consumer loansThe existence of borrowing constraints in the market for consumer loans has important implications at both the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, credit constraints can affect both the intra- and intertemporal allocations of resources and have important consequences for the effects of various policy measures. At the macro level, liquidity constraints, as borrowing restrictions are often characterized, have been invoked to explain the observed correlation between expected consumption and income growth, and the rejection of the permanent income hypothesis. Moreover, the possibility that individual agents have limited means of smoothing consumption over time has been for a long time considered as a justification for a Keynesian consumption function (see for instance Flemming, 1973). But despite the importance of the topic, and the substantial amount of theoretical and empirical research that has been devoted to it, there is still no conclusive evidence on the significance of credit rationing in consumer loan markets.

A potential explanation for this lack of consensus is the fact that most empirical work on the subject has utilized only consumption data, and not data on loans. The majority of this work has been framed in terms of a test of the life cycle – permanent income hypothesis, focusing on the excess sensitivity of consumption to expected labor income (see, for example, Hall and Mishkin (1982), Hansen and Singleton (1982, 1983), Altonji and Siow (1987), Zeldes (1989), Runkle (1991)). The problem with this approach is that the interpretation of the results critically depends on explicit or implicit assumptions about the utility function. In particular, the inference of the existence of credit constraints often rests on the assumption of separability between consumption and leisure, which has been empirically rejected (Browning and Meghir (1991)).

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financial structureThe Panic of 1837 was the culmination of a series of policy shifts and unanticipated disturbances that shook the young U.S. economy at the core of its financial structure – the banks of New York City. Over the nine months leading up to the crisis, the specie reserves of these banks came under increasing strain as they reacted to legislation designed to achieve a “political” distribution of the surplus balances among the states and an executive order allegedly aimed at ending speculation in the public lands. With much of the nation’s specie diverted from its commercial center, the prospect of shifts in specie demand both domestically and from abroad combined with a break in land prices to render the panic inevitable. The U.S economy is ready to provide their citizens with the all necessary goods and money is not an exception. Money is not an easy thing to be earned and saved that’s why more and more people live on tick moreover the majority of them take speedy loans on and are glan to command their service. it is very comfartable to get money without standing in the long queues.

This description reaffirms one important aspect of the traditional view, namely that the Specie Circular was pivotal. Had the Circular not been enacted, the original set of transfers ordered by the Treasury, both official and supplemental, could have been executed as planned. And though this account argues that the orders were far more disruptive than earlier explanations of the panic have presumed, the New York banks had time to prepare for them. It was the Specie Circular that exacerbated the drain of specie from New York to fuel the continued sales of public lands, and even forced a frantic attempt by the Treasury to alter the orders to redirect specie from West to East late in the Fall of 1836. When the noose tightened around the New York money market just as the huge transfers scheduled for early 1837 came due, the only remedy that remained was repeal of the Specie Circular. President Van Buren’s refusal to reverse his predecessor’s policy upon inauguration in March of 1837, despite the passage of legislation by both Houses of Congress, effectively sealed the nation’s fate. International factors added pressure to an already volatile situation by late April and early May, but any demands for specie from abroad would have been absorbed by a New York money market that had not been subjected to such a severe internal drain.

The Jackson presidency was among the most influential in U.S. history. Many beliefs about the optimal size and scope of government and banking that hold sway in popular culture to this day have their roots in the Jacksonian era. Perhaps, however, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans inadvertently taught the nation another important lesson early in its history that economists and policymakers alike have come to recognize and accept — that when faced with a limited set of monetary instruments for achieving specific objectives, the possibility of unexpectedly severe general equilibrium effects from any given choice makes some degree of flexibility critical in averting the types of crises that can arrest economic growth.

INTEREST-RATE RULES: Rules Using Only Lagged Data 2

Inflationary shocks now lead to delayed increases in interest rates which imply delayed reductions in inflation. The rule then requires that subsequent interest rates fall so that inflation rises once again. For a sufficiently strong reaction of interest rates to lagged inflation, i.e., a high value of a, the resulting oscillations are explosive. Thus, the parameters that minimize the variance of тг in the case of a contemporaneous rule no longer do so when the government can only react with a delay. In particular, this minimization now requires that a be equal to about 15.
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INTEREST-RATE RULES: Rules Using Only Lagged Data

One criticism sometimes leveled (see, e.g., McCallum (1997)) against all rules of the kind considered thus far is that they require the Fed to make use of data about current output and inflation that it does not actually have when it sets the current interest rate. There are two reasons why such variables may simply be unobservable by the central bank. These are that some important economic data is collected retrospectively and that even the data that are collected concurrently need to be processed before their message about the economy as a whole can be distilled. A further difficulty with responding to contemporaneous variables may be that, even if these are observable immediately, the political process of responding to them takes time.
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INTEREST-RATE RULES: Rules that Involve a Lagged Inter est-Rate 2

The result is that the economy stays on a non-explosive path in which increases in inflation are matched by subsequent reductions in inflation which ensure that the interest rate does not explode. In fact, higher values of с actually increase the range of values of a for which a determinate equilibrium exists, by helping to solve the problem of indeterminacy discussed above.

The figure also shows that, within the range being considered, the goal of inflation stabilization is furthered by setting a to as large as possible. The variance of inflation reaches its minimum value (over the range of rules shown in the figure) when a equals 20 and с takes a positive value less than one. If the range of the figure were extended, the optimum would involve even higher values of a. Thus, the key to inflation stabilization remains making sure that the interest rate reacts vigorously to inflation.
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INTEREST-RATE RULES: Rules that Involve a Lagged Inter est-Rate

We achieve improvements in household welfare if we generalize the family of simple Taylor rules to allow the funds rate to respond also to lagged values of itself. We thus consider generalized Taylor rules of the form
where we now allow с to be greater than zero. This allows for interest rate smoothing, so that sustained changes in output and inflation lead to only gradual changes in interest rates. Actual policy in the United States and elsewhere seems to involve some degree of interest rate smoothing, though academic commentators have often questioned why this should be so. read more
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INTEREST-RATE RULES: Consequences of Simple Policy Rules 6

Making a big contributes to stabilization because it ensures that interest rates rise a lot when either G rises or Ys falls. This ensures that inflation does not rise much in either case and that, at least after the demand for output adjusts to changes in real rates, output does not rise in the former case while it declines substantially in the latter.
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As Figure 7 indicates, the rule that minimizes L by setting a equal to 20 leads to very variable interest rates. This is in part due to the delays in the response of output to interest rates. These delays imply that changes in Gt that become known at t — 1 inevitably change output at t since Ct is predetermined. This leads firms to raise their prices at t unless long term real interest rates rise unexpectedly. With с equal to zero, this means that prices can only be stabilized if the nominal interest rate at t rises a great deal.
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INTEREST-RATE RULES: Consequences of Simple Policy Rules 5

The real interest rate would then fall (because the nominal interest rate responds little) and the resulting increase in output means that expected future inflation is lower than current inflation. Thus the change in the expected future path of inflation that is required to justify the initial change in inflation is consistent with expected future inflation converging back to the target inflation rate ix*. In this case, a stationary rational expectations equilibrium is possible in which such fluctuations occur simply because they are expected to. there
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