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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.

Monetary Policy/Macroeconomics

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.

Mortgages and Monetary Policy

Mortgages are long-term nominal loans. Under incomplete asset markets, monetary policy is shown to affect housing investment and the economy through the cost of new mortgage borrowing and the value of payments on outstanding debt.

The Analytics of Technology News Shocks

This paper constructs several models in which, unlike the standard neoclassical growth model, positive news about future technology generates an increase in current consumption, hours and investment.

Creating Jobs Via the 2009 Recovery Act: State Medicaid Grants Compared to Broadly-Directed Spending

Researchers have used cross-state differences to assess the jobs impact of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Recovery Act).

The Macroeconomics of Microfinance

We provide a quantitative evaluation of the aggregate and distributional impact of microfinance or credit programs targeted toward small businesses.

An Evaluation of Event-Study Evidence on the Effectiveness of the FOMC’s LSAP Program: Are the Announcement Effects Identified?

The consensus in monetary policy circles that the Fed’s large-scale asset purchases, known as quantitative easing (QE), have significantly reduced long-term yields is due in part to event studies, which show that long-term yields decline on QE announcement days.

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.

Monetary Policy with Asset-Backed Money

We study the use of intermediated assets as media of exchange in a neo- classical growth model. An intermediary is delegated control over productive capital and finances itself by issuing claims against the revenue generated by its operations.

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.

Evaluating Unconventional Monetary Policies ─Why Aren’t They More Effective?

We use a general equilibrium finance model that features explicit government purchases of private debts to shed light on some of the principal working mechanisms of the Federal Reserve’s large-scale asset purchases (LSAP) and their macroeconomic effects.

Talent, Labor Quality, and Economic Development

We develop a theory of labor quality based on (i) the division of the labor force between unskilled and skilled workers and (ii) investments in skilled workers.

The Expected Inflation Channel of Government Spending in the Postwar U.S.

There exist sticky price models in which the output response to a government spending change can be large if the central bank is nonresponsive to inflation.

The Quantitative Importance of Openness in Development

This paper deals with a classic development question: how can the process of economic development – transition from stagnation in a traditional technology to industrialization and prosperity with a modern technology – be accelerated?

Monetary Policy, the Tax Code, and the Real Effects of Energy Shocks

This paper develops a monetary model with taxes to account for the time-varying effects of energy shocks on output and hours worked in post-World War II U.S. data.

Nonlinear Relationship between Permanent and Transitory Components of Monetary Aggregates and the Economy

This paper uses several methods to study the interrelationship among Divisia monetary aggregates, prices, and income, allowing for nonstationary, nonlinearities, asymmetries, and time-varying relationships among the series.

Debt, Inflation and Central Bank Independence

Increasing the independence of a central bank from political influence, although ex-ante socially beneficial and initially successful in reducing inflation, would ultimately fail to lower inflation permanently.

Intergenerational Policy and the Measurement of Tax Incidence

We evaluate the ability of generational accounting to assess the potential welfare implications of policy reforms. In an intergenerational context policy reforms usually have redistributive, efficiency, and general equilibrium implications.

Is Government Spending a Free Lunch? -- Evidence from China

Most empirical studies based on U.S. data suggest that the fiscal multiplier is less than 1 (e.g., Barro and Redlick, 2011). However, Keynes argued that the multiplier would be the largest when markets have failed to the greatest extent in coordinating economic activities (such as during the Great Depression with rampant unemployment and low capacity utilization).

Asymmetry and Federal Reserve Forecasts

Forecasts are a central component of policy making; the Federal Reserve's forecasts are published in a document called the Greenbook. Previous studies of the Greenbook's inflation forecasts have found them to be rationalizable but asymmetric if considering particular sub-periods, e.g., before and after the Volcker appointment.

Uncertainty and Sentiment-Driven Equilibria

We construct a model to capture the Keynesian idea that production and employment decisions are based on expectations of aggregate demand driven by sentiments and that realized demand follows from the production and employment decisions of firms.

Two Monetary Models with Alternating Markets

We present a thought-provoking study of two monetary models: the cash-in-advance and the Lagos and Wright (2005) models.

The Effect of Underreporting on LIBOR Rates

On May 29, 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that several large international banks were reporting unjustifiably low LIBOR rates. Since then two large banks, Barclays and UBS, have paid significant fines for manipulating their LIBOR rates, and additional banks are expected to be fined.

The Zero Lower Bound, the Dual Mandate, and Unconventional Dynamics

This article examines monetary policy when it is constrained by the zero lower bound (ZLB) on the nominal interest rate.

Reconstructing the Great Recession

This paper evaluates the role of the construction sector in accounting for the performance of the U.S. economy before, during and after the Great Recession.

How Did the Financial Crisis Alter the Correlations of U.S. Yield Spreads?

We investigate the pairwise correlations of 11 U.S. fixed income yield spreads over a sample that includes the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2009.

Are Government Spending Multipliers Greater During Periods of Slack? Evidence from 20th Century Historical Data

A key question that has arisen during recent debates is whether government spending multipliers are larger during times when resources are idle.

Financial Development and Long-Run Volatility Trends

Countries with more developed financial markets (as measured by the private debt- to-GDP ratio) tend to have significantly lower aggregate volatility.

Too Big to Cheat: Efficiency and Investment in Partnerships

We study the roles private information and capital accumulation play in the structure of partnerships. Partnerships are ventures formed with capital contributions from two members who initially share ownership of a business.

How Effective Is Central Bank Forward Guidance?

This paper investigates the effectiveness of forward guidance for the central banks of four countries: New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United States.

What Inventories Tell Us about Aggregate Fluctuations -- A Tractable Approach to (S,s) Policies

We estimate a DSGE model with (S,s) inventory policies. We find that (i) taking inventories into account can significantly improve the empirical fit of DSGE models in matching the standard business-cycle moments (in addition to explaining inventory fluctuations); (ii) (S,s) inventory policies can significantly amplify aggregate output fluctuations, in contrast to the findings of the recent general-equilibrium inventory literature; and (iii) aggregate demand shocks become more important than technology shocks in explaining the business cycle once inventories are incorporated into the model.


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