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Working Papers

Working Papers

  • WP 19-15 | Thinking Outside the Box: Do SPF Respondents Have Anchored Inflation Expectations?

    Carola Conces Binder Wesley Janson Randal J. Verbrugge


    Despite the stability of the median 10-year inflation expectations in the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) near 2 percent, we show that not a single SPF respondent’s expectations have been anchored at the target since the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) enactment of an inflation target in January 2012, or even since 2015. However, we find significant evidence for “delayed anchoring,” or a move toward being anchored, particularly after the federal funds rate lifted off in December 2015.   Read More

  • WP 16-35R2 | Goods-Market Frictions and International Trade

    Pawel Krolikowski Andrew McCallum

    Original Paper: WP 16-35R


    We add goods-market frictions to a general equilibrium dynamic model with heterogeneous exporting producers and identical importing retailers. Our tractable framework leads to endogenously unmatched producers, which attenuate welfare responses to foreign shocks but increase the trade elasticity relative to a model without search costs. Search frictions are quantitatively important in our calibration, attenuating welfare responses to tariffs by 40 percent and increasing the trade elasticity by 50 percent. Eliminating search costs raises welfare by 1 percent and increasing them by only a few dollars has the same effects on welfare and trade flows as a 10 percent tariff.   Read More

  • WP 19-06R | On the Heterogeneous Welfare Gains and Losses from Trade

    Daniel R. Carroll Sewon Hur

    Original Paper: WP 19-06


    How are the gains and losses from trade distributed across individuals within a country? First, we document that tradable goods and services constitute a larger fraction of expenditures for low-wealth and low-income households. Second, we build a trade model with nonhomothetic preferences—to generate the documented relationship between tradable expenditure shares, income, and wealth—and uninsurable earnings risk—to generate heterogeneity in income and wealth. Third, we use the calibrated model to quantify the differential welfare gains and losses from trade along the income and wealth distribution. In a numerical exercise, we permanently reduce trade costs so as to generate a rise in import share of GDP commensurate with that seen in the data from 2001 to 2014. We find that households in the lowest wealth decile experience welfare gains over the transition, measured by permanent consumption equivalents, that are 67 percent larger than those in the highest wealth decile.   Read More

  • WP 18-14R | A New Look at Historical Monetary Policy and the Great Inflation through the Lens of a Persistence-Dependent Policy Rule

    Richard Ashley Kwok Ping Tsang Randal J. Verbrugge

    Original Paper: WP 18-14


    The origins of the Great Inflation, a central 20th century U.S. macroeconomic event, remain contested. Prominent explanations are poor forecasts or deficient activity gap estimates. An alternative view: the FOMC was unwilling to fight inflation, perhaps due to political pressures. Our findings, based on a novel approach, support the latter view. New econometric tools allow us to credibly identify the particular activity gap, if any, in use. Persistence-dependent unemployment (gap) responses in the 1970s were essentially the same pre- and post-Volcker. Conversely, FOMC behavior vis-à-vis inflation—also persistence-dependent—changed markedly starting with Volcker, consistent with (though not proving) the political pressures view.   Read More

  • WP 16-14R2 | The Impact of Stricter Merger Control on Bank Mergers and Acquisitions. Too-Big-To-Fail and Competition

    Elena Carletti Steven Ongena Jan-Peter Siedlarek Giancarlo Spagnolo

    Original Paper: WP 16-14R


    The effect of regulations on the banking sector is a key question for financial intermediation. This paper provides evidence that merger control regulation, although not directly targeted at the banking sector, has substantial economic effects on bank mergers. Based on an extensive sample of European countries, we show that target announcement premia increased by up to 16 percentage points for mergers involving control shifts after changes in merger legislation, consistent with a market expectation of increased profitability. These effects go hand-in-hand with a reduction in the propensity for mergers to create banks that are too-big-to-fail in their country.   Read More

  • WP 19-14 | Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Stability Revisited

    Yasuo Hirose Willem Van Zandweghe Takushi Kurozumi


    A large literature has established that the Fed’s change from a passive to an active policy response to inflation led to U.S. macroeconomic stability after the Great Inflation of the 1970s. This paper revisits the literature’s view by estimating a generalized New Keynesian model using a full-information Bayesian method that allows for equilibrium indeterminacy and adopts a sequential Monte Carlo algorithm. The model empirically outperforms canonical New Keynesian models that confirm the literature’s view. Our estimated model shows an active policy response to inflation even during the Great Inflation. More importantly, a more active policy response to inflation alone does not suffice for explaining the U.S. macroeconomic stability, unless it is accompanied by a change in either trend inflation or policy responses to the output gap and output growth. This extends the literature by emphasizing the importance of the changes in other aspects of monetary policy in addition to its response to inflation.   Read More

  • WP 1804R | Internal Migration in the United States: A Comprehensive Comparative Assessment of the Consumer Credit Panel

    Jack DeWaard Janna E. Johnson Stephan D. Whitaker

    Original Paper: WP 18-04


    We introduce and provide the first comprehensive comparative assessment of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Equifax Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) as a valuable and underutilized data set for studying internal migration within the United States. Relative to other data sources on US internal migration, the CCP permits highly detailed cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of migration, both temporally and geographically. We compare cross-sectional and longitudinal estimates of migration from the CCP to similar estimates derived from the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, Internal Revenue Service data, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Our results establish the comparative utility and illustrate some of the unique advantages of the CCP relative to other data sources on US internal migration. We conclude by identifying some profitable directions for future research on US internal migration using the CCP, as well as reminding readers of the strengths and limitations of these data. More broadly, this paper contributes to discussions and debates on improving the availability, quality, and comparability of migration data.   Read More

  • WP 19-13 | Federal Reserve Structure, Economic Ideas, and Monetary and Financial Policy

    Michael Bordo Edward S. Prescott


    The decentralized structure of the Federal Reserve System is evaluated as a mechanism for generating and processing new ideas on monetary and financial policy. The role of the Reserve Banks starting in the 1960s is emphasized. The introduction of monetarism in the 1960s, rational expectations in the 1970s, credibility in the 1980s, transparency, and other monetary policy ideas by Reserve Banks into the Federal Reserve System is documented. Contributions by Reserve Banks to policy on bank structure, bank regulation, and lender of last resort are also discussed. We argue that the Reserve Banks were willing to support and develop new ideas due to internal reforms to the FOMC that Chairman William McChesney Martin implemented in the 1950s. Furthermore, the Reserve Banks were able to succeed at this because of their private-public governance structure, a structure set up in 1913 for a highly decentralized Federal Reserve System, but which survived the centralization of the System in the Banking Act of 1935. We argue that this role of the Reserve Banks is an important benefit of the Federal Reserve’s decentralized structure and contributes to better policy by allowing for more competition in ideas and reducing groupthink.   Read More

  • WP 19-12 | The Effect of Possible EU Diversification Requirements on the Risk of Banks’ Sovereign Bond Portfolios

    Ben R. Craig Margherita Giuzio Sandra Paterlini


    Recent policy discussion includes the introduction of diversification requirements for sovereign bond portfolios of European banks. In this paper, we evaluate the possible effects of these constraints on risk and diversification in the sovereign bond portfolios of the major European banks. First, we capture the dependence structure of European countries’ sovereign risks and identify the common factors driving European sovereign CDS spreads by means of an independent component analysis. We then analyze the risk and diversification in the sovereign bond portfolios of the largest European banks and discuss the role of “home bias,” i.e., the tendency of banks to concentrate their sovereign bond holdings in their domicile country. Finally, we evaluate the effect of diversification requirements on the tail risk of sovereign bond portfolios and quantify the system-wide losses in the presence of fire-sales. Under our assumptions about how banks respond to the new requirements, demanding that banks modify their holdings to increase their portfolio diversification may mitigate fire-sale externalities, but it may be ineffective in reducing portfolio risk, including tail risk.   Read More

  • WP 19-11 | Macroprudential Policy: Results from a Tabletop Exercise

    Denise Duffy Joseph G. Haubrich Anna Kovner Alex Musatov Edward S. Prescott Richard J. Rosen Thomas D. Tallarini Jr. Alexandros P. Vardoulakis Emily Yang Andrei Zlate


    This paper presents a tabletop exercise designed to analyze macroprudential policy. Several senior Federal Reserve officials were presented with a hypothetical economy as of 2020:Q2 in which commercial real estate and nonfinancial debt valuations were very high. After analyzing the economy and discussing the use of monetary and macroprudential policy tools, participants were then presented with a hypothetical negative shock to commercial real estate valuations that occurred in the second half of 2020. Participants then discussed the use of the tools during an incipient downturn. Some of the findings of the exercise were that during an asset boom, there were limits to the effectiveness of US macroprudential tools in controlling narrow risks and that changes to the fed funds rate may not always simultaneously meet macroeconomic and financial stability goals. Some other findings were that during a downturn, it would be desirable to use high-frequency indicators for deciding when to release the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) and that tensions exist between microprudential and macroprudential goals when using the CCyB and the stress test.   Read More