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Working Paper Archives

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

Applied Econometrics

Capital Accumulation and Dynamic Gains from Trade

We compute welfare gains from trade in a dynamic, multicountry model with capital accumulation.

The Effects of Terror on International Air Passenger Transport: An Empirical Investigation

This paper presents a theoretical model (adapted from the structural gravity model by Anderson and van Wincoop, 2003) to capture the effects of terrorism on air passenger traffic between nations affected by terrorism.

Nonlinearities, Smoothing and Countercyclical Monetary Policy

Empirical analysis of the Fed’s monetary policy behavior suggests that the Fed smooths interest rates— that is, the Fed moves the federal funds rate target in several small steps instead of one large step with the same magnitude.

Estimating Border Effects: The Impact of Spatial Aggregation

Trade data are typically reported at the level of regions or countries and are therefore aggregates across space. In this paper, we investigate the sensitivity of standard gravity estimation to spatial aggregation.

Explaining Cross-Cohort Differences in Life Cycle Earnings

College-educated workers entering the labor market in 1940 experienced a 4-fold increase in their labor earnings between the ages of 25 and 55; in contrast, the increase was 2.6-fold for those entering the market in 1980. For workers without a college education these figures are 3.6-fold and 1.5-fold, respectively.

Specification and Estimation of Bayesian Dynamic Factor Models: A Monte Carlo Analysis with an Application to Global House Price Comovement

We compare methods to measure comovement in business cycle data using multi-level dynamic factor models. To do so, we employ a Monte Carlo procedure to evaluate model performance for different specifications of factor models across three different estimation procedures.

Real-Time Forecasting with a Large, Mixed Frequency, Bayesian VAR

We assess point and density forecasts from a mixed-frequency vector autoregression (VAR) to obtain intra-quarter forecasts of output growth as new information becomes available.

A State-Level Analysis of Okun's Law

Okun's law is an empirical relationship that measures the correlation between the deviation of the unemployment rate from its natural rate and the deviation of output growth from its potential.

Tests of Equal Accuracy for Nested Models with Estimated Factors

In this paper we develop asymptotics for tests of equal predictive ability between nested models when factor-augmented regression models are used to forecast.

The Evolution of Scale Economies in U.S. Banking

Continued consolidation of the U.S. banking industry and general increase in the size of banks has prompted some policymakers to consider policies to discourage banks from getting larger, including explicit caps on bank size.

Estimation of Dynastic Life-Cycle Discrete Choice Models

This paper explores the estimation of a class of life-cycle discrete choice intergenerational models. It proposes a new semiparametric estimator.

What Accounts for the Racial Gap in Time Allocation and Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital?

This paper analyzes the sources of the racial difference in the intergenerational transmission of human capital by developing and estimating a dynastic model of parental time and monetary inputs in early childhood with endogenous fertility, home hours, labor supply, marriage, and divorce.

Was Sarbanes-Oxley Costly? Evidence from Optimal Contracting on CEO Compensation

This paper investigates the effects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) on CEO compensation, using panel data constructed for the S&P 1500 firms on CEO compensation, financial returns, and reported accounting income.

On the Need for a Replication Journal

There is very little replication of research in economics, particularly compared with other sciences.

FRED-MD: A Monthly Database for Macroeconomic Research

This paper describes a large, monthly frequency, macroeconomic database with the goal of establishing a convenient starting point for empirical analysis that requires "big data."

Metro Business Cycles

We construct monthly economic activity indices for the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) beginning in 1990. Each index is derived from a dynamic factor model based on twelve underlying variables capturing various aspects of metro area economic activity.

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

This paper extends the previous literature on geographic (heat waves) and intertemporal (meteor showers) foreign exchange volatility transmission to characterize the role of jumps and cross-rate propagation.

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

Academic studies show that technical trading rules would have earned substantial excess returns over long periods in foreign exchange markets. However, the approach to risk adjustment has typically been rather cursory.

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.

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.

Financial Stress Regimes and the Macroeconomy

Some financial stress events lead to macroeconomic downturns, while others appear to be isolated to financial markets.

How Has Empirical Monetary Policy Analysis Changed After the Financial Crisis?

In the wake of the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve lowered the federal funds rate (FFR) target essentially to zero and resorted to unconventional monetary policy. With the nominal FFR constrained by the zero lower bound (ZLB) for an extended period, empirical monetary models cannot be estimated as usual.

Risk Aversion at the Country Level

In this paper the authors estimate the coefficient of relative risk aversion for 75 countries using data on self-reports of personal well-being from the Gallup World Poll.

How Persistent Are Unconventional Monetary Policy Effects?

Event studies show that the Federal Reserve’s announcements of forward guidance and large-scale asset purchases had large and desired effects on asset prices but these studies do not tell us how long such effects last.

Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor: Evidence from the Groves of Academe

We examine the effect of pregnancy and parenthood on the research productivity of academic economists.

Countercyclical Policy and the Speed of Recovery After Recessions

We consider the effect of some policies intended to shorten recessions and accelerate recoveries. Our innovation is to analyze the duration of the recoveries of various U.S. states, which gives us a cross-section of both state- and national-level policies.

Understanding the Accumulation of Bank and Thrift Reserves during the U.S. Financial Crisis

The level of aggregate excess reserves held by U.S. depository institutions increased significantly at the peak of the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Which continuous-time model is most appropriate for exchange rates?

This paper evaluates the most appropriate ways to model diffusion and jump features of high-frequency exchange rates in the presence of intraday periodicity in volatility. We show that periodic volatility distorts the size and power of conventional tests of Brownian motion, jumps and (in)finite activity.

Conflict, Evolution, Hegemony, and the Power of the State

In a model of evolution driven by conflict between societies more powerful states have an advantage. When the influence of outsiders is small we show that this results in a tendency to hegemony.

Frictionless Technology Diffusion: The Case of Tractors

Many new technologies display long adoption lags, and this is often interpreted as evidence of frictions inconsistent with the standard neoclassical model.

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