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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

Optimal Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound

We study optimal monetary policy at the zero lower bound. The macroeconomy we study has considerable income inequality which gives rise to a large private sector credit market.

The Impact of Trade on Labor Market Dynamics

We develop a dynamic labor search model where production and consumption take place in spatially distinct labor markets with varying exposure to domestic and international trade. The model recognizes the role of labor mobility frictions, goods mobility frictions, geographic factors, and input-output linkages in determining equilibrium allocations.

The Experience of the RePEc Plagiarism Committee in Economics

RePEc is an open bibliography project driven entirely by volunteers and without a budget.

Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics

Low sex ratios are often equated with unfavorable marriage prospects for women, but in France after World War I, the marriage probability of single females rose 50%, despite a massive drop in the male/female ratio.

The Making of an Economic Superpower―Unlocking China’s Secret of Rapid Industrialization

The rise of China is no doubt one of the most important events in world economic and geopolitical history since the Industrial Revolution.

Self-Fulfilling Credit Cycles

In U.S. data 1981–2012, unsecured firm credit moves procyclically and tends to lead GDP, while secured firm credit is acyclical; similarly, shocks to unsecured firm credit explain a far larger fraction of output fluctuations than shocks to secured credit.

Schools and Stimulus

This paper analyzes the impact of the education funding component of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Recovery Act) on public school districts.

Rehypothecation

Rehypothecation refers to the practice of re-using (selling or pledging as collateral) an asset that has already been pledged as collateral for a loan. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium monetary model where an “asset shortage” motivates the rehypothecation of assets.

Scarcity of Safe Assets, Inflation, and the Policy Trap

We construct a model in which all consolidated government debt is used in transactions, with money being more widely acceptable.

Institutions Do Not Rule: Reassessing the Driving Forces of Economic Development

We use cross-country data and instrumental variables widely used in the literature to show that (i) institutions (such as property rights and the rule of law) do not explain industrialization and (ii) agrarian countries and industrial countries have entirely different determinants for income levels.

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 beginning in 1990. Each index is based on a dynamic factor model for 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 Maturity Choice

This paper presents a new quantitative model of endogenous sovereign default, maturity choice, and the term structure of bond yield spreads.


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