Contact Information

Phone: (617) 973-3089

Mailing Address

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Research Department, T-9
600 Atlantic Ave
Boston, MA 02210

CV


About Me

I am an economist in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. My research is primarily focused on macroeconomic issues, especially on firms' price-setting and the effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy. I am also broadly interested in international economics (in particular, in exchange-rate dynamics and global imbalances), applied time-series analysis, and macroeconomic history. I hold a Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Research

"Price Setting in Online Markets: Does IT Click?" (July 2016; revise and resubmit at the Journal of the European Economic Association)
with Yuriy Gorodnichenko (UC Berkeley) and Oleksandr Talavera (Swansea University, U.K.)
Other versions: NBER (December 2014), Boston Fed WP (January 2015)
In media: VoxEU, PBS
Abstract: Using a unique dataset of daily U.S. and U.K. price listings and the associated number of clicks for precisely defined goods from a major shopping platform, we shed new light on how prices are set in online markets, which have a number of special properties such as low search costs, low costs of monitoring competitors' prices, and low costs of nominal price adjustment. We document that although online prices change more frequently than offline prices, they nevertheless exhibit relatively long spells of fixed prices. By many metrics, such as large size and low synchronization of price changes, considerable cross-sectional dispersion, and low sensitivity to predictable or unanticipated changes in demand conditions, online prices are as imperfect as offline prices. Our findings suggest a need for more research on the sources of price rigidities and dispersion, as well as on the relative role of menu and search costs in online-pricing frictions.
Presented: 19th annual De Nederlandsche Bank research conference (Amsterdam, Netherlands); NBER's "International comparisons of income, prices, and production" (MIT Sloan, 2016); Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; UC Irvine; UC Santa Cruz; Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Royal Economic Society 2015 annual conference (Manchester, U.K.); 1st international conference in applied theory, macro, and empirical finance (Thessaloniki, Greece); 14th EBES conference (Barcelona, Spain); NBER 2014 summer institute (EFG price dynamics)UC Berkeley GEMS
with Wataru Miyamoto (Bank of Canada) and Thuy Lan Nguyen (Santa Clara University)
Other versions: Boston Fed WP (October 2016)
Abstract: Using panel data on military spending for 125 countries, we document new facts about the effects of changes in government purchases on the real exchange rate, consumption, and current accounts in both advanced and developing countries. While an increase in government purchases causes real exchange rates to appreciate and increases consumption significantly in developing countries, it causes real exchange rates to depreciate and decreases consumption in advanced countries. The current account deteriorates in both groups of countries. These findings are not consistent with standard international business-cycle models. We propose potential sources of the differences between advanced and developing countries in the responses to spending shocks.
Presented: FRS international economic analysis, spring 2017 meeting (El Paso, TX), West Coast workshop in international finance (Santa Clara University, 2016), Vanderbilt University, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Bank of Canada, 2016 Econometric Society Asia meeting (Kyoto, Japan)
Scheduled or accepted: Society for Economic Dynamics 2017 meeting (Edinburgh, U.K.),  Midwest macro, spring 2017 meeting (Louisiana State University), International Association for Applied Econometrics (Sapporo, Japan), Econometric Society Asia meeting (Hong Kong)


with Sandra Spirovska (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Old version: Boston Fed WP (July 2015)
Abstract: Using 25 years of military spending data for more than a hundred countries, this paper provides new evidence on the effect of government spending on output. Following a popular assumption that military spending is unlikely to respond to output at business-cycle frequencies—and exploiting variation in military spending of a significantly larger magnitude than in the previous literature based on U.S. data—we find that the government spending multiplier on impact is in the range 0.6–0.7, rising to 0.9 over a 2–3 year horizon. The multiplier is especially large in recessions, under a fixed exchange rate, and when the government purchases durables. We also document substantial heterogeneity across countries, with the spending multiplier larger in advanced economies. These findings suggest that the effectiveness of fiscal policy depends largely on the economic environment and policy implementation.
Presented: Day-Ahead FRS meeting on fiscal policy (San Antonio, TX, 2017), Computing in Economics and Finance 2016 (Bordeaux, France); FRS 2016 macro meeting (Nashville, TN); UC Berkeley GEMS


Abstract: In macroeconomic models, the level of price dispersion—which is typically approximated through its relationship with inflation—is a central determinant of welfare, the cost of business cycles, the optimal rate of inflation, and the tradeoff between inflation and output stability. While the comovement of price dispersion and inflation implied by standard models is positive, I find that in the data, it is negative. This is due to transitory price changes (sales): if sales are removed from the data, the comovement of price dispersion and inflation turns positive. Nevertheless, I show that a wide variety of price-stickiness models that ignore sales cannot quantitatively match the comovement even for regular prices. Modeling sales explicitly helps to reconcile theory with the data for posted and regular prices simultaneously, altering the dynamics of output response to monetary shocks. Finally, I show that models that fail to match the degree of the comovement in the data can significantly mismeasure welfare, the cost of business cycles, and the optimal inflation rate.
Presented: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Bank of Canada; Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Simon Fraser University; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; Cornerstone Research (Washington, DC); College of William and Mary; Vanderbilt University; University of California, Irvine; University of Hawaii, Manoa; University of California, Berkeley

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston nor the Federal Reserve System.
Last updated: April 2017