Atlanta Fed Working Papers

The Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta publishes a working paper series to convey the research of staff economists and visiting scholars and stimulate professional discussion and exploration of economic and financial subjects.


Economic Uncertainty before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dave Altig, Scott Brent Baker, Jose Maria Barrero, Nick Bloom, Phil Bunn, Scarlet Chen, Steven J. Davis, Brent Meyer, Emil Mihaylov, Paul Mizen, Nick Parker, Thomas Renault, Pawel Smietanka, and Greg Thwaites
Working Paper 2020-9
July 2020
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

Oz Shy
Working Paper 2020-8 (June)
Using machine learning techniques applied to consumer diary survey data, the author 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

Jianjun Miao, Pengfei Wang, and Tao Zha
Working Paper 2020-7 (May)
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

Kaiji Chen, Patrick Higgins, and Tao Zha
Working Paper 2020-6 (May)
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

Ufuk Akcigit, Salomé Baslandze, and Francesca Lotti
Working Paper 2020-5 (April)
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

David Argente, Salomé Baslandze, Douglas Hanley, and Sara Moreira
Working Paper 2020-4 (April)
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.

Low-Income Consumers and Payment Choice

Oz Shy
Working Paper 2020-3 (February)
Low-income consumers are not only constrained with spending, but also with the type and variety of payment methods available. The author analyzes the low level of possession of credit and debit cards among low-income consumers who are also unbanked.

Monetary Policy Implementation with an Ample Supply of Reserves

Gara Afonso, Kyungmin Kim, Antoine Martin, Ed Nosal, Simon Potter, and Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
Working Paper 2020-2 (January)
Before the 2007–09 financial crisis, excess reserves in the banking system were tiny. After the crisis, they became huge. Recently, they have been falling. The authors address the question of whether there is a best level of reserves.

Bundling Time and Goods: Implications for Hours Dispersion

Lei Fang, Anne Hannusch, and Pedro Silos
Working Paper 2020-1 (January)
The authors document large cross-sectional dispersion in hours worked. Using a model in which households combine market inputs and time to produce nonmarket activities, they show that the substitutability between market inputs and time within and across activities is key to accounting for this fact.

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