I am an economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. My research focuses on topics in macroeconomics and finance.
Please feel free to email me: cooperhowes11 [at] gmail [dot] com
Why Does Structural Change Accelerate in Recessions? The Credit Reallocation Channel, Journal of Financial Economics (2022)
Revised and resubmitted to Review of Economics and Statistics
Also available as KC Fed Research Working Paper 21-06
The information banks have about borrowers drives their lending decisions and macroeconomic outcomes, but this information is inherently difficult to analyze because it is private. We construct a novel measure of bank information quality from confidential regulatory data that include banks' private risk assessments for US corporate loans. We show that our measure of information quality improves as local economic conditions deteriorate, particularly for newly originated loans and loans with greater information sensitivity. Our results provide empirical support for theories of countercyclical information production in credit markets, and suggest that policies designed to stimulate macroeconomic activity through the banking sector may be less effective in recessions.
This paper analyzes how different types of tax changes can have different economic impacts. Using Congressional records, I decompose the plausibly exogenous legislative provisions identified in Romer and Romer (2010) into one of five categories: business marginal rate provisions, business investment incentives, other business provisions, individual marginal rate provisions, and other individual provisions. I find that the effects differ crucially depending on which types of taxes are being cut. I use my results to analyze the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and estimate the Act will boost GDP growth by an average of between 1.4-2.3 percentage points per year from 2018 through 2020. This is significantly higher than most existing estimates of the near-term effects; while the Act's relative permanence and its distributional considerations suggest that these numbers should be thought of as an upper bound, they also support the idea that other estimates are understating the stimulative effects of the Act by not fully accounting for its composition.
Monetary Policy and Intangible Investment (With Alice von Ende-Becker), Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Review (2022)
Inflation in 1972: A Cautionary Tale, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Bulletin (2022)
Barclays Research reports on student loans (available upon request)
The Dark Side of "Good" Debt (2012), An Educated Mess (2012), A Closer Look at the Great Rate Debate (2013)