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Do Governments Drive Global Trade Imbalances?

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 23:15:00 -0500

This paper examines the extent to which government policies are responsible for the pattern of current account (trade) imbalances and, by implication, the extent to which such policies might be used to achieve the G-20 goal of reducing imbalances. Fiscal balances and foreign exchange intervention...

Estimates of Fundamental Equilibrium Exchange Rates, November 2017

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:15:00 -0500

The early boost to the dollar following President Donald Trump's election—a Trump "bump"—has been replaced by a Trump "dump." The real effective exchange rate (REER) for the US dollar fell by 6.3 percent from its monthly peak in December 2016 to the October base period used in this study. As a...

Should We Reject the Natural Rate Hypothesis?

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 10:45:00 -0500

Fifty years ago, Milton Friedman articulated the natural rate hypothesis. It was composed of two sub-hypotheses: First, the natural rate of unemployment is independent of monetary policy. Second, there is no long-run tradeoff between the deviation of unemployment from the natural rate and inflation...

A New Index of External Debt Sustainability

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:00:00 -0500

Debt sustainability is fundamentally a probabilistic concept: Debt is rarely sustainable with probability one. Blanchard and Das propose an index of external debt sustainability that reflects this uncertainty. They construct the index as the probability that, at the current exchange rate, net...

Will Corporate Tax Cuts Cause a Large Increase in Wages?

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:00:00 -0500

Proponents of lowering corporate taxes cite an estimate by the Trump administration’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) that cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent would raise average annual household income by $4,000 to $9,000, corresponding to an increase in wages ranging from 6 to...

Recent US Manufacturing Employment: The Exception that Proves the Rule

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 13:15:00 -0400

This Working Paper challenges the widely held view that trade has been the primary reason for the declining share of manufacturing employment in the United States. Lawrence also shows that faster productivity growth over many decades has interacted with unresponsive demand to cause a declining...

United States Is Outlier in Tax Trends in Advanced and Large Emerging Economies

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 17:15:00 -0400

In this comparative analysis of tax systems in advanced and large emerging economies, the United States stands out as an anomaly. Over the past 30 years the average corporate income tax rate in the 46 countries studied has fallen to about 20 to 25 percent, nearly every country has introduced carbon...

The End of the Bretton Woods International Monetary System

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

This paper examines two episodes of international economic policy coordination: the efforts to modify the Bretton Woods international monetary system in the 1960s and early 1970s and to reform the system after the closing of the US official gold window on August 15, 1971. The paper examines the...

Tax Overhaul Risks Making the US Tax and Transfer System (Even) More Regressive

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 15:15:00 -0400

US policymakers should be particularly concerned about the effects of any new tax legislation on the incomes of individuals and businesses because of rising income inequality in the United States and the relatively limited US social safety net financed with government taxes. The evidence gathered...

The Paradox of Risk: Leaving the Monetary Policy Comfort Zone

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 05:00:00 -0400

For decades, economic policymakers have worshipped at the altar of combating inflation, reducing public deficits, and discouraging risky behavior by investors. That mindset made them hesitate when the global financial crisis erupted in 2007–08. In the face of the worst economic disaster in 75 years...