Liberty Street Economics
September 30, 2016

From the Vault: Does Forward Guidance Work?



In recent months, there have been some high-profile assessments of how far the Federal Reserve has come in terms of communicating about monetary policy since its “secrets of the temple” days. While observers say the transition to greater transparency “still seems to be a work in progress,” they note the range of steps the Fed has taken over the years to shed light on its strategy, including issuing statements to announce and explain policy changes following Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings, post-meeting press conferences and minutes, FOMC-member speeches and testimony, and “forward guidance” in all its variants.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

September 28, 2016

U.S. Real Wage Growth: Slowing Down With Age



LSE_U.S. Real Wage Growth: Slowing Down With Age

Second of two posts
In Monday’s post, we described the estimation of real wage growth rates for different cohorts of U.S. workers. We showed that the life-cycle pattern of real wage growth is characterized by high growth early in a worker’s career, little to no growth in mid-career, and negative growth as workers near retirement. We also documented that a growing fraction of the U.S. adult population is transitioning into the flat to negative real wage growth phases of their careers. Here, we turn our attention to estimating the effect of this demographic shift on the economy-wide average real wage growth rate. Our analysis shows that this economy-wide average real wage growth rate has declined by a third since the mid-1980s.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 2 )

September 26, 2016

U.S. Real Wage Growth: Fast Out of the Starting Blocks



LSE_U.S. Real Wage Growth: Fast Out of the Starting Blocks

First of two posts
Much has been written about the aging of the U.S. population, but the importance of this trend for the economy and its evolution can easily be overlooked. This week, we focus on the aging of the labor force and explore its implications for the behavior of real wage growth. In this first post, we examine estimated real wage profiles of workers and document how their levels and growth rates differ across demographic characteristics such as sex, race/ethnicity, education level, and age. Moreover, we argue that the demographic trends predict a slower pace of real wage growth for an increasing fraction of the workforce. Our second post combines the implied real wage growth rates and changing demographics of the U.S. labor force to derive a "cyclically neutral" aggregate real wage growth series. We show that this series has been steadily declining since the mid-1980s.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

September 12, 2016

Is There Discount Window Stigma in the United Kingdom?



LSE_Is There Discount Window Stigma in the United Kingdom?

At the onset of the financial crisis in the summer of 2007, news that Barclays had borrowed from the Bank of England (BoE) received wide media coverage. This information triggered concerns that the BoE’s lending facility may have become stigmatized, prompting market participants to interpret borrowing from the BoE as a sign of financial weakness. If such stigma discouraged borrowing, of course, it would defeat the purpose of the facility. We review the history of the BoE’s lending facilities and experiences with stigma, both historically and in the recent period. We also compare the BoE’s and the Fed’s lending facilities, and conclude that bilateral lending by central banks may tend to become stigmatized to some extent, no matter how the lending facility is structured.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

September 09, 2016

Who Falters at Student Loan Payback Time?



Editor’s note: The labels for “Elite private” and “Non-elite private, not-for-profit” institutions in the charts have been corrected; they were initially transposed. We regret the error. (September 12, 12:45 p.m.)

LSE_2016_Who Falters at Student Loan Payback Time?

This is the final post in a four-part series examining the evolution of enrollment, student loans, graduation and default in the higher education market over the course of the past fifteen years. In the first post, we found a marked increase in enrollment of 35 percent between 2000 and 2015, led mostly by the for-profit sector—which increased enrollment by 177 percent. The second post showed that these new enrollees were quite different from the traditional enrollees. Yesterday’s post demonstrated an unprecedented increase in loan origination amounts during this period—nearly tripling between 2000 and 2015. This surge was driven most prominently by a massive increase in the number of borrowers in the public community college sector and the private for-profit college sector. Given the large increase in the borrower pool and loan originations, it is paramount to understand the consequences of these changes for the student loan default rate. This post aims to do just that. We focus on three-year cohort default rates reported by the United States Department of Education. The three-year cohort default rate is defined as the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment during a particular federal fiscal year—running from October 1 to September 30—and default prior to the end of the second following fiscal year. Most federal loans enter default when payments are more than 270 days past due.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:02 AM in Education , Labor Economics | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

Now on Your iPhone: The Economic Research Tracker



LSE_Now on Your iPhone: The Economic Research Tracker

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today announced the launch of its Economic Research Tracker app for the iPhone®. The app, which highlights the insights and analysis of New York Fed economists, was first introduced last year for the iPad®. Today’s launch makes the app even more accessible to readers.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Macroecon | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

September 08, 2016

The Changing Role of Community-College and For-Profit-College Borrowers in the Student Loan Market



Editor’s note: The chart sources cited in this post have been corrected. (September 9, 12:55 p.m.)



In the first post in this series, we characterized the rapid transformation of the higher education market over the 2000-2015 period, a transformation that was led by explosive growth of the for-profit sector of higher education. In the second post, we found that most of this growth was driven by nontraditional students entering these institutions. Given this growth and the marked change in student composition, it is important to understand what impact these patterns might have on student loan originations, student loan volume, and the borrower pool in the various sectors of higher education. While a causal analysis is beyond the scope of this post, we instead examine descriptive patterns in these critical postsecondary outcomes. Was the growth in for-profit enrollment associated with a higher incidence of student loans? Were for-profit students, the main contributors of this growth, more or less likely to take student loans, and were they more or less likely to originate larger student loans? How about community-college borrowers, especially since community college enrollment increased noticeably over the period? This post focuses on these questions.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education , Labor Economics | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

September 07, 2016

The Changing Face of the Higher Education Market



LSE_2016_The Changing Face of the Higher Education Market

The higher education landscape changed drastically over the last decade and a half. This evolution was largely characterized by the unprecedented growth of the private for-profit sector. In this post, we examine whether the evolution of the higher education market was associated with changes in the types of students who attended the institutions in various sectors of the market. Was the growth in enrollment spurred by an increased entry of traditional students? Or was it driven by an inflow of nontraditional students? Has student composition in higher education changed differentially between sectors? It is important for us to understand not only the growth in the higher education market but also which types of students contributed to this growth, because any changes in the composition of students may have implications for the composition of skilled workers in the labor market, for student loans, for loan repayment, and for the labor market returns to education investments.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education , Labor Economics | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

September 06, 2016

The Changing Higher Education Landscape



LSE_2016_The Changing Higher Education Landscape

The past decade and a half has seen dramatic changes in the higher education landscape, characterized by significant growth in enrollment. This growth has been concentrated mostly in for-profit schools, where enrollment skyrocketed in the first decade of the period, nearly quadrupling between 2000 and 2011. The post-2011 period has been marked by an abatement of this growth. These patterns have strong implications not only for the higher education market but also for the labor force and the economy more broadly. Therefore, it is essential to understand the evolution of the different sectors of higher education over the last sixteen years; in this post we aim to do just that. How have the different sectors of higher education changed during this period, in particular the for-profit sector? Is the story here more about enrollment in existing schools, or were there differential entries and exits of for-profit schools? This post is the first in a four-part series looking at different aspects of the changing higher education market, including enrollment growth and its composition, student loans, and student loan defaults.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Labor Economics | Permalink | Comments ( 4 )

August 22, 2016

How Do People Revise Their Inflation Expectations?



LSE_How Do People Revise Their Inflation Expectations?

The New York Fed started releasing results from its Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) three years ago, in June 2013. The SCE is a monthly, nationally representative, internet-based survey of a rotating panel of about 1,300 household heads. Its goal, as described in a series of Liberty Street Economics posts, is to collect timely and high-quality information on consumer expectations about a broad range of topics, covering both macroeconomic variables and the households' own situation. In this post, we look at what drives changes in consumer inflation expectations. Do people respond to changes in recent realized inflation, and to expected and realized changes in prices of salient individual commodities—like gasoline? Understanding what drives inflation expectations is important for the conduct of monetary policy, since it improves a central bank’s ability to assess its own credibility and to evaluate the impact of its policy decisions and communication strategy.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Household Finance | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

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