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Policy Hub Papers

Policy Hub draws on the expertise of Atlanta Fed economists and researchers to address issues of broad policy interest. Our research centers coordinate this work and seek to influence policy discussions. Areas of interest include: forecasting, fiscal policy, macroeconomics (Center for Quantitative Economic Research); financial stability, innovation and regulation (Center for Financial Innovation and Stability); human capital, labor markets, health, and education (Center for Human Capital Studies); and government-sponsored entity reform, mortgage markets, and affordable housing (Center for Housing & Policy).

Policy Hub articles that are reprints or revisions of papers published elsewhere may not be reprinted without the written permission of the original publisher. All other Policy Hub articles may be reprinted without charge. If you reprint an article, please fully credit the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as well as Policy Hub. For more information, read our disclaimer and terms of use.

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Related Publications

The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System.

May 15, 2023

An Introduction to Web3 with Implications for Financial Services

Web3 describes the next iteration of the internet in which decentralized services replace large, centralized firms. This Policy Hub article discusses the potential for Web3 to reduce the costs of providing services and facilitate innovation.

Feb 27, 2023

Transmission of Sovereign Risk to Bank Lending

Examining the relationship between sovereign risk and bank lending, the authors of this Policy Hub article find that for banks with higher exposure to government securities, a higher sovereign default risk implies lower net worth and tightening financial constraint, which lead to lower credit provision.

Jan 11, 2023

How US Consumers without Bank Accounts Make Payments

People without a bank account face challenges when paying for goods or services. This Policy Hub article uses survey data to look at their participation in the payments system and why some people remain unbanked.

Oct 18, 2022

Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Transformative Potential and Associated Risks

Decentralized finance, or DeFi—financial products and services that operate on decentralized platforms using blockchains—has the potential to reshape finance. But it also holds considerable risk. This Policy Hub article examines the emerging innovation.

Oct 06, 2022

Aging, Deflation, and Secular Stagnation

This Policy Hub article looks at the aging of the population and explores whether it will weigh on future prices, interest rates, and output growth.

Oct 03, 2022

Pink and Poverty Taxes on Marriage

Does the US fiscal system discourage some women from marrying? This Policy Hub article looks at the marriage tax, which reflects the decline in lifetime spending power as a result of the difference in taxes and transfer benefits that arise from marriage.

Jul 14, 2022

How Many Rate Hikes Does Quantitative Tightening Equal?

When the Fed shrinks its balance sheet, what is the effect on the fed funds rate? The author of this Policy Hub article quantifies how many interest rate hikes quantitative tightening equals and compares the effect of tightening during normal times versus during financial crises.

Jul 11, 2022

Payment Card Adoption and Payment Choice

How do consumers without credit or debit cards make payments, and do consumers without these payment cards differ from other consumers? This Policy Hub article explores some questions surrounding inclusion in the payment system.

Jul 07, 2022

Lessons Learned from Mortgage Borrower Policies and Outcomes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, the worst public health crisis in a century, caused significant distress in the mortgage market and led the federal government to intervene with an array of policies. This Policy Hub article looks at which policies helped mortgage holders—and which ones proved less effective.

Jun 22, 2022

Should the United States Issue a Central Bank Digital Currency? Lessons from Abroad

This Policy Hub article explores four countries that have been at the forefront of discussion, research, or implementation of a central bank digital currency to help clarify possible implications of such a currency in the United States.

Jun 21, 2022

Considerations on ESG Investment Implementation

Investing according to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standards has become widespread. Read this Policy Hub article for a high-level overview of some considerations investment managers face when investing according to ESG standards.

Jun 01, 2022

Should the US Issue a Central Bank Digital Currency?

Whether the United States should issue a central bank digital currency poses numerous thorny questions. This Policy Hub article wades into the debate to define the problems surrounding a CBDC and offer some answers.

May 09, 2022

Did Substance Abuse during the Pandemic Reduce Labor Force Participation?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, levels of substance abuse rose while labor force participation rates fell. This Policy Hub article examines the impact of heightened substance abuse on the US workforce.

Apr 07, 2022

Who Benefited Most from the CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Provisions?

During the pandemic, the government enhanced unemployment benefits and made them easier to obtain, benefiting many people. But who were the greatest beneficiaries of those enhanced benefits? This Policy Hub article explores which workers felt the greatest impact from temporary changes to unemployment insurance.

Mar 22, 2022

The Impact of the Pandemic on US Businesses: New Results from the Annual Business Survey

Recent data show that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was not spread evenly across firms. New research in Policy Hub finds that minority-owned firms' expectations for business operations in 2022 were less optimistic than businesses not owned by minorities.

Mar 03, 2022

Unstable Coins: The Early History of Central Bank Analog Currencies

Throughout history, the introduction of central bank currencies has been rife with unintended consequences, misfires, and lessons learned—sometimes painfully. This Policy Hub article examines what lessons from the past might be applied to central bank digital currencies.

Feb 24, 2022

Will Wage Growth Alone Get Workers Back Into the Labor Market? Not Likely.

Wage growth alone is not likely to increase labor force participation to prepandemic levels. New research in Policy Hub finds that not only are younger workers redefining what they want from their work environment, they are less responsive to wage incentives than previous generations.

Nov 08, 2021

So Far, So Good: Government Insurance of Financial Sector Tail Risk

When financial market stability has been threatened, the federal government has intervened numerous times in the past 50 years. What are the motivations for, and consequences of, such support? This Policy Hub article looks at some of these interventions and discusses the risks they might pose.

Sep 24, 2021

The Term Structure of the Excess Bond Premium: Measures and Implications

The authors of this Policy Hub article construct a variety of ways to measure the excess bond premium (EBP). They find that the short-term EBP measure increased more dramatically at the peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2007–09 financial crisis.

Sep 09, 2021

The Phillips Curve during the Pandemic: Bringing Regional Data to Bear

This Policy Hub article examines how labor market indicators and inflation have varied together during the pandemic across different parts of the United States. Areas whose labor markets have been especially hard hit by COVID have tended to have lower inflation than areas where the pandemic has had a milder impact on the jobs market.

Sep 01, 2021

Where Are They Now? Workers with Young Children during COVID-19

This Policy Hub article finds that women with very young children made up 10 percent of the prepandemic workforce yet account for nearly a quarter of COVID-related job losses. Daycare limitations appear to be a constraining factor on the availability of workers to fill open positions.

Aug 02, 2021

Digital Currency, Digital Payments, and the 'Last Mile' to the Unbanked

Using digital forms of payment requires funding from a source of money, such as cash or a bank account. Consequently, the unbanked population lacks access to digital payments—the so-called "last-mile" problem. This Policy Hub article examines some proposed solutions to this problem.

Jul 15, 2021

Heat versus Light: Fact-Checking the Debate over De-Risking

What is the evidence for claims about the connection between bank de-risking and anti–money laundering regulation? How does de-risking affect financial exclusion? In this Policy Hub article, the authors draw on multiple sources of information to answer these questions.

Jun 30, 2021

Marketization of Home Production and Gender Gaps in Working Hours

Gender gaps in working hours vary widely across countries. This Policy Hub article looks at the source of cross-country differences and what kind of policies can reduce the gap in working hours between women and men.

Jun 22, 2021

Racial Differences in Mortgage Refinancing, Distress, and Housing Wealth Accumulation during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated racial disparities in U.S. mortgage markets. In this Policy Hub article, the authors document persistent differences in refinances, nonpayments, and the ability to catch up on missed payments. These disparities could worsen the already large gap in home ownership rates across racial and ethnic groups.

Jun 03, 2021

Wage Pressures in the Labor Market: What Do They Say?

Are wage pressures among the newly employed in low-wage service occupations the result of normal economic forces? This Policy Hub article examines how these pressures reflect demand surges for workers in occupations particularly hard hit by pandemic-induced economic shutdowns.

May 17, 2021

Money Aggregates, Debt, Pent-Up Demand, and Inflation: Evidence from WWII

Just as the government mobilized a massive economic effort during WWII, the effort to manage the COVID-19 pandemic is enormous. What parallels can be drawn between then and now? This Policy Hub article looks at some economic implications to answer this question.

Mar 29, 2021

Bank Supervisory Goals versus Monetary Policy Implementation

How might bank supervision interfere with the implementation of monetary policy? This Policy Hub article examines three recent cases of such interference and discusses possible changes to supervision.

Feb 17, 2021

Will COVID-19 Erase Black Workers' Labor Market Gains?

In recent years, Black workers have made solid gains in the U.S. labor market, but COVID-19 threatens to undo some of the progress. This Policy Hub article looks at the pandemic's uneven impact on workers.

Jan 12, 2021

Consumer Behavior in a Health Crisis: What Happened with Cash?

When the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States, caseloads and currency in circulation both surged. Did consumer choice play a role in the increase in currency in circulation? This Policy Hub article uses survey data to explore consumer behavior around cash holdings and payments.

Dec 22, 2020

Model Uncertainty and Policy Design

When doubts about the probability model of uncertainty exist, challenges to the design of optimal policy emerge. This Policy Hub article examines the policymaker's management of the public's pessimistic expectations and the implications of this idea.

Dec 21, 2020

The CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic

How do increased unemployment benefits (through the CARES Act) interact with COVID infection risk and lockdown policy, and how much do they increase unemployment and reduce infection? This Policy Hub article gives an overview of recent Bank research that addresses these questions.

Dec 18, 2020

Central Banks, Global Shocks, and Local Crises: Lessons from the Atlanta Fed's Response to the 1920–21 Recession

A devastating collapse in the price of cotton in 1920 led the Atlanta Fed to undertake policies to ameliorate the effects of the collapse. This Policy Hub article examines the ensuing contentious policy debate and its lasting impact on Federal Reserve policy making.

Dec 04, 2020

COVID-19 International Evidence: Some Notable Puzzles

The impact of COVID-19 ranged widely across the globe, in ways that were sometimes unexpected. Why were some regions pummeled while others emerged relatively unscathed? This Policy Hub article examines some theories for the disparate outcomes.

Nov 30, 2020

Financial Stability and the Coronavirus Pandemic

The macroeconomic shock induced by the coronavirus pandemic caused financial markets to shudder, and the fallout threatened the stability of the system. This Policy Hub article summarizes an Atlanta Fed research conference on the response of corporate credit markets to the pandemic shock.

Oct 21, 2020

Remittances and COVID-19: A Tale of Two Countries

When the pandemic struck the United States, flows of remittances sent to Mexico and El Salvador went in sharply different directions: flows to Mexico rose, and flows to El Salvador dropped. This Policy Hub article looks at reasons behind the divergent remittance levels, including the role possibly played by the uncertain immigration status of migrants in the U.S. labor force.

Oct 08, 2020

Where There's Smoke...: The Wage Impact of Smoking

Like other decisions made early in life, the decision to start smoking can contribute significantly to outcomes much later. This Policy Hub article looks at the wage penalty smokers face, examines how the determination of that penalty differs by gender, and illustrates why early intervention anti-smoking campaigns are important for not only health but also because of smoking's long-term impact on wages.

Aug 10, 2020

Assisting Firms during a Crisis: Benefits and Costs

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a sharp and sudden decline in global economic activity, and policymakers everywhere have struggled to implement the right financial programs to help firms. This Policy Hub article looks at the pros and cons of supporting firms.

Jul 13, 2020

Wage Growth over Unemployment Spells

Could the COVID-19 pandemic have enduring effects on people's long-term earnings? In this Policy Hub article, the authors suggest that the pandemic not only led to unprecedented job losses, it could also lead to sizable wage losses for a large fraction of unemployed people after they find new jobs.

Jun 25, 2020

Evaluating the Benefits of a Streamlined Refinance Program

This Policy Hub article examines the effects of a streamlined refinance program that would allow some borrowers to refinance without needing to document employment or income.

Jun 18, 2020

Measuring and Managing COVID-19 Model Risk

This Policy Hub article examines the role and importance of model risk management and how the resulting models can better inform decisions.

Jun 12, 2020

Mismatch of Jobs and People: Do Migration Constraints Put Racial Minorities at a Disadvantage?

This Policy Hub article examines the role that a reluctance or inability to relocate plays in the geographic mismatch of jobs and workers, noting a greater mismatch among racial minorities.

May 28, 2020

The Federal Reserve's Liquidity Backstops to the Municipal Bond Market during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This Policy Hub article provides initial evidence of the effectiveness of some of the Federal Reserve’s facilities in calming the municipal bond market after the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

May 14, 2020

Why Cash Transfers Are Good Policy in the COVID-19 Pandemic

This Policy Hub article finds that cash transfers mitigate the surge in consumption inequality triggered by the pandemic and provide liquidity-constrained workers with the financial resources to shelter at home.

Apr 17, 2020

Impacts of COVID-19: Mitigation Efforts versus Herd Immunity

With the spread of COVID-19, governments everywhere pursued lockdown policies. Now governments are developing plans to reopen the economy. What will be the public health consequences? The new issue of Policy Hub illustrates the difficulties in answering this question and how widespread testing can help.

Apr 09, 2020

Changes in State Unemployment Insurance Rules during the COVID-19 Outbreak in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented expansion in unemployment insurance eligibility across states, but not all states responded in the same way. The new issue of Policy Hub summarizes the changes to states’ unemployment insurance rules in response to the crisis and looks at factors that have contributed to the variation in states’ responses.

Jan 17, 2020

Standing Repo Facilities, Then and Now

Should the Federal Open Market Committee set up a standing repo facility? The Bank of Amsterdam implemented such a similar facility in 1683. Policy Hub describes the Bank of Amsterdam’s facility and what lessons it offers today’s central banks.