August 27, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research, USA | Leave a comment









Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Recent Working Papers issued by FRBSF

Economic Research


Thu 8/27/09

Listed below are recent additions to the Working Paper Series at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

You can access an index of these papers at the Bank’s website
or access the pdf file of an individual paper using the link following its abstract.

Cross-Country Causes and Consequences of the 2008 Crisis: Early Warning
by Andrew K. Rose and Mark M. Spiegel (WP 2009-17)

This paper models the causes of the 2008 financial crisis together with its manifestations, using a Multiple Indicator Multiple Cause (MIMIC) model. Our analysis is conducted on a cross-section of 107 countries; we focus on national causes and consequences of the crisis, ignoring cross country “contagion” effects. Our model of the incidence of the crisis combines 2008 changes in real GDP, the stock market, country credit ratings, and the exchange rate. We explore the linkages between these manifestations of the crisis and a number of its possible causes from 2006 and earlier. We include over sixty potential causes of the crisis, covering such categories as: financial system policies and conditions; asset price appreciation in real estate and equity markets; international imbalances and foreign reserve adequacy; macroeconomic policies; and institutional and geographic features. Despite the fact that we use a wide number of possible causes in a flexible statistical framework, we are unable to link most of the commonly-cited causes of the crisis to its incidence across countries. This negative finding in the cross-section makes us skeptical of the accuracy of “early warning” systems of potential crises, which must also predict their timing.
JEL classification: E65, F30

Monetary Policy Response to Oil Price Shocks
by Jean-Marc Natal (WP 2009-16)

How should monetary authorities react to an oil price shock? The New Keynesian literature has concluded that ensuring complete price stability is the optimal thing to do. In contrast, this paper argues that a meaningful trade-off between stabilizing inflation and the welfare relevant output gap arises in a distorted economy once one recognizes (i) that oil (energy) cannot be easily substituted by other factors in the short-run, (ii) that there is no fiscal transfer available to policymakers to neutralize the steady-state distortion due to monopolistic competition, and (iii) that increases in oil prices also directly affect consumption by raising the price of fuel, heating oil, and other energy sources. While the first two conditions are necessary to introduce a microfounded monetary policy trade-off, the third one makes it quantitatively significant. The optimal precommitment monetary policy relies on unobservables and is therefore hard to implement. To address this concern, I derive a simple interest rate feedback rule that mimics the optimal plan in all relevant dimensions but that depends only on observables, namely core inflation, oil price inflation, and the growth rate of output.
JEL classification: E32, E52, E58

Welfare-Based Optimal Monetary Policy with Unemployment and Sticky Prices: A Linear-Quadratic Framework
by Federico Ravenna and Carl Walsh (WP 2009-15)

In this paper, we derive a linear-quadratic model for monetary policy analysis that is consistent with sticky prices and search and matching frictions in the labor market. We show that the second-order approximation to the welfare of the representative agent depends on inflation and “gaps” that involve current and lagged unemployment. Our approximation makes explicit how the costs of fluctuations are generated by the presence of search frictions. These costs are distinct from the costs associated with relative price dispersion and fluctuations in consumption that appear in standard new Keynesian models. We use the model to analyze optimal monetary policy under commitment and discretion and to show that the structural characteristics of the labor market have important implications for optimal policy.
JEL classification: E52, E58, J64

Foreign Entry into Underwriting Services: Evidence from Japan’s “Big Bang” Deregulation
by Mark M. Spiegel and Jose A. Lopez (WP 2009-14)

We examine the impact of foreign underwriting activity on bond markets using issuelevel data in the Japanese “Samurai” and euro-yen bond markets. Firms choosing Japanese underwriters tend to be Japanese, riskier, and smaller. We find that Japanese underwriting fees, while higher overall on average, are actually lower after conditioning for issuer characteristics. Moreover, firms tend to sort properly in their choice of underwriter, in the sense that a switch in underwriter nationality would be predicted to result in an increase in underwriting fees. Finally, we conduct a matching exercise to examine the 1995 liberalization of foreign access to the “Samurai” bond market, using yen-denominated issues in the euro-yen market as a control. Foreign entry led to a statistically and economically significant decrease in underwriting fees in the Samurai bond market, as spreads fell by an average of 23 basis points. Overall, our results suggest that the market for underwriting services is partially segmented by nationality, as issuers appear to have preferred habitats, but entry increases market competition.

***For a searchable index of Federal Reserve System Economic Research publications, check out Fed In Print at


Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Recent Working Papers issued by FRBSF Economic Research

Thu 8/27/09


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