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Chicago Fed Letter

Most Recent Articles

Mariacristina De Nardi and Sharada Dharmasankar

Women contribute a large fraction of aggregate labor hours, earnings, and labor force participation. Yet, many models used to study the effects of government policy ignore gender differences and use data on men only. These models are used extensively for examining the effects of government policies and programs—including Social Security, taxation, and welfare programs. Before evaluating how people respond to such policies, it is important to construct a reliable model of how people behave and why.

Chicago’s Fiscal Future: Growth or Insolvency? A Conference Summary

Richard Mattoon and Sarah Wetmore

The intersection between poor fiscal conditions facing Chicago and the prospects for business development was the subject of a conference cosponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Civic Federation on April 19, 2017. Specifically, the program focused on whether municipal bankruptcy is an appropriate mechanism for addressing extreme fiscal stress and the impact such an action might have on key Chicago industries, particularly those characterized by rapid recent growth.

Thomas Walstrum

This article examines how well the Chicago Fed Survey of Business Conditions (CFSBC) Activity Index does at predicting U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the current quarter (nowcasting). It also compares the index’s nowcasting performance with those of other economic indicators.

Jonas FisherFrançois Gourio and Spencer Krane

In response to the massive challenges presented by the global financial crisis, in late 2007 the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) began a series of large reductions in its traditional policy tool, the overnight interest rate in the federal funds market. By December 2008 the Committee had lowered the target to its effective lower bound (ELB) of 0 to 25 basis points. Later, in an attempt to provide additional monetary stimulus, the FOMC implemented nontraditional policy tools, such as large-scale asset purchases and forward guidance about how long the fed funds rate would stay at very low levels.

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