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Inflation Volatility and Economic Growth: A Disaggregated Analysis

By Nicholas Becker

Inflation volatility has been theorized to negatively affect real economic growth, but empirical analyses have returned somewhat mixed results. Constructing my own dataset of household group inflation rates by disaggregating and linking Consumer Expenditure Survey data with Consumer Price Index data, I analyze inflation volatility and economic growth from the ground-up. Calculating inflation volatility using a moving-window methodology, I find: 1) significant heterogeneity of inflation volatility across household groups; 2) a negative correlation between inflation volatility and economic growth from 2000-2012 for all household groups, with a stronger negative correlation at lower income levels; 3) a positive correlation between volatility and growth during expansions and a negative correlation between volatility and growth during recessions. Results suggest reducing inflation volatility and refining policymaking to account for the heterogeneity of inflation volatility could improve growth over the longrun. Further analysis is warranted.

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Advisor: Nir Jaimovich | JEL Codes: E31, E32, O40 | Tagged: Inflation, Economic Growth

The Hidden Costs of Central Bank Borrowing

By Shane Hunt

This paper explores a previously overlooked unintended consequence of a private bank accepting Central Bank loans as a lender of last resort. Applying the basic Markowitz Security Model, I explore the potential effect of a private bank accepting a Central Bank loan as a signal of increased risk of investment in that private bank to the private markets. Finding a possibility that private investors will charge a penalty risk premium for having sought Central Bank financing, I consider the effects of this premium in three different game theoretic scenarios, each with a different set of assumptions that could apply in different Economic settings. Depending on the specific environment, possible effects include dependence on Central Bank financing, bankruptcy, or an eventual return to the private financial markets for future funding.

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Advisor: Marjorie McElroy, Nir Jaimovich | JEL Codes: E58, G02, G21, G28, G32 | Tagged: Banking, Central Banking, Finance


Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly