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Ball, Laurence M.

Works: 114 works in 630 publications in 2 languages and 3,707 library holdings
Genres: Rules  History 
Roles: Author
Classifications: HB1,
Publication Timeline
Publications about Laurence M Ball
Publications by Laurence M Ball
Most widely held works by Laurence M Ball
Expectations and the effects of monetary policy by Laurence M Ball( Book )
29 editions published between 1995 and 2001 in English and held by 105 libraries worldwide
This paper examines the predictive power of shifts in monetary policy, as measured by changes in the real federal funds rate, for output, inflation, and survey expectations of these variables. The authors find that policy shifts have larger effects on actual output than on expected output; thus policy predicts errors in output expectations, a violation of rational expectations. Policy shifts do not predict errors in inflation expectations. The authors explain these results with a model in which agents systematically underestimate the effects of policy on aggregate demand. This model helps to explain the real effects of policy.--FRB Philadelphia web site
Policy rules for open economies by Laurence M Ball( Book )
13 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 101 libraries worldwide
This paper examines the choice of a monetary-policy rule in a simple macroeconomic model. In a closed economy, the optimal policy is a output and inflation. In an open economy, the optimal rule changes in two ways. First, the policy instrument is a Conditions Index the exchange rate. Second, on the right side of the rule, inflation is replaced by filters out the transitory effects of exchange-rate movements. The model also implies that pure inflation targeting is dangerous in an open economy, because it creates large fluctuations in exchange rates and output. Targeting long-run inflation avoids this problem and produces a close approximation to the optimal instrument rule
Money, banking, and financial markets by Laurence M Ball( Book )
16 editions published between 2007 and 2012 in English and Chinese and held by 92 libraries worldwide
Efficient rules for monetary policy by Laurence M Ball( Book )
13 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 84 libraries worldwide
This paper defines an efficient rule for monetary policy as one that minimizes a weighted sum of output variance and inflation variance. It derives several results about the efficiency of alternative rules in a simple macroeconomic model. First, efficient rules can be expressed as 'Taylor rules' in which interest rates respond to output and inflation. But the coefficients in efficient Taylor rules differ from the coefficients that fit actual policy in the United States. Second, inflation targets are efficient. Indeed, the set of efficient rules is equivalent to the set of inflation-target policies with different speeds of adjustment. Finally, nominal-income targets are not merely inefficient, but disastrous: they imply that output and inflation have infinite variances
Another look at long-run money demand by Laurence M Ball( Book )
12 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 71 libraries worldwide
This paper investigates the long-run demand for M1 in the postwar United States. Previous studies, based on data ending in the late 1980's, are inconclusive about the parameters of postwar money demand. This paper obtains precise estimates of these parameters by extending the data through 1996. The income elasticity of money demand is approximately 0.5, and the interest semi-elasticity is approximately -0.05. These parameters are significantly smaller in absolute value than the corresponding parameters for the prewar period
What do budget deficits do? by Laurence M Ball( Book )
16 editions published between 1995 and 1996 in English and held by 71 libraries worldwide
This paper discusses the effects of budget deficits on the economy in four steps. First, it reviews standard theory about how budget deficits influence saving, investment, the trade balance, interest rates, exchange rates, and long-term growth. Second, it offers a rough estimate of the magnitude of some of the effects. Third, it discusses how budget deficits affect economic welfare. Finally, it considers the possibility that continuing budget deficits in a country could lead to a 'hard landing' in which the demand for the country's assets suddenly collapses
Does inflation targeting matter? by Laurence M Ball( Book )
22 editions published between 2003 and 2004 in English and held by 70 libraries worldwide
This paper asks whether inflation targeting improves economic performance, as measured by the behavior of inflation, output, and interest rates. We compare seven OECD countries that adopted inflation targeting in the early 1990s to thirteen that did not. After the early 90s, performance improved along many dimensions for both the targeting countries and the non-targeters. In some cases the targeters improved by more; for example, average inflation fell by a larger amount. However, these differences are explained by the facts that targeters performed worse than non-targeters before the early 90s, and there is regression to the mean. Once one controls for regression to the mean, there is no evidence that inflation targeting improves performance
A sticky-price manifesto by Laurence M Ball( Book )
16 editions published between 1993 and 1995 in English and held by 69 libraries worldwide
Macroeconomists are divided on the best way to explain short-run economic fluctuations. This paper presents the case for traditional theories based on short-run price stickiness. It discusses the fundamental basis for believing in this class of macreconomic models. It also discusses recent research on the microeconomic foundations of sticky prices
Disinflation and the NAIRU by Laurence M Ball( Book )
14 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 63 libraries worldwide
This paper asks why the NAIRU rose in most OECD countries in the 1980s. I find that a central cause was the tight monetary policy used to reduce inflation. The evidence comes from a cross-country comparison: countries with larger decreases in inflation and longer disinflationary periods have larger rises in the NAIRU. Imperfections in the labor market have little direct relation to changes in the NAIRU, but long-term unemployment benefits magnify the effects of disinflation. These results support hysteresis' theories of unemployment
The deficit gamble by Laurence M Ball( Book )
17 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 61 libraries worldwide
The historical behavior of interest rates and growth rates in U.S. data suggests that the government can, with a high probability, run temporary budget deficits and then roll over the resulting government debt forever. The purpose of this paper is to document this finding and to examine its implications. Using a standard overlapping-generations model of capital accumulation, we show that whenever a perpetual rollover of debt succeeds, policy can make every generation better off. This conclusion does not imply that deficits are good policy, for an attempt to roll over debt forever might fail. But the adverse effects of deficits, rather than being inevitable, occur with only a small probability
What determines the sacrifice ratio? by Laurence M Ball( Book )
15 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 61 libraries worldwide
This paper investigates the determinants of the "sacrifice ratio" for disinflation: the ratio of the loss in output to the fall in trend inflation. I develop a method for estimating the sacrifice ratio in individual disinflation episodes, and apply it to 65 episodes in moderate-inflation OECD countries. In this sample. the sacrifice ratio is decreasing in the speed of disinflation: cold turkey is less costly than gradualism. The ratio is also decreasing in the flexibility of wage-setting institutions. The openness of the economy has no effect on the ratio. and the effects of incomes policies and the initial level of inflation are unclear
Policy rules and external shocks by Laurence M Ball( Book )
18 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 59 libraries worldwide
Abstract: This essay discusses rules for monetary policy in open economies. If policymakers seek to stabilize output and inflation, optimal rules in open economies differ considerably from optimal rules in closed economies. In open economies, stability is best achieved by targeting long-run inflation' a measure of inflation adjusted to remove transitory effects of exchange-rate movements. Stability is also enhanced by adding an exchange-rate term to "Taylor rules" for setting interest rates. Finally, central banks must choose whether their policy instrument is an interest rate or a "monetary conditions index": an average of the interest rate and the exchange rate. The nature of shocks to the exchange rate determines which of these choices keeps output and inflation more stable
Relative-price changes as aggregate supply shocks by Laurence M Ball( Book )
16 editions published between 1992 and 1995 in English and held by 59 libraries worldwide
This paper proposes a theory of supply shocks, or shifts in the short-run Phillips curve, based on relative-price changes and frictions in nominal price adjustment. When price adjustment is costly, firms adjust to large shocks but not to small shocks, and so large shocks have disproportionate effects on the price level. Therefore, aggregate inflation depends on the distribution of relative-price changes: inflation rises when the distribution is skewed to the right, and falls when the distribution is skewed to the left. We show that this theoretical result explains a large fraction of movements in postwar U.S. inflation. Moreover, our model suggests measures of supply shocks that perform better than traditional measures, such as the relative prices of food and energy
The dynamics of high inflation by Laurence M Ball( Book )
13 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 55 libraries worldwide
This paper presents a model of a high-inflation economy. The model includes the government budget constraint and money demand equation of Cagan's 1956 model; an accelerationist Phillips curve that captures inflation inertia; and an aggregate-spending equation that accounts for the effects of the inflation tax. The paper derives the dynamic effects of fiscal policy, incomes policies, and supply shocks, and uses the results to interpret high-inflation episodes of the 1970s and 1980s
Intergenerational risk sharing in the spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with applications to social security design by Laurence M Ball( Book )
15 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 54 libraries worldwide
This paper examines the optimal allocation of risk in an overlapping-generations economy. It compares the allocation of risk the economy reaches naturally to the allocation that would be reached if generations behind a Rawlsian 'veil of ignorance' could share risk with one another through complete Arrow-Debreu contingent-claims markets. The paper then examines how the government might implement optimal intergenerational risk sharing with a social security system. One conclusion is that the system must either hold equity claims to capital or negatively index benefits to equity returns
The NAIRU in theory and practice by Laurence M Ball( Book )
15 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 52 libraries worldwide
This paper discusses the NAIRU -- the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment. It first considers the role of the NAIRU concept in business cycle theory, arguing that this concept is implicit in any model in which monetary policy influences both inflation and unemployment. The exact value of the NAIRU is hard to measure, however, in part because it changes over time. The paper then discusses why the NAIRU changes and, in particular, why it fell in the United States during the 1990s. The most promising hypothesis is that the decline in the NAIRU is attributable to the acceleration in productivity growth
The Fed and the new economy by Laurence M Ball( Book )
12 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 50 libraries worldwide
This paper seeks to understand the behavior of Greenspan's Federal Reserve in the late 1990s. Some authors suggest that the Fed followed a simple 'Taylor rule, ' while others argue that it deviated from such a rule because it recognized that the 'New Economy' permitted an easing of policy. We find that a Taylor rule based on inflation and unemployment does break down in the late 1990s. However, the Fed's behavior appears stable once one accounts for the falling NAIRU of the period. A rule based on inflation and the deviation of unemployment from the NAIRU captures the Fed's behavior through the entire period from 1987 to 2000
Productivity growth and the Phillips Curve by Laurence M Ball( Book )
12 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 49 libraries worldwide
Abstract: We present a model in which workers' aspirations for wage increases adjust slowly to shifts in productivity growth. The model yields a Phillips curve with a new variable: the gap between productivity growth and an average of past wage growth. Empirically, this variable shows up strongly in the U.S. Phillips curve. Including it explains the otherwise puzzling shift in the unemployment-inflation tradeoff since 1995
Okun's Law : fit at fifty? by Laurence M Ball( Book )
7 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 8 libraries worldwide
This paper asks how well Okun's Law fits short-run unemployment movements in the United States since 1948 and in twenty advanced economies since 1980. We find that Okun's Law is a strong and stable relationship in most countries, one that did not change substantially during the Great Recession. Accounts of breakdowns in the Law, such as the emergence of 'jobless recoveries,' are flawed. We also find that the coefficient in the relationship - the effect of a one percent change in output on the unemployment rate - varies substantially across countries. This variation is partly explained by idiosyncratic features of national labor markets, but it is not related to differences in employment protection legislation -- National Bureau of Economic Research web site
Inflation dynamics and the Great Recession by Laurence M Ball( Book )
11 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 7 libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper examines inflation dynamics in the United States since 1960, with a particular focus on the Great Recession. A puzzle emerges when Phillips curves estimated over 1960-2007 are used to predict inflation over 2008-2010: inflation should have fallen by more than it did. We resolve this puzzle with two modifications of the Phillips curve, both suggested by theories of costly price adjustment: we measure core inflation with the median CPI inflation rate, and we allow the slope of the Phillips curve to change with the level and variance of inflation. We then examine the hypothesis of anchored inflation expectations. We find that expectations have been fully "shock-anchored" since the 1980s, while "level anchoring" has been gradual and partial, but significant. It is not clear whether expectations are sufficiently anchored to prevent deflation over the next few years. Finally, we show that the Great Recession provides fresh evidence against the New Keynesian Phillips curve with rational expectations
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Alternative Names
Ball, L. 1959-
Ball, L. M.
Ball, Laurence
Ball, Laurence 1959-
Ball, Laurence M.
English (301)
Chinese (1)
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