Staff Working Papers

Research intended for journal publication and published in progress, in order to invite feedback from a technical audience.



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Market Concentration and Uniform Pricing: Evidence from Bank Mergers

Staff Working Paper 2021-9 João Granja, Nuno Paixao
We show that US banks price deposits almost uniformly across their branches and that this pricing practice is more important than increases in local market concentration in explaining the deposit rate dynamics following bank mergers.

Distributional Effects of Payment Card Pricing and Merchant Cost Pass-through in Canada and the United States

Although credit cards are more expensive for merchants to accept than cash or debit cards, merchants typically pass through their costs evenly to all customers. Along with consumer card rewards and banking fees, this creates cross-subsidies between payment methods. Because higher-income individuals tend to use credit cards more than those with lower incomes, our results indicate that these cross-subsidies might lead to regressive distributional effects.

Estimating Policy Functions in Payments Systems Using Reinforcement Learning

We demonstrate the ability of reinforcement learning techniques to estimate the best-response functions of banks participating in high-value payments systems—a real-world strategic game of incomplete information.

Eggs in One Basket: Security and Convenience of Digital Currencies

Staff Working Paper 2021-6 Charles M. Kahn, Francisco Rivadeneyra, Tsz-Nga Wong
Digital currencies store balances in anonymous electronic addresses. This paper analyzes the trade-offs between the safety and convenience of aggregating balances in addresses, electronic wallets and banks.

(Optimal) Monetary Policy with and without Debt

How should policy be designed at high debt levels, when fiscal authorities have little room to adjust taxes? Assigning the monetary authority a role in achieving debt sustainability makes it less effective in stabilizing inflation and output.

Networking the Yield Curve: Implications for Monetary Policy

We study how different monetary policies affect the yield curve and interact. Our study highlights the importance of the spillover structure across the yield curve for policy-making.

Using Payments Data to Nowcast Macroeconomic Variables During the Onset of COVID-19

Staff Working Paper 2021-2 James Chapman, Ajit Desai
We use retail payment data in conjunction with machine learning techniques to predict the effects of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy in near-real time. We find this approach yields a significant increase in forecasting precision over a linear benchmark model. This model can help policy-makers before official data are released.

Consumer Credit with Over-optimistic Borrowers

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.