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Research philosophy

“[E]conomic knowledge advances when striking real-world events and issues pose puzzles we have to try to understand and resolve.  The most important decisions a scholar makes are what problems to work on.  Choosing them just by looking for gaps in the literature is often not very productive and it worst divorces the literature itself from problems that provide more important and productive lines of inquiry. The best economists have taken their subjects from the world around them.”  — James Tobin

Current working papers

Can Non-Interest Rate Policies Stabilize Housing Markets?“  (With Ilhyock Shim) NBER Working Paper #19723 (also available as BIS working paper #433).

 Data and programs

Non-Interest Rate Policies.  Here is a link to the file of non-interest rate policies used in the Kuttner-Shim paper, “Can Non-Interest Rate Policies Stabilize Housing Markets.”

Monetary Policy Surprises. This Excel file contains the daily futures-based funds rate surprises through mid-2008, calculated using the method described in my 2001 JME paper, and also used in my 2005 JF paper.  Note that since late 2008 the funds rate has been very close to zero, and the FOMC no longer reports a point target for the rate.  This document summarizes my dating of the pre-1994 target rate changes, which in many cases deviate from the official rate change dates.

Fed Portfolio Data. This Excel file contains data on the maturity distribution of the Treasury securities in the Fed’s System Open Market Account (SOMA).  I used this in my 2006 paper, “Can Central Banks Target Bond Prices?” (NBER Working Paper #12454)

Potential Output. This .zip file contains the Gauss programs I used for my 1994 JBES paper on estimating potential output.  Others have since developed much fancier ways to do this, but in its day it was pretty state of the art.