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Working Papers

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working papers are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment.

Recent Working Papers

Semi-Parametric Interpolations of Residential Location Values: Using Housing Price Data to Generate Balanced Panels

We estimate location values for single family houses by local polynomial regressions (LPR), a semi-parametric procedure, using a standard housing price and characteristics dataset.

Equilibrium Sovereign Default with Exchange Rate Depreciation

This study proposes and quantitatively assesses a terms-of-trade penalty for defaulting: defaulters must exchange more of their own goods for imports, which causes an adjustment to the equilibrium exchange rate.

Explaining Educational Attainment across Countries and over Time

Consider the following facts. In 1950, the richest countries attained an average of 8 years of schooling whereas the poorest countries 1.3 years, a large 6-fold difference. By 2005, the difference in schooling declined to 2-fold because schooling increased faster in poor than in rich countries.

Universal Basic Income versus Unemployment Insurance

In this paper we compare the welfare effects of unemployment insurance (UI) with an universal basic income (UBI) system in an economy with idiosyncratic shocks to employment. Both policies provide a safety net in the face of idiosyncratic shocks.

Metro Business Cycles

We construct monthly economic-activity indices for 51 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas for 1990 to 2014. Each index is computed via a dynamic factor model that includes 14 variables measuring various aspects of economic activity in a metro area.

Technology Innovation and Diffusion as Sources of Output and Asset Price Fluctuations

We develop a model in which innovations in an economy's growth potential are an important driving force of the business cycle.

Reaction Functions in a Small Open Economy: What Role for Non-traded Inflation?

I develop a structural general equilibrium model and estimate it for New Zealand using Bayesian techniques.

The Trade Comovement Puzzle and the Margins of International Trade

Countries that trade more with each other tend to have more correlated business cycles. Yet, traditional international business cycle models predict a much weaker link between trade and business cycle comovement.

Innovation, Diffusion, and Trade: Theory and Measurement

I develop a multicountry-model in which economic growth is driven mainly by domestic innovation and the adoption of foreign technologies embodied in traded intermediate goods.

The Gravity of Experience

In this paper, we establish the importance of experience in international trade for reducing trade costs and facilitating bilateral trade.

Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy

Rising costs of and returns to college have led to sizeable increases in the demand for student loans in many countries. In the U.S., student loan default rates have also risen for recent cohorts as labor market uncertainty and debt levels have increased.

Education Policies and Structural Transformation

This article studies the impact of education and fertility in structural transformation and growth.

Bad Investments and Missed Opportunities? Capital Flows to Asia and Latin America, 1950-2007

Theory predicts that capital should flow to countries where economic growth and the return to capital is highest.

Endogenous Borrowing Constraints and Stagnation in Latin America

Latin America has had striking changes in economic performance over time. Following the recession and debt crises of the early 1980’s, consumption declined for about ten years and consumption per-capita in the year 2004 was roughly the same as it was in 1980.

Interjurisdictional Competition and Location Decisions of Firms

We examine the welfare properties of alternative regimes of interjurisdictional competition for heterogenous mobile firms.

A Theory of Targeted Search

We present a theory of targeted search, where people with a finite information processing capacity search for a match.

The Role of Jumps in Volatility Spillovers in Foreign Exchange Markets: Meteor Shower and Heat Waves Revisited

We investigate the role of jumps in transmitting volatility between foreign exchange markets (Engle, Ito, and Lin, 1990; Melvin and Peiers Melvin, 2003; Cai, Howorka, and Wongswan, 2008).

Can Risk Explain the Profitability of Technical Trading in Currency Markets?

It is a robust finding that technical trading rules applied to foreign exchange markets have earned substantial excess returns over long periods of time. However, the approach to risk adjustment has typically been rather cursory, and has tended to focus on the CAPM.

Wage Dynamics and Labor Market Transitions: A Reassessment through Total Income and “Usual” Wages

We present a simple on-the-job search model in which workers can receive shocks to their employer-specific productivity match.

Sovereign Default and the Choice of Maturity

Sovereigns borrow from international markets at a duration that typically exceeds one year and with positive term spreads.

Illegal Immigration and Fiscal Competition

This paper examines illegal immigration in a spatial context. Consider two countries: a source and a host of illegal immigration. Both countries produce the same good employing labor.

Fiscal Policy Spillovers: Points of Employment to Places of Residence

In this paper, we study the effects of interregional spillovers from the government spending component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Recovery Act).

Rural-Urban Migration, Structural Transformation, and Housing Markets in China

This paper explores the role played by structural transformation and the resulting relocation of workers from rural to urban areas in the recent housing boom in China. This development process has fostered an ongoing increase in urban housing demand, which, combined with a relatively inelastic supply due to land and entry restrictions, has raised housing and land prices.

Three Scenarios for Interest Rates in the Transition to Normalcy

This article develops time-series models to represent three alternative, potential monetary policy regimes as monetary policy returns to normal. The first regime is a return to the high and volatile inflation rate of the 1970s.

Central Bank Purchases of Private Assets

A model is constructed in which consumers and banks have incentives to fake the quality of collateral. Conventional monetary easing can exacerbate these problems, in that the mispresentation of collateral becomes more profitable, thus increasing haircuts and interest rate differentials.

Evaluating Conditional Forecasts from Vector Autoregressions

Many forecasts are conditional in nature. For example, a number of central banks routinely report forecasts conditional on particular paths of policy instruments.

Occupational Hazards and Social Disability Insurance

Lifetime occupational exposure accounts for 42% of differences in disability risk across individuals.

The 2009 Recovery Act: Stimulus at the Extensive and Intensive Labor Margins

This paper (i) estimates the local effects of government stimulus spending on labor market outcomes and (ii) shows how these effects can be obtained from a firm's optimal policy in the presence of costs to hiring workers.

The Great Housing Boom of China

This paper provides a theory to explain the paradoxical features of the great housing boom in China —the persistently faster-than-GDP housing price growth, exceptionally high capital returns, and excessive vacancy rates.

Preventing Bank Runs

Diamond and Dybvig (1983) is commonly understood as providing a formal rationale for the existence of bank-run equilibria.


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