Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey: Survey Methodology and Performance
Jesus Cañas and Emily Kerr
Abstract: The Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey (TMOS) is a monthly survey of area manufacturers conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. TMOS indexes provide timely information on manufacturing activity in Texas, which is useful for understanding broader changes in regional economic conditions. This paper describes the survey methodology and analyzes the explanatory and predictive power of TMOS indexes with regard to other measures of state economic activity. Regression analysis shows that several TMOS indexes successfully explain monthly changes in Texas employment and quarterly changes in gross state product. Forecasting exercises show that several TMOS indexes, particularly general business activity and growth rate of orders, are useful in predicting changes in Texas employment.
The Impact of Temporary Protected Status on Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes
Pia Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny
Abstract: The United States currently provides Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 300,000 immigrants from selected countries. TPS is typically granted if dangerous conditions prevail in the home country due to armed conflict or a natural disaster. Individuals with TPS cannot be deported and are allowed to stay and work in the United States temporarily. Despite the increased use of TPS in recent years, little is known about how TPS affects labor market outcomes for beneficiaries, most of whom are unauthorized prior to receiving TPS. This study examines how migrants from El Salvador who are likely to have received TPS fare in the labor market compared with other migrants. The results suggest that TPS eligibility leads to higher employment rates among women and higher earnings among men. The results have implications for recent programs that allow some unauthorized immigrants to receive temporary permission to remain and work in the United States.
150 Years of Boom and Bust: What Drives Mineral Commodity Prices?
Abstract: My paper provides long-run evidence on the dynamic effects of supply and demand shocks on mineral commodity prices. I assemble and analyze a new data set of price and production levels of copper, lead, tin, and zinc from 1840 to 2010. Price fluctuations are primarily driven by demand rather than supply shocks. Demand shocks affect the price persistently for up to five-teen years, whereas the effect of mineral supply shocks persists for a maximum of five years. My paper shows that price surges caused by rapid industrialization are a recurrent phenomenon throughout history. Mineral commodity prices return to their declining or stable trends in the long run.
Industrialization and the Demand for Mineral Commodities
Abstract: This paper uses a new data set extending back to 1840 to investigate how industrialization affects the derived demand for mineral commodities. I establish that there is substantial heterogeneity in the long-run effect of manufacturing output on demand across five commodities after controlling for sectoral change, substitution and technological development. My results imply substantial differences across commodities with regard to future demand from industrializing countries and with regard to the effect of demand shocks on prices. Models should include non-Gormand preferences to account for this heterogeneity.
Macroelasticities and the U.S. Sequestration Budget Cuts
Abstract: Microeconomic studies keep reporting that the intertemporal substitution in consumption and the Frisch elasticity of aggregate labor supply have signi ficantly lower values than macroeconomic models find consistent with the dynamics of aggregate variables. The paper argues that in the U.S. such dynamics have been influenced since 2013 by the temporary spending cuts imposed by the so-called budget sequestration. The paper exploits the "policy experiment" features of that measure to gauge macroelasticity values from the evidence associated with it, adopting to that effect a macroeconomic model constructed according to the methodological principles advocated by the real business cycle literature. Readings of the preliminary evidence available at the time of this writing with such a measuring device do not particularly favor high values for either of the two macroelasticities under study. Although its too early to be conclusive, this finding illustrates how existing disagreements about the value of key macroelasticities can eventually be narrowed down by applying the approach proposed in this paper to the evidence coming out of the budget sequestration policy, as it unfolds over time.
Asymmetric Firm Dynamics under Rational Inattention
Anton Cheremukhin and Antonella Tutino
Abstract: We study the link between business failures, markups and business cycle asymmetry in the U.S. economy with a model of optimal rm exit under rational inattention. We show that the models predictions of lagged, counter-cyclical and positively skewed markups together with counter-cyclical exit rates are consistent with the empirical evidence. Moreover, our model uncovers a new mechanism that links information processing with the business cycle. It predicts countercyclical attention to economic conditions consistent with survey evidence.
Do Restrictions on Home Equity Extraction Contribute to Lower Mortgage Defaults? Evidence from a Policy Discontinuity at the Texas’ Border
Abstract: Texas is the only US state that limits home equity borrowing to 80 percent of home value. This paper exploits this policy discontinuity around the Texas’ interstate borders and uses a multidimensional regression discontinuity design framework to find that limits on home equity borrowing in Texas lowered the likelihood of mortgage default by about 1 percentage point for all mortgages and 2-4 percentage points for nonprime mortgages. Estimated nonprime mortgage default hazards within 25 to 100 miles on either side of the Texas’ border are about 15 percent smaller as one crosses into Texas.
A Closer Look at the Phillips Curve Using State Level Data
Anil Kumar and Pia Orrenius
Abstract: Studies that estimate the Phillips curve for the U.S. use mainly national-level data and find mixed evidence of nonlinearity, with some recent studies either rejecting nonlinearity or estimating only modest convexity. In addition, most studies do not make a distinction between the relative impacts of short-term vs. long-term unemployment on wage inflation. Using state-level data from1982 to 2013, we find strong evidence that the wage-price Phillips curve is nonlinear and convex; declines in the unemployment rate below the average unemployment rate exert significantly higher wage pressure than changes in the unemployment rate above the historical average. We also find that the short-term unemployment rate has a strong relationship with both average and median wage growth, while the long-term unemployment rate appears to influence only median wage growth.
Income Inequality and Political Polarization: Time Series Evidence Over Nine Decades
John V. Duca and Jason L. Saving
Abstract: Rising income inequality and political polarization have led some to hypothesize that the two are causally linked. Properly interpreting such correlations is complicated by the multiple factors that drive each of these phenomena, potential feedbacks between inequality and polarization, measurement issues, and statistical challenges for modeling non-stationary variables. We find that a more precise measure of inequality (the inverted Pareto-Lorenz coefficient) is statistically related to polarization while a less precise one (top 1% income share) is not, and that there are bi-directional feedbacks between polarization and inequality. Findings support a nuanced view of the links between polarization and inequality.
Fuel Subsidies, the Oil Market and the World Economy
Nathan Balke, Michael Plante and Mine Yücel
Abstract: This paper studies the effects of oil producing countries' fuel subsidies on the oil market and the world economy. We identify 24 oil producing countries with fuel subsidies where retail fuel prices are about 34 percent of the world price. We construct a two-country model where one country represents the oil-exporting subsidizers and the second the oil-importing bloc, and calibrate the model to match recent data. We find that the removal of subsidies would reduce the world price of oil by six percent. The removal of subsidies is unambiguously welfare enhancing for the oil-importing countries. Welfare can also improve in the oil-exporting countries, depending upon the extent to which they are net exporters of oil and on oil supply and demand elasticities.
Deposit Interest Rate Ceilings as Credit Supply Shifters:
Bank Level Evidence on the Effects of Regulation Q
Abstract: Shocks emanating from and propagating through the banking system have recently gained interest in the macroeconomics literature, yet they are not a feature unique to the 2008/09 financial crisis. Banking disintermediation shocks occured frequently during the Great Inflation era due to fixed deposit rate ceilings. I estimate the effect of deposit rate ceilings inscribed in Regulation Q on the transmission of federal funds rate changes to bank level credit growth using a historic bank level data set spanning half a century from 1959 to 2013 with about two million observations. Measures of the degree of bindingness of Regulation Q suggest that individual banks’ lending growth was smaller the more binding the legally fixed rate ceiling. Interaction terms with monetary policy suggest that the policy impact on bank level credit growth was non-linear at the ceiling “kink” and significantly larger when rate ceilings were in place. At the bank level, short-term interest rates exceeding the legally fixed deposit rate ceilings identify bank loan supply shifts that disappeared with deposit rate deregulation and thus weakened the credit channel of monetary transmission since the early 1980s.
The Zero Lower Bound and Endogenous Uncertainty
Michael Plante, Alexander W. Richter and Nathaniel A. Throckmorton
Abstract: This paper documents a strong negative correlation between macroeconomic uncertainty and real GDP growth since the Great Recession. Prior to that event the correlation was weak, even when conditioning on recessions. At the same time, many central banks reduced their policy rate to its zero lower bound (ZLB), which we contend contributed to the strong correlation between macroeconomic uncertainty and real GDP growth. To test that theory, we use a model where the ZLB occasionally binds. The model roughly matches the correlation in the data—away from the ZLB the correlation is weak but strongly negative when the ZLB binds.
Heterogeneous Bank Lending Responses to Monetary Policy: New Evidence from a Real-time Identification
John C. Bluedorn, Christopher Bowdler and Christoffer Koch
Abstract: We present new evidence on how heterogeneity in banks interacts with monetary policy changes to impact bank lending, at both the bank and U.S. state levels. Using an exogenous policy measure identified from narratives on FOMC intentions and real-time economic forecasts, we find much stronger dynamic effects and greater heterogeneity in U.S. bank lending responses than that found in previous research based on realized federal funds rate changes. Our findings suggest that studies using realized monetary policy changes confound monetary policy’s effects with those of changes in expected macrofundamentals. In fact, estimates from identified monetary policy changes lead to a reversal of U.S. states’ ranking by credit’s sensitivity to policy. We also extend Romer and Romer (2004)’s identification scheme, and expand the time and balance sheet coverage of the U.S. banking sample.
How Do E-Verify Mandates Affect Unauthorized Immigrant Workers?
Pia M. Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny
Abstract: A number of states have adopted laws that require employers to use the federal government’s E-Verify program to check workers’ eligibility to work legally in the United States. Using data from the Current Population Survey, this study examines whether such laws affect labor market outcomes among Mexican immigrants who are likely to be unauthorized. We find evidence that E-Verify mandates reduce average hourly earnings among likely unauthorized male Mexican immigrants while increasing labor force participation and employment among likely unauthorized female Mexican immigrants. In contrast, the mandates appear to lead to better labor market outcomes among workers likely to compete with unauthorized immigrants. Employment and earnings rise among male Mexican immigrants who are naturalized citizens in states that adopt E-Verify mandates, and earnings rise among U.S.-born Hispanic men.
A Theory of Targeted Search
Anton Cheremukhin, Antonella Tutino and Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria
Abstract: We present a theory of targeted search, where people with a finite information processing capacity search for a match. Our theory explicitly accounts for both the quantity and the quality of matches. It delivers a unique equilibrium that resides in between the random matching and the directed search outcomes. The equilibrium that emerges from this middle ground is inefficient relative to the constrained Pareto allocation. Our theory encompasses the outcomes of the random matching and the directed search literature as limiting cases.
What Drives the Shadow Banking
System in the Short and Long Run?
John V. Duca
Abstract: This paper analyzes how risk and other factors altered the relative use of short-term business debt funded by the shadow banking system since the early 1960s. Results indicate that the share was affected over the long-run not only by changing information and reserve requirement costs, but also by shifts in the impact of regulations on bank versus nonbank credit sources—such as Basel I in 1990 and reregulation in 2010. In the short-run, the shadow share rose when deposit interest rate ceilings were binding, the economic outlook improved, or risk premia declined, and fell when event risks disrupted financial markets.