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Economic Research

Inflation Persistence: Dissecting the News in January PCE data
This post presents updated estimates of inflation persistence, following the release of personal consumption expenditure price data for January 2023. The estimates are obtained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Multivariate Core Trend (MCT), which was introduced last year. The MCT stands at 4.9 percent for January following an increase in December, implying a significant upward revision in inflation persistence.
By Martin Almuzara and Argia Sbordone
Insights from Newly Digitized Banking Data, 1867-1904
Call reports are among the most-used data sources in banking and finance. Though the reports were collected as far back as 1867, the underlying data are only easily accessible for the recent past. To help researchers look farther back in time, a complete digital record of this “missing” data is now being created. This post covers data from 1867 through 1904, the bulk of the National Banking Era. It describes the digitization process and highlights some of the interesting features of that era from a research perspective.
By Stephan Luck and Sergio Correia
The Dollar’s Imperial Circle
The importance of the U.S. dollar in the context of the international monetary system has been examined and studied extensively. The authors argue that the dollar is not only the dominant global currency but also a key variable affecting global economic conditions. They describe the mechanism through which the dollar acts as a procyclical force, generating what they dub the “Dollar’s Imperial Circle,” where swings in the dollar govern global macro developments. 
By Ozge Akinci, Gianluca Benigno, Serra Pelin, and Jonathan Turek
Does the CRA Increase Household Access to Credit?
This post examines mortgage issuance to better understand why the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has little to no impact on household credit. The authors find banks increase their market share in CRA-target areas by acquiring existing loans, allowing them to satisfy the CRA without impacting the overall supply of credit. This does not mean that the CRA is ineffective. However, the results suggest reforms could increase the efficacy of the CRA to ensure access to credit for consumers.
By Erica Bucchieri, Jacob Conway, Jack Glaser, and Matthew Plosser
A Turning Point in Wage Growth?
The surge in U.S. wage growth experienced over the past two years is showing some signs of moderation. This post looks at the underlying data by estimating a model designed to isolate the persistent component—or trend—of wage growth. The central finding is that this trend may have peaked in early 2022, having experienced an earlier rise and subsequent moderation that were broad-based across sectors.
By Martin Almuzara, Richard Audoly, and Davide Melcangi
How Much Can GSCPI Improvements Help Reduce Inflation?
This post provides a framework to analyze the determinants of different measures of inflation and use it to lay out a risk-scenario analysis. Global supply factors captured by the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (GSCPI) are found to be strongly associated with inflationary developments measured by the producer and consumer price indices. The model projects a substantial easing of consumer price inflation in 2023 if the GSCPI returns to its historical average within twelve months.
By Ozge Akinci, Gianluca Benigno, Hunter Clark, William Cross-Bermingham, and Ethan Nourbash
Research Topics
Non-Bank Financial Institutions and Banks’ Fire-Sale Vulnerabilities
Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) have grown increasingly more interconnected, and so have their linkages with banking institutions. The authors evaluate the fire-sale implications from shocks to banks and twelve separate NBFI segments (multiple types of insurance companies, open-end funds, hedge funds, pension funds, securities brokers-dealers, and finance companies).
Nicola Cetorelli, Mattia Landoni, and Lina Lu, Staff Report 1057, March 2023
Workers’ Perceptions of Earnings Growth and Employment Risk
The authors analyze workers’ beliefs on several important sources of uncertainty about their own labor market outcomes: on-the-job earnings growth and risk of layoff and quitting. They examine how they differ across workers and types of jobs, how they evolve over the working life and business cycles, and how they covary with consumers’ expectations about the economy. They also study the perceived persistence of earnings shocks. To do so, they use a decade worth of monthly data from the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations.
Gizem Koşar and Wilbert van der Klaauw, Staff Report 1056, February 2023
Noncognitive Skills at the Time of COVID-19: An Experiment with Professional Traders and Students
Noncognitive skills play a crucial role for economic and social outcomes. They are predictive of educational achievement, job-searching effort, the likelihood of finding a job, job performance, wage levels, and long-term health. Noncognitive skills are typically treated as stable characteristics that do not vary with life events or the business cycle. In this paper, the authors elicit and analyze noncognitive skills for a sample of professional traders and portfolio managers. They also use a sample of undergraduate students to gauge whether noncognitive skills of different segments of the population reacted differently to the pandemic events.
Marco Angrisani, Marco Cipriani, Antonio Guarino, Ryan Kendall, and Julen Ortiz de Zarate Pina, Staff Report 1055, February 2023
Market-Function Asset Purchases
The authors explore the design of market-function purchase programs, including their communication, triggers, operational protocols, exit, and wind-down strategies. They also discuss whether fiscal buybacks might be a useful alternative or complement to central bank market-function purchase programs, and how these buybacks could be funded. Fiscal buybacks to support market functionality can be aligned with the fiscal authority’s goal of minimizing the government’s interest expense and can reduce a central bank’s challenges when asset purchases are not naturally congruent with monetary policy.
Darrell Duffie and Frank Keane, Staff Report 1054, February 2023
Is the Green Transition Inflationary?
Are policies aimed at fighting climate change inflationary? The authors provide a simple framework to argue that this does not have to be the case. Their model suggests that climate policies do not force a central bank to tolerate higher inflation but may generate a trade-off between the central bank’s objectives for inflation and real activity.
Marco Del Negro, Julian di Giovanni, and Keshav Dogra, Staff Report 1053, February 2023
Activist Manipulation Dynamics
Blockholder activists—shareholders who influence how firms are run—play a central role in modern corporations. The authors examine a market-based mechanism through which forward-looking activists attempt to steer other activists to add value to firms. They look at a scenario in which two activists with correlated private positions in a firm’s stock trade sequentially before simultaneously exerting effort that determines the firm’s value. They document the existence of a novel linear equilibrium in which an activist’s trades have positive sensitivity to block size, but such orders are not zero on average: the leader activist manipulates the price to induce the follower to acquire a larger position and thus add more value.
Doruk Cetemen, Gonzalo Cisternas, Aaron Kolb, and S. Viswanathan, Staff Report 1030, September 2022
The Bitcoin–Macro Disconnect
The authors investigate the link between Bitcoin and macroeconomic fundamentals by estimating the impact of macroeconomic news on Bitcoin using an event study with intraday data. The key result is that, unlike other U.S. asset classes, Bitcoin is unresponsive to unexpected changes in the short-term rate. This disconnect is puzzling as unexpected changes in discount rates should, in principle, affect the price of Bitcoin even when interpreting Bitcoin as a purely speculative asset.
Gianluca Benigno and Carlo Rosa, Staff Report 1052, February 2023
Risk-Free Rates and Convenience Yields Around the World
Because U.S. government debt is a uniquely safe and liquid financial asset, holders of the debt earn a so-called “convenience yield,” a nonpecuniary value that raises its price above the present value of the future cash flows it pays. The authors construct risk-free interest rates implicit in index option prices for ten of the major G11 currencies. They conclude that risk-free discount rates in the U.S. are especially low due to the central position of the U.S. in the global financial system, particularly during financial crises, but that U.S. safe assets do not earn an unusually large convenience yield in addition.
William Diamond and Peter Van Tassel, Staff Report 1032, September 2022
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