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Economic Research

Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19: Essential Workers
Since the pandemic hit and shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders were issued, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding essential services. In this post, the authors investigate the role of employment in essential services in explaining the gap in COVID-19 intensity by race and income.
By Ruchi Avtar, Rajashri Chakrabarti, and Maxim Pinkovskiy
Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19: Social Distancing, Pollution, and Demographics
The authors continue their investigation by looking at three additional potential factors that may help explain the gap in COVID-19 intensity by race and income: the fraction of elderly people, pollution, and social distancing in a county at the time the pandemic began.
By Ruchi Avtar, Raji Chakrabarti, Lindsay Meyerson, and Maxim Pinkovskiy
Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19: Public Transportation and Home Crowding
Interpersonal interactions are a primary mechanism for the spread of COVID-19, with poorly ventilated, crowded, and shared indoor environments exacerbating spread of the virus. The authors continue their examination of the gap in COVID-19 intensity by race and income by looking at two factors related to indoor density—the use of public transportation and crowded living quarters.
By Ruchi Avtar, Rajashri Chakrabarti, and Maxim Pinkovskiy
Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19: Health Insurance, Comorbidities, and Medical Facilities
The authors launch a four-part series that seeks to understand why low-income and majority-minority areas were considerably more affected by COVID-19, as captured by markedly higher case and death rates. This post focuses on whether disparities in health status translate into disparities in COVID-19 intensity and whether the health system plays a role through health insurance and hospital capacity.
By Ruchi Avtar, Rajashri Chakrabarti, and Maxim Pinkovskiy
The New York Fed DSGE Model Forecast—December 2020
The authors present an update of the economic forecasts generated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. They describe very briefly their forecast and its change since September 2020.
By William Chen, Marco Del Negro, Shlok Goyal, and Alissa Johnson
Measuring Corporate Bond Market Dislocations
The authors measure dislocations in the corporate bond market in real time with the Corporate Bond Market Distress Index (CMDI), which allows for the aggregation of a broad set of measures of market functioning from primary and secondary bond markets into a single measure. They document that the CMDI correctly identifies periods of dislocations, is robust to alternative choices of the aggregation procedure, and provides differential predictive information for future real outcomes relative to common spread measures.
Nina Boyarchenko, Richard K. Crump, Anna Kovner, and Or Shachar, Staff Report 957, January 2021
Sophisticated and Unsophisticated Runs
In March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, investors redeemed en masse from prime money market funds (MMFs). The authors use the run to characterize the behavior of sophisticated (institutional) and unsophisticated (retail) investors. They show that the behavior of these two classes were dramatically different, which the authors attribute to their varying levels of sophistication.
Marco Cipriani and Gabriele La Spada, Staff Report 956, December 2020
Zombie Credit and (Dis-)Inflation: Evidence from Europe
The authors show that “zombie credit”—cheap credit to impaired firms—has a disinflationary effect. By helping distressed firms stay afloat, such credit creates excess production capacity, thereby putting downward pressure on product prices. They find that without a rise in zombie credit, inflation in Europe would have been 0.4 percentage point higher post-2012.
Viral V. Acharya, Matteo Crosignani, Tim Eisert, and Christian Eufinger, Staff Report 955, December 2020
High Frequency Data and a Weekly Economic Index during the Pandemic
This paper describes a weekly economic index (WEI) developed to track the rapid economic developments associated with the onset of and policy response to the novel coronavirus in the United States. Comparing the contributions of the WEI’s components in the 2008 and 2020 recessions reveals differences in how the two events played out at a high frequency.
Daniel J. Lewis, Karel Mertens, James H. Stock, and Mihir Trivedi, Staff Report 954, December 2020
The Law of One Price in Equity Volatility Markets
The law of one price states that assets with identical payoffs must have the same price. The author documents systematic law of one price deviations across the VIX futures and S&P 500 index options markets. The prices of VIX futures violate estimates of their no-arbitrage upper and lower bounds, revealing the presence of arbitrage opportunities.
Peter Van Tassel, Staff Report 953, December 2020
Banking Supervision: The Perspective from Economics
The author provides a heuristic review of the economics literature on bank supervision, highlighting broad findings and existing gaps, especially related to work on supervision’s theoretical underpinnings. The review focuses principally on microprudential supervision, that is, the supervision of individual banking institutions aimed at assessing the financial and operational health of those firms. Finally, the discussion focuses on supervision of commercial banks and commercial bank holding companies.
Beverly Hirtle, Staff Report 952, December 2020
Bank Capital and Real GDP Growth
The authors study the empirical relationship between realized bank capital growth and future real GDP growth. They find that increased bank capital predicts lower downside risk to the economy but also lower probability of explosive growth. Notably, while increasing capital cuts off the expected tails of the predicted GDP growth distribution, it has limited effects on the median.
Nina Boyarchenko, Domenico Giannone, and Anna Kovner, Staff Report 950, November 2020
Zombies at Large? Corporate Debt Overhang and the Macroeconomy
With business leverage at record levels, the effects of corporate debt overhang on growth and investment have become a prominent concern. The authors study the effects of corporate debt overhang based on long-run cross-country data covering the near-universe of modern business cycles. They show that business credit booms typically do not leave a lasting imprint on the macroeconomy.
Òscar Jordà, Martin Kornejew, Moritz Schularick, and Alan M. Taylor, Staff Report 951, December 2020
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