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Author:Foote, Christopher L. 

Working Paper
The Impact of the Age Distribution on Unemployment: Evidence from US States

Economists have studied the potential effects of shifts in the age distribution on the unemployment rate for more than 50 years. Most of this analysis uses a “shift-share” method, which assumes that the demographic structure has no indirect effects on age-specific unemployment rates. This paper uses state-level data to revisit the influence of the age distribution on unemployment in the United States. We examine demographic effects across the entire age distribution rather than just the youth share of the population—the focus of most previous work—and extend the date range of analysis ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-15

Working Paper
Technological innovation in mortgage underwriting and the growth in credit, 1985–2015

The application of information technology to finance, or ?fintech,? is expected to revolutionize many aspects of borrowing and lending in the future, but technology has been reshaping consumer and mortgage lending for many years. During the 1990s, computerization allowed mortgage lenders to reduce loan-processing times and largely replace human-based assessments of credit risk with default predictions generated by sophisticated empirical models. Debt-to-income ratios at origination add little to the predictive power of these models, so the new automated underwriting systems allowed higher ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-11

Journal Article
Contract-theoretic approaches to wages and displacement, commentary

Review , Issue May

Working Paper
Rising Geographic Disparities in US Mortality

The 21st century has been a period of rising inequality in both income and health. In this study, we find that geographic inequality in mortality for midlife Americans increased by about 70 percent from 1992 to 2016. This was not simply because states such as New York or California benefited from having a high fraction of college-educated residents who enjoyed the largest health gains during the last several decades. Nor was higher dispersion in mortality caused entirely by the increasing importance of “deaths of despair,” or by rising spatial income inequality during the same period. ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-9

Discussion Paper
Labor-market polarization over the business cycle

During the last few decades, labor markets in advanced economies have become ?polarized? as relative labor demand grows for high- and low-skill workers while it declines for middle-skill workers. This paper explores how polarization has interacted with the U.S. business cycle since the late 1970s. Consistent with previous work, the authors find that recessions are strongly synchronized across workers with different skills. Even high-skill workers favored by polarization suffer during recessions; this is particularly true during the last two downturns. Additionally, there is no evidence that ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 12-8

Discussion Paper
Oil and the macroeconomy in a changing world: a conference summary

Analysis of oil-price movements is once again an important feature of economic policy discussions. To provide some background for this analysis, this paper summarizes a conference on the oil market held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in June 2010. Four cross-cutting themes emerged from this symposium, which included scientific experts, market participants, business leaders, academics, and policymakers. First, the decline in real oil prices that followed the 1970s' oil shocks is unlikely to be repeated today, because there are fewer ways in which oil-importing countries can reduce oil ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 11-3

Discussion Paper
Subprime facts: what (we think) we know about the subprime crisis and what we don’t

Using a variety of datasets, we document some basic facts about the current subprime crisis. Many of these facts are applicable to the crisis at a national level, while some illustrate problems relevant only to Massachusetts and New England. We conclude by discussing some outstanding questions about which the data, we believe, are not yet conclusive.
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 08-2

Population Aging and the US Labor Force Participation Rate

The labor force participation rate dropped sharply at the beginning of the pandemic, and as of November 2021 it had recovered only about half of its lost ground. The failure of the participation rate to get closer to its level immediately before the pandemic has puzzled many analysts. In this note, we show that the current participation rate is much less puzzling if one compares it with participation in November 2017 (the last time the unemployment rate was at its current level of 4.2 percent), rather than February 2020 (immediately before the pandemic). Since November 2017, population aging ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Working Paper
Reducing foreclosures: no easy answers

This paper takes a skeptical look at a leading argument about what is causing the foreclosure crisis and what should be done to stop it. We use an economic model to focus on two key decisions: the borrower's choice to default on a mortgage and the lender's subsequent choice whether to renegotiate or modify the loan. The theoretical model and econometric analysis illustrate that unaffordable loans, defined as those with high mortgage payments relative to income at origination, are unlikely to be the main reason that borrowers decide to default. In addition, this paper provides theoretical ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2009-15

Measuring the US Employment Situation Using Online Panels: The Yale Labor Survey

This report presents the results of a rapid, low-cost survey that collects labor market data for individuals in the United States. The Yale Labor Survey (YLS) used an online panel from YouGov to replicate statistics from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the government’s source of household labor market statistics. The YLS’s advantages include its timeliness, low cost, and ability to develop new questions quickly to study labor market patterns during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Although YLS estimates of unemployment and participation rates mirrored the broad trends in CPS ...
Current Policy Perspectives


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