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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

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

This paper provides a theory to explain the paradoxical features of the great housing boom in China —the persistently faster-than-GDP housing price growth, exceptionally high capital returns, and excessive vacancy rates.

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. The top of the model Laffer curve occurs at a 53 percent top tax rate.

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 for the Macroeconomy

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

This paper identifies determinants of extensive (i.e., number of firms) and intensive (i.e., average exports per firm) trade margins, using state-level exports to 187 countries.

Risk Aversion at the Country Level

In this paper we provide estimates of the coefficient of relative risk aversion for 80 countries using data on self-reports of personal well-being from the Gallup World Poll.

How Persistent are Monetary Policy Effects at the Zero Lower Bound?

Event studies show that Fed unconventional announcements of forward guidance and large scale asset purchases had large and desired effects on asset prices but 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 Stimulative Effect of Forward Guidance

This paper examines the stimulative effect of central bank forward guidance—the promise to keep future policy rates lower than its policy rule suggests—when the short-term nominal interest rate is stuck at its zero lower bound (ZLB).

Mortgages and Monetary Policy

Mortgage loans are a striking example of a persistent nominal rigidity. As a result, under incomplete markets, monetary policy affects decisions 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.


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