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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues



During the institute's monthly press briefing Dec. 8, former institute Executive Director Greg Brown analyzed the “slower slowing” in employment growth and signs that the Federal Reserve should keep its guard up against inflation.

This paper defines risk-on risk-off (RORO), an elusive terminology in pervasive use, as the variation in global investor risk aversion. Our high-frequency RORO index captures time-varying investor risk appetite across multiple dimensions: advanced economy credit risk, equity market volatility, funding conditions, and currency dynamics. The index exhibits risk-off skewness and pronounced fat tails, suggesting its amplifying potential for extreme, destabilizing events. Compared with the conventional VIX measure, the RORO index reflects the multifaceted nature of risk, underscoring the diverse provenance of investor risk sentiment. Practical applications of the RORO index highlight its significance for international portfolio reallocation and return predictability.

During the institute’s monthly press briefing Nov. 3, Research Director Camelia Kuhnen analyzed the subdued job growth in October’s employment report and why economic growth isn't being distributed evenly among all households.

Quantum computers are not yet up to the task of providing computational advantages for practical stochastic diffusion models commonly used by financial analysts. In this paper we introduce a class of stochastic processes that are both realistic in terms of mimicking financial market risks as well as more amenable to potential quantum computational advantages.

Chief Economist Gerald Cohen analyzed the strong job growth in September’s employment report during the institute’s monthly economic briefing Oct. 6 and looked at why Congress should focus on mandatory spending and tax revenue, not discretionary spending.

Firms' payout decisions respond to expected returns: everything else equal, firms invest less and pay out more when their cost of capital increases. Given investors' demand for firm payout, market clearing implies that the dynamics of productivity and payout demand fully determine equilibrium asset prices and returns. We use this logic to propose a payout-based asset pricing framework and we illustrate the analogy between our approach and consumption-based asset pricing in a simple two-period model. Then, we introduce a quantitative payout-based asset pricing model and calibrate the productivity and payout demand processes to match aggregate U.S. corporate output and payout empirical moments. We find that model-implied payout yields and firm returns go a long way in reproducing key attributes of their empirical counterparts.

We study the performance and information acquisition behavior of mutual funds for both their long and short positions. We show that managers acquire relatively more information about their shorts because the benefit of acquiring information about shorts is larger.

Institute Chief Economist Gerald Cohen examined the effect of rising gasoline prices on overall inflation figures and the Federal Reserve’s probable response during the institute’s monthly economic briefing Sept. 8. 

This paper surveys the recent advances in machine learning method for economic forecasting. The survey covers the following topics: nowcasting, textual data, panel and tensor data, high-dimensional Granger causality tests, time series cross-validation, classification with economic losses.

General Partners (GPs) in private equity face a trade-off between focusing their skills and effort on fewer investments to earn higher returns, or investing more broadly to reduce risk through diversification. Using a novel, deal-level dataset of 5,925 global investments from 1999 to 2016, we show that these portfolio considerations are important for understanding fund-level private equity returns.

The 2022 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded to Ben S. Bernanke, Douglas W. Diamond, and Philip H. Dybvig “for research on banks and financial crises”. This article surveys the contributions of the three laureates and discusses how their insights have changed the way that academics and policymakers understand banks and their roles in financial crises.

We investigate the role of information dissemination about cyberattacks through major newswires on municipal finance. Employing a difference-in-differences approach to identify causal effects, we find that county-level cyberattacks covered by the media cause increases in new offer yields and reduce bond issuance.