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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

Monetary Policy and Liquid Government Debt

We examine the conduct of monetary policy in a world where the supply of outside money is controlled by the fiscal authority--a scenario increasingly relevant for many developed economies today.

Escaping the Middle-Income Trap: A Cross-Country Analysis on the Patterns of Industrial Upgrading

With rapid industrial upgrading along the global value chain of manufactured goods, China has transformed, within one generation, from an impoverished agrarian society to a middle-income nation as well as the largest manufacturing powerhouse in the world. This article identifies the pattern of China’s industrial upgrading and compares it with those of other successfully industrialized economies and the failed ones.

An Empirical Investigation of Direct and Iterated Multistep Conditional Forecasts

When constructing unconditional point forecasts, both direct- and iterated-multistep (DMS and IMS) approaches are common.

The (Unintended?) Consequences of the Largest Liquidity Injection Ever

We study the design of lender of last resort interventions and show that the provision of long-term liquidity incentivizes purchases of high-yield short-term securities by banks.

The Persistence of Financial Distress

Using recently available proprietary panel data, we show that while many (35%) US consumers experience financial distress at some point in the life cycle, most of the events of financial distress are primarily concentrated in a much smaller proportion of consumers in persistent trouble.

Banking on the Boom, Tripped by the Bust: Banks and the World War I Agricultural Price Shock

Bank lending booms and asset price booms are often intertwined. Although a fundamental shock might trigger an asset boom, aggressive lending can push asset prices higher, leading to more lending, and so on. Such a dynamic seems to have characterized the agricultural land boom surrounding World War I.

Financing Ventures

The relationship between venture capital and growth is examined using an endogenous growth model incorporating dynamic contracts between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. At each stage of financing, venture capitalists evaluate the viability of startups.

Markup Cyclicality: A Tale of Two Models

Many models in the business cycle literature generate counter-cyclical price markups. This paper examines if the prominent models in the literature are consistent with the empirical findings of micro-level markup behavior in Hong (2016). In particular, I test the markup behavior of the following two models: (i) an oligopolistic competition model, and (ii) a New Keynesian model with heterogeneous price stickiness.

Customer Capital, Markup Cyclicality, and Amplification

This paper studies the importance of firm-level price markup dynamics for business cycle fluctuations. The first part of the paper uses state-of-the-art IO techniques to measure the behavior of markups over the business cycle at the firm level.

Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models

In this paper, we explore the proposition that the optimal capital income tax is zero using an overlapping generations model. We prove that for a large class of preferences, the optimal capital income tax along the transition path and in steady state is non-zero.

Unconventional monetary Policy and Long Yields During QE1: Learning from the Shorts

In November 2008, the Federal Reserve announced the first of a series of unconventional monetary policies, which would include asset purchases and forward guidance, to reduce long-term interest rates. We investigate the behavior of shorts, considered sophisticated investors, before and after FOMC announcements not fully anticipated in spot bond markets.

Mortgage Debt, Consumption, and Illiquid Housing Markets in the Great Recession

Using a model with housing search, endogenous credit constraints, and mortgage default, this paper accounts for the housing crash from 2006 to 2011 and its implications for aggregate and cross-sectional consumption during the Great Recession. Left tail shocks to labor market uncertainty and tighter down payment requirements emerge as the key drivers.

Knowledge Diffusion, Trade and Innovation Across Countries and Sectors

We develop and quantify a multi-country and multi-sector endogenous growth model in which comparative advantage and the stock of knowledge are endogenously determined by innovation and knowledge diffusion. We quantify the effect of trade liberalization on innovation, comparative advantage and welfare in a framework that features intersectoral production and knowledge linkages that are consistent with the data.

The Exchange Rate as an Instrument of Monetary Policy

Monetary policy research in small open economies has typically focused on “corner solutions”: either the currency rate is fixed by the central bank, or it is left to be determined by market forces. We build an open-economy model with external habits to study the properties of a new class of monetary policy rules in which the monetary authority uses the exchange rate as the instrument. Different from a Taylor rule, the monetary authority announces the rate of expected currency appreciation by taking into account inflation and output fluctuations.

The Aggregate and Relative Economic Effects of Medicaid and Medicare Expansions

Government-financed health care (GFHC) expenditures, through Medicare and Medicaid, have grown from roughly zero to over 7.5 percent of national income over the past 50 years.

Modeling Time-Varying Uncertainty of Multiple-Horizon Forecast Errors

We develop uncertainty measures for point forecasts from surveys such as the Survey of Professional Forecasters, Blue Chip, or the Federal Open Market Committee's Summary of Economic Projections.

Flight to What? — Dissecting Liquidity Shortages in the Financial Crisis

We endogenize the liquidity and the quality of private assets in a tractable incomplete-market model with heterogeneous agents.

Optimal Ramsey Capital Income Taxation —A Reappraisal

This paper addresses a long-standing problem in the optimal Ramsey capital taxation literature. The tractability of our model enables us to solve the Ramsey problem analytically along the entire transitional path. We show that the conventional wisdom on Ramsey tax policy and its underlying intuition and rationales do not hold in our model and may thus be misrepresented in the literature.

Money, Banking and Financial Markets

The fact that money, banking, and financial markets interact in important ways seems self-evident. The theoretical nature of this interaction, however, has not been fully explored.

Debt and Stabilization Policy: Evidence from a Euro Area FAVAR

The Euro-area poses a unique problem in evaluating policy: a currency union with a shared monetary policy and country-specific fiscal policy.

Corporate Income Tax, Legal Form of Organization, and Employment

A dynamic stochastic occupational choice model with heterogeneous agents is developed to evaluate the impact of a corporate income tax reduction on employment. In this framework, the key margin is the endogenous entrepreneurial choice of the legal form of organization (LFO).

The response of multinationals’ foreign exchange rate exposure to macroeconomic news

We use intraday data to estimate the daily foreign exchange exposure of U.S. multinationals and show that macroeconomic news affects these firms’ foreign exchange exposure. News creates a substantial shift in the joint distribution of stock and exchange rate returns that has both a transitory and a persistent component.

Optimal Monetary Policy under Negative Interest Rate

In responding to the extremely weak global economy after the financial crisis in 2008, many industrial nations have been considering or have already implemented negative nominal interest rate policy.

Truncated Firm Productivity Distributions and Trade Margins

A standard theoretical prediction is that average exports are independent of tariff rates when the underlying distribution of firm productivities is assumed to be the widely-used Pareto distribution. Assuming that the underlying distribution has no upper bound is undoubtedly inaccurate and produces theoretical results at odds with empirical results.

Terms-of-Trade and Counterterrorism Externalities

This paper investigates the interplay of trade and terrorism externalities under free trade between a developed nation that exports a manufactured good to and imports a primary product from a developing nation. A terrorist organization targets both nations and reduces its attacks in response to a nation’s defensive counterterrorism efforts, while transferring some of its attacks abroad.

Nominal GDP Targeting With Heterogeneous Labor Supply

We study nominal GDP targeting as optimal monetary policy in a model with a credit market friction following Azariadis, Bullard, Singh and Suda (2016), henceforth ABSS.

Airport Noise in Atlanta: The Inequality of Sound

We examine how changes in the geographic concentrations of Hispanic and African-American populations are correlated with changes in probabilities of airport noise, in Atlanta, during 2003 and 2012.

Optimal Taxes Under Private Information: The Role of the Inflation Tax

We consider an overlapping generation framework with search and private information to study optimal taxation. Agents sequentially trade in markets that are characterized by different frictions and trading protocols.

Financial Frictions and Export Dynamics in Large Devaluations

We study the role of financial frictions and balance-sheet effects in accounting for the dynamics of aggregate exports in large devaluations. We investigate a small open economy with heterogeneous firms, where firms face financing constraints and debt can be denominated in foreign units.

Estimation of the Discontinuous Leverage Effect: Evidence from the NASDAQ Order Book

An extensive empirical literature documents a generally negative correlation, named the “leverage effect,” between asset returns and changes of volatility.

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