Luca Di Gialleonardo, Mauro Marè, Antonello Motroni, Francesco Porcelli, 04 February 2021

It was clear from early on in the Covid-19 pandemic that combatting it would require governments to monitor mass transit, schools, workplaces, and large public events. Less appreciated was the role played by social capital and family ties in the spread of the virus. This column provides an empirical analysis demonstrating a robust positive relationship between family ties and the contagion rate across the world. Death rates, by contrast, are not affected by family ties or other social factors, but by structural variables – from geography and GDP to median age and available hospital beds.

Gauti Eggertsson, Lawrence H. Summers, 24 January 2019

Several central banks implemented negative policy rates in response to the financial crisis, but there is little consensus on the overall effect of this policy. This column examines the transmission of policy rates to bank lending rates, focusing on the case of Sweden. While the first two cuts in negative territory by the Riksbank appear to have been transmitted to lending rates, transmission seems to have broken down for the second two cuts. The findings suggest diminishing returns on interest rate cuts at negative rates.

José L. Fillat, Stefania Garetto, Arthur V. Smith, 30 November 2018

How relevant are global banks in the transmission of shocks across countries? This column discusses the effects that the presence of foreign banking institutions has on the transmission of shocks during crises. Using a model that microfounds a bank’s decision on whether and how to expand into foreign markets, it quantifies the extent of shock transmission and examines the effects of counterfactual regulatory and monetary policies across borders. 

Michael Ferrantino, Aimee Larsen, 29 August 2009

International trade has transmitted demand contractions across national boundaries throughout the crisis. This column analyses the transmission of the recession through US trade flows at the sectoral level. US imports of housing construction inputs peaked before many other popular housing indicators.

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