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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Links (9/25/19)

  • The Cost of America’s Oligopoly Problem - ProMarket An innovative new study finds substantial, increasing deadweight losses resulting from oligopolistic behavior and points to the important role that startup acquisitions—particularly by large tech firms—played in driving this trend.
  • Helicopter money as a policy option - VoxEU With persistently weak economic conditions becoming the norm in Europe, economists are considering increasingly unconventional policy options. One tool that has yet to be taken out of storage is ‘helicopter money’, i.e. the overt monetary financing of government deficits. This column recounts a policy debate on helicopter money that was held at LBS in April 2013 among three of the world’s leading monetary economists.
  • Once Upon a Time in the Banking Sector: Historical Insights into Banking Competition - Liberty Street Economics How does competition among banks affect credit growth and real economic growth? In addition, how does it affect financial stability? In this blog post, we derive insights into this important set of questions from novel data on the U.S. banking system during the nineteenth century.
  • Inequality, Populism, and Redistribution - IGM Forum Question A: Rising inequality is straining the health of liberal democracy.
  • Jerome Powell’s Dilemma - Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent Reinhart There is a reason that the US Federal Reserve chair often has a haunted look. Probably to his deep and never-to-be-expressed frustration, the Fed is setting monetary policy in a way that increases the likelihood that President Donald Trump will be reelected next year.
  • Why Global Trade Imbalances Could Get Worse Before They Get Better… - Brad Setser Transatlantic imbalances reflect Europe's demand deficit, which should be easy to solve (but isn't). Transpacific imbalances haven't disappeared. And are likely harder to solve, as they stem from an underlying savings surplus.
  • Paying for Data – Digitopoly In the New York Times, there is a video opinion piece from Jaron Lanier which makes the case for finding a way for consumers to be paid for their data. I really enjoyed the accessibility of this piece as I think it helped make a clearer case. But I found myself with some big questions and so wanted to put those out there.
  • Zero Lower Bound Risk according to Option Prices - FRBSF Interest rate derivatives—financial investments whose value depends on interest rates—provide useful information about the risk of short-term rates falling again to the zero lower bound. According to new market-based estimates, the probability of a return to the lower bound by the end of 2021 is about 24%. This is roughly in line with other survey-based and model-based estimates of zero lower bound risk. In recent months, the market-based measure of lower bound risk has increased markedly.
  • Liberalism, Neutrality and the Gendered Division of Labor - Crooked Timber Women and men do unequal amounts of domestic and caring labor, and this inequality contributes to unequal outcomes between men and women in their careers. This is the ‘gendered division of labor’. But are the inequalities, or the processes generating them, unjust? And, if so, should the government act to change anything?
  • The Costs of Inefficient Regulation: The Volcker Rule - Money, Banking and Financial Markets By creating a new regime to limit threats to the U.S. financial system—including heightened scrutiny for systemic intermediaries and a new resolution framework—the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA, passed in July 2010) has made the U.S. financial system notably safer. However, DFA also included burdensome regulations that, in our view, reduce efficiency while doing little to improve resilience. The leading example of such a provision is DFA section 619, known as the Volcker Rule. As Duffie noted well before regulators began to implement the Rule (see the citation above), it is not “cost effective.”
  • Interview with Robert Litterman - Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis “We don’t have 10 years to spare. We don’t have three years. This should have been done long ago. Carbon pricing is the only brake we have, and we’ve got to slam on it immediately.”
  • Investments to address climate change are good for business - EurekAlert An internationally respected group of scientists, including Professor Francois Engelbrecht from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, have urgently called on world leaders to accelerate efforts to tackle climate change. Almost every aspect of the planet's environment and ecology is undergoing changes in response to climate change, some of which will be profound, if not catastrophic, in the future.
  • The Uniform Validity of Impulse Response Inference in Autoregressions - Dallasfed.org Abstract: Existing proofs of the asymptotic validity of conventional methods of impulse response inference based on higher-order autoregressions are pointwise only. In this paper, we establish the uniform asymptotic validity of conventional asymptotic and bootstrap inference about individual impulse responses and vectors of impulse responses when the horizon is fixed with respect to the sample size. For inference about vectors of impulse responses based on Wald test statistics to be uniformly valid, lag-augmented autoregressions are required, whereas inference about individual impulse responses is uniformly valid under weak conditions even without lag augmentation. We introduce a new rank condition that ensures the uniform validity of inference on impulse responses and show that this condition holds under weak conditions. Simulations show that the highest finite-sample accuracy is achieved when bootstrapping the lag-augmented autoregression using the bias adjustments of Kilian (1999). The conventional bootstrap percentile interval for impulse responses based on this approach remains accurate even at long horizons. We provide a formal asymptotic justification for this result.
  • Do Monetary Policy Announcements Shift Household Expectations? - Dallasfed.org Abstract: We use daily survey data from Gallup to assess whether households' beliefs about economic conditions are influenced by surprises in monetary policy announcements. We first provide more general evidence that public confidence in the state of the economy reacts to certain types of macroeconomic news very quickly. Next, we show that surprises to the Federal Funds target rate are among the news that have statistically significant and instantaneous effects on economic confidence. In contrast, surprises about forward guidance and asset purchases do not have similar effects on household beliefs, perhaps because they are less well understood. We document heterogeneity in the responsiveness of sentiment across demographics.
  • A Nobel Economist Cites Growth as Innovation - Scientific American Paul Romer, an expert in what’s known as endogenous growth theory and winner of the 2018 Nobel prize in economics, speaks to Scientific American about seeing economic growth as increased value, akin to when ingredients in a recipe are used to create a dish worth more than the original raw materials. His research concludes that investment in people, knowledge and innovation are primary growth factors.
  • The trouble with capitalism - Stumbling and Mumbling Are the faults of capitalism curable, or are they instead symptoms of a chronic disease? This is the question posed by Martin Wolf:
  • Is Mathematics, like Science, Pluralistic? - Scientific American mathematicians are sometimes unwilling to admit that mathematics is not as perfectly objective, certain, and uncontroversial as they would like to believe. On the other hand, I do believe that any claim along the lines of "proof is dead" is over-sensationalized and misleading.
  • Some Observations on Determining Business Cycle Chronologies - Econbrowser Two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth is a commonplace rule of thumb for defining recessions, but the original conception of recessions is not captured by this simple definition. As some people have disagreed with my description (see [1]), it might be useful to review how recessions are defined in the US (with associated drawbacks), and in other economies.
  • Prospects for economic democracy - Lane KenworthyThe most prominent forms of employee voice are worker participation, labor unions, works councils, board-level employee representation, and worker control. What do we know about them? My take is here. One bit:

    Posted by on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 09:18 AM in Economics, Links | Permalink  Comments (1738)


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