NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Alfonso Flores-Lagunes

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Working Papers

March 2010The Influence of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation on Housing Markets During the 1930s
with Price V. Fishback, William Horrace, Shawn E. Kantor, Jaret Treber: w15824
Problems with mortgage financing are widely considered to be a major cause of the recent financial meltdown. Several modern programs have been designed to mimic the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation of the 1930s. The HOLC replaced the toxic assets on the balance sheets of financial institutions by buying troubled mortgages and then refinanced the mortgages to allow home owners to avoid losing their homes. We analyze the impact of the HOLC on the nonfarm rental and owned home markets after developing a new data set for over 2800 counties in the United States. In counties with fewer than 50,000 people, where financial markets were not as well developed as in larger cities, the HOLC’s financial interventions helped stimulate the demand for owned housing more than it influenced the supply. ...
January 2006Assessing the Sources of Changes in the Volatility of Real Growth
with Stephen G. Cecchetti, Stefan Krause: w11946
In much of the world, growth is more stable than it once was. Looking at a sample of twentyfive countries, we find that in sixteen, real GDP growth is less volatile today than it was twenty years ago. And these declines are large, averaging more than fifty per cent. What accounts for the fact that real growth has been more stable in recent years? We survey the evidence and competing explanations and find support for the view that improved inventory management policies, coupled with financial innovation, adopting an inflation targeting scheme and increased central bank independence have all been associated with more stable real growth. Furthermore, we find weak evidence suggesting that increased commercial openness has coincided with increased output volatility.
December 2004Has Monetary Policy Become More Efficient? A Cross Country Analysis
with Stephen G. Cecchetti, Stefan Krause: w10973
Over the past twenty years, macroeconomic performance has improved in industrialized and developing countries alike. In a broad cross-section of countries inflation volatility has fallen markedly while output variability has either fallen or risen only slightly. This increased stability can be attributed to either: 1) more efficient policy-making by the monetary authority, 2) a reduction in the variability of the aggregate supply shocks, or 3) changes in the structure of the economy. In this paper we develop a method for measuring changes in performance, and allocate the source of performance changes to these two factors. Our technique involves estimating movements toward an inflation and output variability efficiency frontier, and shifts in the frontier itself. We study the change from th...

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