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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.

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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.

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

China’s housing prices have been growing nearly twice as fast as national income in the past decade despite (i) a phenomenal rate of return to capital and (ii) an alarmingly high vacancy rate.

Preventing Bank Runs

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

Financial Stress Regimes and the Macroeconomy

We identify financial stress regimes using a model that explicitly links financial variables with the macroeconomy.

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 target essentially to zero and resorted to unconventional monetary policy.

Corporate Income Tax, Legal Form of Organization, and Employment

We adopt a dynamic stochastic occupational choice model with heterogeneous agents and evaluate the impact of a potential reduction in the corporate income tax on employment.

Taxing Top Earners: A Human Capital Perspective

We assess the consequences of substantially increasing the marginal tax rate on U.S. top earners using a human capital model.

QE: When and How Should the Fed Exit?

The essence of Quantitative Easing (QE) is to reduce the costs of private borrowing through large-scale purchases of privately issue debts, instead of public debts (Ben Bernanke, 2009).

The Cost of Business Cycles with Heterogeneous Trading Technologies

This paper investigates the welfare cost of business cycles in an economy where households have heterogeneous trading technologies.

Implications of Heterogeneity in Preferences, Beliefs and Asset Trading Technologies in an Endowment Economy

This paper analyzes and computes the equilibria of economies with large numbers of heterogeneous agents who have different asset trading technologies, preferences and beliefs.

Navigating Constraints: The Evolution of Federal Reserve Monetary Policy, 1935-59

The 1950s are often pointed to as a decade in which the Federal Reserve operated a particularly successful monetary policy. The present paper examines the evolution of Federal Reserve monetary policy from the mid-1930s through the 1950s in an effort to understand better the apparent success of policy in the 1950s.

Capital Goods Trade and Economic Development

Almost 80 percent of capital goods production in the world is concentrated in 10 countries. Poor countries import most of their capital goods.

Reversal of Gender Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from Young Children in India

This paper provides unique evidence of a reversal of gender gaps in cognitive development in early childhood.

Credit Markets, Limited Commitment, and Government Debt

A dynamic model with credit under limited commitment is constructed, in which limited memory can weaken the effects of punishment for default.

Keynesian Inefficiency and Optimal Policy: A New Monetarist Approach

A simple model of monetary/labor search is constructed to study Keynesian indeterminacy and optimal policy.

Scarce Collateral, the Term Premium, and Quantitative Easing

A model of money, credit, and banking is constructed in which the differential pledgeability of collateral and the scarcity of collateralizable wealth lead to a term premium — an upward-sloping nominal yield curve.

Withstanding Great Recession like China

The Great Recession was characterized by two related phenomena: (i) a jobless recovery and (ii) a permanent drop in aggregate output.

Determinants of Trade Margins: Insights Using State Export Data

We adapt the heterogeneous firm trade models of Helpman, Melitz, and Rubinstein (2008) and Lawless (2010) to analyze extensive and intensive trade margins using state-level exports to foreign nations.

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 they do not tell us how long such effects last.

Money, Liquidity and Welfare

This paper develops an analytically tractable Bewley model of money demand to shed light on some important questions in monetary theory, such as the welfare cost of inflation.

Labor Market Upheaval, Default Regulations, and Consumer Debt

In 2005, reforms made formal personal bankruptcy much more costly. Shortly after, the US began to experience its most severe recession in seventy years, and while personal bankruptcy rates rose, they rose only modestly given the severity of the rise in unemployment.

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.

Price Equalization, Trade Flows, and Barriers to Trade

In this paper we show that price equalization does not imply zero barriers to trade. There are many barrier combinations that deliver price equalization, but each combination implies a different volume of trade.

The Limitations of Forward Guidance

This article examines forward guidance via news shocks to the monetary policy rule in a nonlinear New Keynesian model with an occasionally binding zero lower bound (ZLB) constraint on the policy rate.

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