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Second Quarter 2021

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Posted 2021-04-15

Lockdown Responses to COVID-19

by Violeta A. Gutkowski

This article describes the relationship between countries’ lockdown responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and those countries’ political rights and civil liberties, macroeconomic variables, and vulnerability to the virus. Political rights and civil liberties cannot explain the differences in lockdown timing across countries.

Posted 2021-04-15

Decentralized Finance: On Blockchain- and Smart Contract-Based Financial Markets

by Fabian Schär

The term decentralized finance (DeFi) refers to an alternative financial infrastructure built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. DeFi uses smart contracts to create protocols that replicate existing financial services in a more open, interoperable, and transparent way. This article highlights opportunities and potential risks of the DeFi ecosystem. I propose a multi-layered framework to analyze the implicit architecture and the various DeFi building blocks, including token standards, decentralized exchanges, decentralized debt markets, blockchain derivatives, and on-chain asset management protocols.

Posted 2021-04-15

Understanding the Gender Earnings Gap: Hours Worked, Occupational Sorting, and Labor Market Experience

by Maria E. Canon, Limor Golan, and Cody A. Smith

This article documents life-cycle gender differences in labor market outcomes using longitudinal data of a cohort of individuals from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. As in other datasets, the gender earnings gap increases with age.

Posted 2021-04-15

More Stories of Unconventional Monetary Policy

by Christopher J. Neely and Evan Karson

This article extends the work of Fawley and Neely (2013) to describe how major central banks have evolved unconventional monetary policies to encourage real activity and maintain stable inflation rates from 2013 through 2019. By 2013, central banks were moving from lump-sum asset purchase programs to open-ended asset purchase programs, which are conditioned on economic conditions, careful communication strategies, bank lending programs with incentives, and negative interest rates.