I am a Research Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
I do work on macroeconomics, monetary policy, and international economics.
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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco,
101 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Research Economist at FRBSF since August 2019
Ph.D. in Economics, UC Berkeley, 2019
M.A. in Economics, CEMFI, 2013
B.A. in Economics, University of Costa Rica, 2010
Brookings Papers in Economic Activity (Fall 2018 Edition)
The fact that declines in output since the Great Recession have been parlayed into equivalent declines in measures of potential output is commonly interpreted as implying that output will not return to previous trends. We show that real-time estimates of potential output for the U.S. and other countries respond gradually and similarly to both transitory and permanent shocks to output. Observing revisions in measures of potential output therefore tells us little about whether changes in actual output will be permanent. Some alternative methodologies to estimate potential output can avoid these shortcomings. These approaches suggest a much more limited decline in potential output since the Great Recession.
AEA P&P (May 2019)
The length of the recovery since the Great Recession and the low reported levels of the unemployment rate in the U.S. are increasingly generating concerns about inflationary pressures. We document that an expectations-augmented Phillips curve can account for inflation not just in the U.S. but across a range of countries, once household or firm-level inflation expectations are used. Given this relationship, we can infer the dynamics of slack from the dynamics of inflation gaps and vice versa. We find that the implied slack was pushing inflation below expectations in the years after the Great Recession but the global and U.S. inflation gaps have shrunk in recent years thus suggesting tighter economic conditions. While we find no evidence that inflation is on the brink of rising, the sustained deflationary pressures following the Great Recession have abated.
Going Negative at the ZLB: The Effects of Negative Nominal Interest Rates
After the Great Recession several central banks started setting negative nominal interest rates in an expansionary attempt, but the effectiveness of this measure remains unclear. Negative rates can stimulate the economy by lowering the rates that commercial banks charge on loans, but they can also erode bank profitability by squeezing deposit spreads. This paper studies the effects of negative rates in a new DSGE model where banks intermediate the transmission of monetary policy. I use bank-level data to calibrate the model and find that monetary policy in negative territory is between 60\% and 90\% as effective as in positive territory.
Neo-Keynesian Trade: Understanding the Employment and Welfare Effects of Sector-Level Shocks (with Andrés Rodríguez-Clare and José Pablo Vasquez)
There is a growing empirical consensus suggesting that sector-specific productivity increases in a foreign country can have important unemployment and nonemployment effects across the different regions of a domestic economy. Such employment changes cannot be explained by the workhorse quantitative trade model since it assumes full employment and a perfectly inelastic labor supply curve. In this paper we show how adding downward nominal wage rigidity and home employment allows the quantitative trade model to generate changes in unemployment and nonemployment that match those uncovered by the empirical literature studying the ``China Shock.'' We also compare the associated welfare effects predicted by this model with those in the model without unemployment. We find that the China Shock leads to welfare increases in most states of the U.S., including many that experience unemployment during the transition. On average across U.S. states, nominal rigidities reduce the gains from the China Shock from 36 to 30 basis points.
Work in Progress:
On November 8, 2016, India demonetized all outstanding 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, removing 86% of cash in circulation. New 500 and 2,000 rupee notes were eventually issued, but the process of printing and distribution took longer than anticipated. The motive for demonetization was to crack down on counterfeiting and money laundering and, as such, was unrelated to the state of the Indian macro-economy. Therefore, Indian demonetization can serve as a unique natural experiment to study the real effects of monetary shocks, price rigidities, and relative substitution patterns following a liquidity crunch. This project uses disaggregated data on prices and quantities of different consumption categories across regions in India to study these topics. Our results suggest that the prices of agricultural goods responded strongly and somewhat persistently to demonetization; however, the household consumption response was more muted.
Real-Time Estimates of Potential GDP: Should the Fed Really Be Hitting the Brakes?