The lack of improvement in allocative efficiency plays a quantitatively important role in the productivity slowdown in the United States and the widening Canada–US productivity gap.
When lenders cannot directly identify behavioural and rational borrowers, they use type scoring to track the likelihood of a borrower’s type. This leads to the partial pooling of borrowers, which results in rational borrowers subsidizing borrowing costs for behavioural borrowers. This, in turn, reduces the effectiveness of regulatory policies that target mistakes by behavioural borrowers.
Because they mimic desirable features of cash and are typically used for smaller-value transactions, contactless payment cards are a competitive alternative to cash. This study investigates whether contactless credit cards are an important contributor to the decline in the transactional usage of cash, using Canadian panel data between 2010 and 2017.
We look at the informational content of consensus pricing in opaque over-the-counter markets. We show that the availability of price data informs participants mainly about other participants’ valuations, rather than about the value of a financial security.
We study the labour market and welfare effects of expanding unemployment insurance benefits and introducing payroll subsidies during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that both policies are complementary and are beneficial to different types of workers. Payroll subsidies preserve the employment of workers in highly productive jobs, while unemployment insurance replaces lost income for workers who experience inevitable job loss.
In a cashless economy, would the private sector invest in the optimal level of safety in a deposit-based payment system? In general, because of externalities, the answer is no. While the private sector could over- or under-invest in safety, the government can use taxes or subsidies to correct private incentives.
We compare the determinants of consumer inflation expectations in the US and Canada by analyzing two current surveys. We find that Canadian consumers rely more on professional forecasts and the history of actual inflation when forming their expectations, while US consumers rely more on their own lagged expectations.
The impact of COVID-19 on Canadian households’ debt and unplanned savings varies by household income. Low-income and high-income households accrued unplanned savings, while middle-income households tended to accumulate more debt.
We study the interaction between epidemics and economic decisions in a model that has silent transmission of the virus. We find that rational behaviour strongly diminishes the severity of the epidemic but worsens the economic recession. We also find that the detection and isolation of not only symptomatic individuals but also those who are infected and asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic can reduce the severity of the recession caused by the pandemic.
How should a central bank conduct quantitative easing (QE) in a monetary union when regions differ in their size and portfolio characteristics? Optimal QE policy suggests allocating greater purchases from the region that faces stronger portfolio frictions, and not necessarily according to each region’s size.