of financial frictions which create a wedge in the intertemporal Euler equation are not promising avenues for modeling business cycle dynamics. There are two reasons that this conclusion is not warranted. First, small changes in the implementation of business cycle accounting overturn Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan’s conclusions. Second, one way that shocks to the intertemporal wedge affect the economy is by their spillover effects onto other wedges. This potentially important mechanism for the transmission of intertemporal-wedge shocks is not identified under business cycle accounting. Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan potentially understate the importance of these shocks by adopting the extreme position that spillover effects are zero.
Using the yield curve helps forecast real growth over the period 1875 to 1997. Using both the level and slope of the curve improves forecasts more than using either variable alone. Forecast performance changes over time and depends somewhat on whether recursive or rolling out of sample regressions are used
This paper develops an adaptive learning formulation of an extension to the Ball, Mankiw, and Reis (2005) sticky information model that incorporates endogenous inattention. We show that, following an exogenous increase in the policymaker’s preferences for price vs. output stability, the learning process can converge to a new equilibrium in which both output and price volatility are lower.
The deterioration in the U.S. balance of payments after 1957 and an accelerating loss of gold reserves prompted U.S. monetary authorities to undertake foreign-exchange-market interventions beginning in 1961. We discuss the events leading up to these interventions, the institutional arrangements developed for that purpose, and the controversies that ensued. Although these interventions forestalled a loss of U.S. gold reserves, in the end, they only delayed more fundamental adjustments and, in that respect, were a failure.
We construct a model in which capital competes with fiat money as a medium of exchange, and establish conditions on fundamentals under which fiat money can be both valued and socially beneficial. When the socially efficient stock of capital is too low to provide the liquidity agents need, they overaccumulate productive assets to use as media of exchange. When this is the case, there exists a monetary equilibrium that dominates the nonmonetary one in terms of welfare. Under the Friedman rule, fiat money provides just enough liquidity so that agents choose to accumulate the same capital stock a social planner would.
We investigate how trading frictions in asset markets affect portfolio choices, asset prices and efficiency. We generalize the search-theoretic model of financial intermediation of Duffie, Gârleanu and Pedersen (2005) to allow for more general preferences and idiosyncratic shock structure, unrestricted portfolio choices, aggregate uncertainty and entry of dealers. With a fixed measure of dealers, we show that a steady-state equilibrium exists and is unique, and provide a condition on preferences under which a reduction in trading frictions leads to an increase in the price of the asset. We also analyze the effects of trading frictions on bid-ask spreads, trade volume and the volatility of asset prices, and find that the asset allocation is constrained-inefficient unless investors have all the bargaining power in bilateral negotiations with dealers. We show that the dealers’ entry decision introduces a feedback that can give rise to multiple equilibria, and that free-entry equilibria are generically inefficient.
Real average U.S. per capita personal income growth over the last 65 years exceeded a remarkable 400 percent. Also notable over this period is that the stark income differences across states have narrowed considerably: In 1939 the highest income state’s per capita personal income was 4.5 times the lowest, but by 1976 this ratio had fallen to less than 2 times. Since 1976, the standard deviation of per capita incomes at the state level has actually risen, as some higher-income states have seen their income levels rise relative to the median of the states. A better understanding of the sources of these relative growth performances should help to characterize more effective economic development strategies, if income growth differences are predictable. In this paper, we look for statistically and economically significant growth factors by estimating an augmented growth model using a panel of the 48 contiguous states from 1939 to 2004. Specifically, we control for factors that previous researchers have argued were important: tax burdens, public infrastructure, size of private financial markets, rates of business failure, industry structure, climate, and knowledge stocks. Our results, which are robust to a wide variety of perturbations to the model, are easily summarized: A state’s knowledge stocks (as measured by its stock of patents and its high school and college attainment rates) are the main factors explaining a state’s relative per capita personal income.
Dashboard Indicators for the Northeast Ohio Economy:
Prepared for the Fund for Our Economic Future
by Randall Eberts, George Erickcek, and Jack Kleinhenz
The Fund for Our Economic Future (The Fund) is a multiyear collaborative effort “to encourage and advance a common and highly focused regional economic development agenda that can lead to a long-term economic transformation of the Northeast Ohio (NEO) economy.” One of the strategies pursued by the Fund is to create and regularly update Dashboard Indicators for the Northeast Ohio Regional Economy. The Dashboard is intended to provide a framework for understanding the regional economic process and to track the region’s economic progress. This report presents the methodology used to construct and design the dashboard. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is publishing this paper as part of our working paper series in order to further academic discussion of regional economic growth factors.
Changes in net lending hide the much larger and more variable gross lending flows. We present a series of stylized facts about gross loan flows and how they vary over time, bank size, and the business cycle. We look at both the intensive (increases and decreases) and extensive (entry and exits) margins. We compare these results with the output from a simple stochastic search model.
Real business cycle models have difficulty replicating the volatility of S&P 500 returns. This fact should not be surprising since real business cycle theory suggests that the return to capital should be measured by the return to aggregate market capital, not stock market returns. We construct a quarterly time series of the after-tax return to business capital. Its volatility is considerably smaller than that of S&P 500 returns. Our benchmark model captures almost 40 percent of the volatility in the return to capital (relative to the volatility of output). We consider several departures from the benchmark model; the most promising is one with higher risk aversion, which captures over 60 percent of the relative volatility in the return to capital.
In this paper, we use an overlapping generations model where individuals are allowed to engage in both legitimate market activities and criminal behavior in order to assess the role of certain factors on the property crime rate. In particular, we investigate if any of the following could be capable of generating the large differences in crime rates that are observed across countries: differences in the unemployment rate, the fraction of low-human-capital individuals in an economy, the probability of apprehension, the duration of jail sentences, and income inequality. We find that small differences in the probability of apprehension and in income inequality can generate quantitatively significant differences in the crime rates across similar environments.
SBA guaranteed-lending programs are one of many government-sponsored market interventions aimed at
promoting small business. The rationale for providing SBA loan guarantees is often based on the
argument that they reduce credit rationing in low-income markets for small business loans. In this paper
we empirically test whether SBA-guaranteed lending has a greater impact on economic performance in
low-income markets. Using local labor market employment rates as our measure of economic
performance, we find evidence consistent with this proposition. In particular, we find a positive and significant correlation between the average annual level of employment in a local market and the level of SBA-guaranteed lending in that local market. And the intensity of this correlation is relatively larger in low-income markets. Indeed, one interpretation of our results is that this correlation is positive and significant only in low-income markets. This result has important implications for public policy in general and SBA-guaranteed lending in particular.
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