Working Papers - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta - FRB Atlanta Several series of papers presenting the scholarly research of Atlanta Fed staff economists and visiting scholars. Community Affairs discussion papers address topical issues in community development. en-us Atlanta Fed Logo Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic 5D6C0E66-96D3-4E57-A4C3-E0FC41780FF6 Fri, 31 Jul 2020 07:40:00 EST The authors of this working paper analyze the effects of CARES Act unemployment insurance (UI) on the unemployment rate and the number of deaths from COVID-19. One important policy experiment is that the research explores the effect of extending the additional $600 weekly UI payment on unemployment and the number of infections. Doubts about the Model and Optimal Policy 0239B04D-4CFC-450E-BB2B-085B7D43498E Fri, 31 Jul 2020 07:30:00 EST The author of this working paper analyzes optimal policy design in environments where multiple agents exhibit fears of model misspecification. The Dynamics of the Smoking Wage Penalty 016809F0-D902-4AA3-939E-0E6205C0905F Tue, 28 Jul 2020 07:30:00 EST The authors of this working paper examine the wage gap between cigarette smokers and nonsmokers. Accounting for decisions about smoking, working, education, and occupation, they find that continued heavy smoking in young adulthood results in a wage penalty of 14.8 percent for women and 9.3 percent for men, and the source of the gap differs for men and women. Decomposing Outcome Differences between HBCU and Non-HBCU Institutions 51B3B74D-3402-4F62-B0C5-DB82F7965880 Thu, 16 Jul 2020 07:30:00 EST The authors of this working paper assess contributors to observed differences between historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) and non-HBCU student outcomes. The goal is to identify ways in which HBCUs may improve their relative metrics of student success, such as helping STEM graduates translate their training into higher earnings. Economic Uncertainty before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic D82ED043-66BF-47AF-AD10-12E3D1472373 Fri, 10 Jul 2020 07:30:00 EST The authors of this working paper examine several economic uncertainty indicators before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the indicators showed uncertainty in reaction to the pandemic and its economic fallout, the fluctuations highlight the difference in uncertainty measures between Wall Street and Main Street. Alternative Methods for Studying Consumer Payment Choice E02C1F7C-E9E0-40DF-A795-32D2E1DABAD3 Tue, 23 Jun 2020 07:30:00 EST Using machine learning techniques applied to consumer diary survey data, the author of this working paper examines methods for studying consumer payment choice. These techniques, especially when paired with regression analyses, provide useful information for understanding and predicting the payment choices consumers make. Discount Shock, Price-Rent Dynamics, and the Business Cycle B7933B18-3329-4452-8FE5-EBB35B54A151 Thu, 21 May 2020 14:06:00 EST To account for the volatility of the price-rent ratio in commercial real estate, the authors develop a model that identifies the discount shock as the most important factor in driving price-rent dynamics and links the dynamics in the real estate market to those in the real economy. Cyclical Lending Standards: A Structural Analysis 9A298A9E-C857-459D-8846-0667F3F33778 Thu, 21 May 2020 14:05:00 EST Examining the cyclical nature of lending standards, the authors use micro data to reveal that an exogenous shock to credit supply drives cyclical lending standards and accounts for a significant portion of fluctuations in bank loans and aggregate output. Connecting to Power: Political Connections, Innovation, and Firm Dynamics CA041E2F-5F30-465E-A37B-38FDA75DDA1A Fri, 17 Apr 2020 08:19:00 EST Using social security data and registry of local politicians in Italy, the authors show that political connections among large firms are widespread and help these firms increase their market shares, but not their productivities. These factors have negative consequences for aggregate dynamics. Patents to Products: Product Innovation and Firm Dynamics 701E549C-35A7-4B06-B444-6A55A1ECF8A7 Fri, 17 Apr 2020 08:00:00 EST Using textual analysis of products and patent documents, the authors examine the relationship between patents and actual product innovation in the market. While on average patents capture product innovation, patenting is especially important for market leaders to protect large market shares of existing products.