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

Finance

The (Non-)Resiliency of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States during the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis

We study the contraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in the United States during the recent financial crisis and show their unusual non-resiliency, which depends in part on the global nature of the economic recession, but also on the increases in the cost of financing FDI in the economies in which the flows originate.

The Effect of Neighborhood Spillovers on Mortgage Selection

In this paper we analyze how spillovers in mortgage adoption affect mortgage product choice across neighborhoods and across borrowers of different racial or ethnic groups.

Capital Flows and Japanese Asset Volatility

Characterizing asset price volatility is an important goal for financial economists. The literature has shown that variables that proxy for the information arrival process can help explain and/or forecast volatility.

Should Easier Access to International Credit Replace Foreign Aid?

We examine the interaction between foreign aid and binding borrowing constraint for a recipient country. We also analyze how these two instruments affect economic growth via non-linear relationships. First of all, we develop a two-country, two-period trade-theoretic model to develop testable hypotheses and then we use dynamic panel analysis to test those hypotheses empirically. Our main findings are that: (i) better access to international credit for a recipient country reduces the amount of foreign aid it receives, and (ii) there is a critical level of international financial transfer, and the marginal effect of foreign aid is larger than that of loans if and only if the transfer (loans or foreign aid) is below this critical level.

Lessons from the Evolution of Foreign Exchange Trading Strategies

The adaptive markets hypothesis posits that trading strategies evolve as traders adapt their behavior to changing circumstances.

Mortgage Defaults and Prudential Regulations in a Standard Incomplete Markets Model

A model of mortgage defaults is built into the standard incomplete markets model. Households face income and house-price shocks and purchase houses using long-term mortgages.

A Bayesian Multi-Factor Model of Instability in Prices and Quantities of Risk in U.S. Financial Markets

This paper analyzes the empirical performance of two alternative ways in which multi-factor models with time-varying risk exposures and premia may be estimated. The first method echoes the seminal two-pass approach advocated by Fama and MacBeth (1973).

Did Doubling Reserve Requirements Cause the Recession of 1937-1938? A Microeconomic Approach

In 1936-37, the Federal Reserve doubled the reserve requirements imposed on member banks. Ever since, the question of whether the doubling of reserve requirements increased reserve demand and produced a contraction of money and credit, and thereby helped to cause the recession of 1937-1938, has been a matter of controversy.

Technical Analysis in the Foreign Exchange Market

This article introduces the subject of technical analysis in the foreign exchange market, with emphasis on its importance for questions of market efficiency. “Technicians” view their craft, the study of price patterns, as exploiting traders’ psychological regularities.

Regime Shifts in Mean-Variance Efficient Frontiers: Some International Evidence

Regime switching models have been assuming a central role in financial applications because of their well-known ability to capture the presence of rich non-linear patterns in the joint distribution of asset returns.

Does the Macroeconomy Predict U.K. Asset Returns in a Nonlinear Fashion? Comprehensive Out-of-Sample Evidence

We perform a comprehensive examination of the recursive, comparative predictive performance of a number of linear and non-linear models for UK stock and bond returns.

Out-of-Sample Predictions of Bond Excess Returns with Forward Rates: An Asset-Allocation Perspective

This paper investigates the out-of-sample predictability of bond excess returns.

Ambiguity in Asset Pricing and Portfolio Choice: A Review of the Literature

A growing body of empirical evidence suggests that investors’ behavior is not well described by the traditional paradigm of (subjective) expected utility maximization under rational expectations.

A Yield Spread Perspective on the Great Financial Crisis: Break-Point Test Evidence

We use a simple partial adjustment econometric framework to investigate the effects of the crisis on the dynamic properties of a number of yield spreads. We find that the crisis has caused substantial disruptions revealed by changes in the persistence of the shocks to spreads as much as by in their unconditional mean levels.

Financing Development: The Role of Information Costs

To address how technological progress in financial intermediation affects the economy, a costly state verification framework is embedded into the standard growth model. The framework has two novel ingredients.

Quantifying the Impact of Financial Development on Economic Development

How important is financial development for economic development? A costly state verification model of financial intermediation is presented to address this question.

The IT Revolution and the Unsecured Credit Market

The information technology (IT) revolution coincided with the transformation of the U.S. unsecured credit market.

Unconventional Monetary Policy Had Large International Effects

The Federal Reserve’s unconventional monetary policy announcements in 2008-2009 substantially reduced international long-term bond yields and the spot value of the dollar.

Predictions of Short-Term Rates and the Expectations Hypothesis

Despite its role in monetary policy and finance, the expectations hypothesis (EH) of the term structure of interest rates has received virtually no empirical support.

Financial Integration, Globalization, Growth and Systemic Real Risk

Using data for a large number of advanced and emerging market economies during 1985-2009, this paper documents the dynamics of financial integration and assesses whether advances in financial integration and globalization yield the beneficial real effects resulting from a more efficient resource allocation predicted by theory.

Forecasting the Equity Risk Premium: The Role of Technical Indicators

Academic research relies extensively on macroeconomic variables to forecast the U.S. equity risk premium, with relatively little attention paid to the technical indicators widely employed by practitioners. Our paper fills this gap by comparing the forecasting ability of technical indicators with that of macroeconomic variables.

Does the Structure of Banking Markets Affect Economic Growth? Evidence from U.S. State Banking Markets

This paper examines the impacts of banking market structure and regulation on economic growth using new data on banking market concentration and manufacturing industry-level growth rates for U.S. states during 1899-1929—a period when the manufacturing sector was expanding rapidly and restrictive branching laws segmented the U.S. banking system geographically.

1/N and Long Run Optimal Portfolios: Results for Mixed Asset Menus

Recent research [e.g., DeMiguel, Garlappi and Uppal, (2009), Rev. Fin. Studies] has cast doubts on the out-of-sample performance of optimizing portfolio strategies relative to naive, equally weighted ones. However, existing results concern the simple case in which an investor has a one-month horizon and meanvariance preferences.

Can VAR Models Capture Regime Shifts in Asset Returns? A Long-Horizon Strategic Asset Allocation Perspective

We examine whether simple VARs can produce empirical portfolio rules similar to those obtained under a range of multivariate Markov switching models, by studying the effects of expanding both the order of the VAR and the number/selection of predictor variables included.

Financial Development and Economic Volatility: A Unified Explanation

Empirical studies showed that firm-level volatility has been increasing but the aggregate volatility has been decreasing in the US for the post-war period. This paper proposes a unified explanation for these diverging trends.

A Simple Model of Trading and Pricing Risky Assets Under Ambiguity: Any Lessons for Policy-Makers?

The 2007-2008 financial crises has made it painfully obvious that markets may quickly turn illiquid. Moreover, recent experience has taught us that distress and lack of active trading can jump “around” between seemingly unconnected parts of the financial system contributing to transforming isolated shocks into systemic panic attacks.

Revisiting the Predictability of Bond Risk Premia

This paper investigates the source of predictability of bond risk premia by means of long-term forward interest rates. We show that the predictive ability of forward rates could be due to the high serial correlation and cross-correlation of bond prices.

Time and Risk Diversification in Real Estate Investments: Assessing the Ex Post Economic Value

Welfare gains to long-horizon investors may derive from time diversification that exploits non-zero intertemporal return correlations associated with predictable returns. Real estate may thus become more desirable if its returns are negatively serially correlated.

Subprime Mortgage Design

This paper offers evidence on the design of subprime mortgages as bridge-financing products. We show that the viability of subprime mortgages was uniquely predicated on the appreciation of house prices over short-horizons.

Government Response to Home Mortgage Distress: Lessons from the Great Depression

The Great Depression was the worst macroeconomic collapse in U.S. history. Sharp declines in household income and real estate values resulted in soaring mortgage delinquency rates.


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