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

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The Federal Reserve's response to the financial crisis: what it did and what it should have done

This paper analyzes the Federal Reserve’s major policy actions in response to the financial crisis. The analysis is divided into the pre-Lehman and post-Lehman monetary policies.

Testing the Economic Value of Asset Return Predictability

Economic value calculations are increasingly used to compare the predictive performance of competing models of asset returns. However, they lack a rigorous way to validate their evidence.

Endogenous Credit Limits with Small Default Costs

We analyze an exchange economy of unsecured credit where borrowers have the option to declare bankruptcy in which case they are temporarily excluded from financial markets.

Self-Fulfilling Credit Cycles

This paper argues that self-fulfilling beliefs in credit conditions can generate endoge- nously persistent business cycle dynamics. We develop a tractable dynamic general equi- librium model in which heterogeneous firms face idiosyncratic productivity shocks.

Capital Misallocation and Aggregate Factor Productivity

We propose a sectoral–shift theory of aggregate factor productivity for a class of economies with AK technologies, limited loan enforcement, and a constant production possibilities frontier.

A Two-sector Model of Endogenous Growth with Leisure Externalities

This paper considers the impact of leisure preference and leisure externalities on growth and labor supply in a Lucas [12] type model, as in Gómez [7], with a separable non‐homothetic utility and the assumption that physical and human capital are both necessary inputs in both the goods and the education sectors.

The Optimal Inflation Target in an Economy with Limited Enforcement

We formulate the central bank’s problem of selecting an optimal long-run inflation rate as the choice of a distorting tax by a planner who wishes to maximize discounted stationary utility for a heterogeneous population of infinitely-lived households in an economy with constant aggregate income and public information.

On the Substitutability between Foreign Aid and International Credit

We examine the effect of relaxing a binding borrowing constraint for a recipient country on theamount of foreign aid it receives.

Bankruptcy and Delinquency in a Model of Unsecured Debt

The two channels of default on unsecured consumer debt are (i) bankruptcy, which legally grants partial or complete removal of unsecured debt under certain circumstances, and (ii) delinquency, which is informal default via nonpayment.

Optimal Policy for Macro-Financial Stability

In this paper we study whether policy makers should wait to intervene until a … financial crisis strikes or rather act in a preemptive manner.

Why Doesn’t Technology Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?

What determines the technology that a country adopts? While there could be many factors, the efficiency of the country’s financial system may play a significant role.

Sentiments and Aggregate Demand Fluctuations

We formalize the Keynesian insight that aggregate demand driven by sentiments can generate output fluctuations under rational expectations.

Housing Prices and the High Chinese Saving Rate Puzzle

China’s over 25% aggregate household saving rate is one of the highest in the world. One popular view attributes the high saving rate to fast-rising housing prices in China. However, cross-sectional data do not show a significant relationship between housing prices and household saving rates.

Liquidity and Welfare

This paper develops an analytically tractable Bewley model of money featuring capital and financial intermediation. It is shown that when money is a vital form of liquidity to meet uncertain consumption needs, the welfare costs of inflation can be extremely large.

Greenspan’s Conundrum and the Fed’s Ability to Affect Long-Term Yields

In February 2005 Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan noticed that the 10-year Treasury yields failed to increase despite a 150-basis-point increase in the federal funds rate as a “conundrum.” This paper shows that the connection between the 10-year yield and the federal funds rate was severed in the late 1980s, well in advance of Greenspan’s observation.

The Case Against Patents

The case against patents can be summarized briefly: there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity.

An Approximate Dual-Self Model and Paradoxes of Choice under Risk

We derive a simplified version of the model of Fudenberg and Levine [2006, 2011] and show how this approximate model is useful in explaining choice under risk.

Evolving to the Impatience Trap: The Example of the Farmer-Sheriff Game

The literature on the evolution of impatience, focusing on one-person decision problems, finds that evolutionary forces favor the more patient individuals. This paper shows that in the context of a game, this is not necessarily the case.

Conflict and the Evolution of Societies

The Malthusian theory of evolution disregards a pervasive fact about human societies: they expand through conflict. When this is taken account of the long-run favors not a large population at the level of subsistence, nor yet institutions that maximize welfare or per capita output, but rather institutions that maximize free resources.

Codes of Conduct, Private Information, and Repeated Games

We examine self-referential games in which there is a chance of understanding an opponent’s intentions. Our main focus is on the interaction of two sources of information about opponents’ play: direct observation of the opponent’s code-of-conduct, and indirect observation of the opponent’s play in a repeated setting.

Comment on "Taylor Rule Exchange Rate Forecasting During the Financial Crisis"

In this note we discuss the paper on exchange rate forecasting by Molodtsova and Papell (2012).

Consistent Testing for Structural Change at the Ends of the Sample

In this paper we provide analytical and Monte Carlo evidence that Chow and Predictive tests can be consistent against alternatives that allow structural change to occur at either end of the sample.

International Channels of the Fed’s Unconventional Monetary Policy

Previous research has established that the Federal Reserve’s large scale asset purchases (LSAPs) significantly influenced international bond yields.

Loan Regulation and Child Labor in Rural India

We study the impact of loan regulation in rural India on child labor with an overlapping-generations model of formal and informal lending, human capital accumulation, adverse selection, and differentiated risk types.

The Zero Lower Bound and the Dual Mandate

This article uses a DSGE framework to evaluate the role of monetary policy in determining the likelihood of encountering the zero lower bound. We find that the probability of experiencing episodes of being at zero lower bound depends almost exclusively on the monetary policy rule.

Capital Controls or Exchange Rate Policy? A Pecuniary Externality Perspective

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, a new policy paradigm has emerged in which old-fashioned policies such as capital controls and other government distor- tions have become part of the standard policy toolkit (the so-called macro-prudential policies).

Unemployment Insurance Fraud and Optimal Monitoring

We present evidence that fraudulent collection of unemployment benefits by workers who are gainfully employed is the most relevant incentive problem for the design of unemployment insurance.

Academic Rankings with RePEc

This document describes the data collection and use of data for the computation of rankings within RePEc (Research Papers in Economics).

A Model of Price Swings in the Housing Market

In this paper we use a standard neoclassical model supplemented by some frictions to understand large price swings in the housing market.

Did Housing Policies Cause the Postwar Boom in Homeownership?

After the collapse of housing markets during the Great Depression, the U.S. government played a large role in shaping the future of housing finance and policy. Soon thereafter, housing markets witnessed the largest boom in recent history.


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