Serving the public with innovative research and analysis

Recent Publications

Economic Letter

Posted September 26, 2016
Zheng Liu and Andrew Tai

During the recovery from the Great Recession, real interest rates on government securities have stayed low, but real returns on capital have rebounded. Although this divergence is puzzling in light of standard economic theory, it can be explained by credit market imperfections that raise the cost of capital and depress aggregate investment. The unusually slow credit market recovery is likely to have contributed to the diverging paths of the risk-free rate and returns on capital. It may have also contributed to a slow recovery in investment and output.

View more FRBSF Economic Letters >

View more FRBSF Economic Letters

Working Paper

Posted September 29, 2016
Rhys Bidder, Raffaella Giacomini, and Andrew McKenna

Stress testing has become an important component of macroprudential regulation yet its goals and implementation are still being debated, reflecting the difficulty of designing such frameworks in the context of enormous model uncertainty. We illustrate methods for responding to possible misspecifications in models used for assessing bank vulnerabilities. We show how “exponential tilting” allows the incorporation of external judgment, captured in moment conditions, into a forecasting model as a partial correction for misspecification. We also make use of methods from robust control to seek the most relevant dimensions in which a regulator’s forecasting model might be misspecified—a search for a “worst case” model that is a “twisted” version of the regulator’s initial forecasting model. Finally, we show how the two approaches can be blended so that one can search for a worst case model subject to restrictions on its properties, informed by the regulator’s judgment. We demonstrate the methods using the New York Fed’s CLASS model, a top-down capital stress testing framework that projects the effect of macroeconomic scenarios on U.S. banking firms.

View More Working Papers >

View More Working Papers

Indicators and Data

PCE Inflation Dispersion

The personal consumption expenditure price index (PCEPI) is one measure of U.S. inflation. The PCEPI measures the percentage change in prices of goods and services purchased by consumers throughout the economy.

Tech Pulse

The Tech Pulse Index is an index of coincident indicators of activity in the U.S. information technology sector. It can be interpreted as a summary statistic that tracks the health of the tech sector in a timely manner.

Total Factor Productivity

This site presents a real-time, quarterly series on total factor productivity (TFP) for the U.S. business sector, adjusted for variations in factor utilization - labor effort and capital's workweek.

Wage Rigidity Meter

The Wage Rigidity Meter offers a closer examination of the annual wage changes of U.S. workers that have not changed jobs over the year.