U.S. Likely Didn’t Slip into Recession in Early 2022 Despite Negative GDP Growth
Most indicators—particularly those measuring labor markets—provide strong evidence that the U.S. economy did not fall into a recession in the first quarter.
Container Trade and the U.S. Recovery
Since the 1970s, exports and imports of manufactured goods have been the engine of international trade and much of that trade relies on container shipping. This paper introduces a new monthly index of the volume of container trade to and from North America. Incorporating this index into a structural macroeconomic VAR model facilitates the identification of shocks to domestic U.S. demand as well as foreign demand for U.S. manufactured goods. We show that, unlike in the Great Recession, the primary determinant of the U.S. economic contraction in early 2020 was a sharp drop in domestic demand. ...
A Quantitative Model of the Oil Tanker Market in the Arabian Gulf
Using a novel dataset, we develop a structural model of the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) market between the Arabian Gulf and the Far East. We study how fluctuations in oil tanker rates, oil exports, shipowner profits, and bunker fuel prices are determined by shocks to the supply and demand for oil tankers, to the utilization of tankers, and to bunker fuel costs. Our analysis shows that time charter rates respond only slightly to fuel cost shocks. In response to higher fuel costs, voyage profits decline, as cost shocks are only partially passed on to round-trip voyage rates. Oil exports ...
Limited Impact of Rising Energy Prices on U.S. Inflation, Inflation Expectations in 2020–23
Predictions of $100 per barrel oil during the coming winter have raised fears of persistently high inflation and rising inflation expectations for years to come. However, quantitative analysis suggests that these concerns have been overstated.
Surging House Prices Expected to Propel Rent Increases, Push Up Inflation
The inflation rates of rent and owners’ equivalent rent (OER)—the amount of rent equivalent to the cost of ownership—have declined sharply since the COVID-19 pandemic began in February 2020. However, we expect rent inflation and OER inflation to accelerate in the years to come.
The Propagation of Regional Shocks in Housing Markets: Evidence from Oil Price Shocks in Canada
Shocks to the demand for housing that originate in one region may seem important only for that regional housing market. We provide evidence that such shocks can also affect housing markets in other regions. Our analysis focuses on the response of Canadian housing markets to oil price shocks. Oil price shocks constitute an important source of exogenous regional variation in income in Canada because oil production is highly geographically concentrated. We document that, at the national level, real oil price shocks account for 11% of the variability in real house price growth over time. At the ...
Mortgage Borrowing and the Boom-Bust Cycle in Consumption and Residential Investment
This paper studies the transmission of the major shocks in the U.S. housing market in the 2000s to consumption and residential investment. Using geographically disaggregated data, I show that residential investment is more responsive to these shocks than consumption, as measured by elasticities and the implied contributions to GDP growth. I develop a structural life-cycle model featuring multiple types of housing investment to understand the large responses of residential investment. Consistent with the microdata, the model generates lumpy debt accumulation, lumpy housing investment and a ...
Existing Low-Rate Mortgages Blunt Impact of Recent Rate Surge
The prevalence of low-rate mortgages suggests that future policy rate cuts may not as effectively stimulate household spending through refinancing as during past recessions.
A New View of the Relationship Between Oil Prices, Gasoline Prices and Inflation Expectations
It has been considered self-evident until recently that oil prices drive inflation expectations, but new evidence calls into question this conclusion.
FinTech Lending, Social Networks and the Transmission of Monetary Policy
One of the main channels through which monetary policy stimulus affects the real economy is mortgage borrowing. This channel, however, is weakened by frictions in the mortgage market. The rapid growth of financial technology-based (FinTech) lending tends to ease these frictions, given the higher quality services provided under this new lending model. This paper establishes that the role of FinTech lending in the monetary policy transmission is further amplified by consumers’ social networks. I provide empirical evidence for this network effect using county-level data and novel ...