The replacement problem in frictional economies : a near equivalence result
We examine how technological change affects wage inequality and unemployment in a calibrated model of matching frictions in the labor market. We distinguish between two polar cases studied in the literature: a "creative destruction" economy where new machines enter chiefly through new matches and an "upgrading" economy where machines in existing matches are replaced by new machines. Our main results are: (i) these two economies produce very similar quantitative outcomes, and (ii) the total amount of wage inequality generated by frictions is very small. We explain these findings in light ...
Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis
The notion of skilled-biased technological change is often held responsible for the recent behavior of the U.S. skill premium, or the ratio between the wages of skilled and unskilled labor. This paper develops a framework for understanding this notion in terms of observable variables and uses the framework to evaluate the fraction of the skill premium's variation that is caused by changes in observables. A version of the neoclassical growth model is used in which the key feature of aggregate technology is capital-skill complementarity: the elasticity of substitution is higher between capital ...
Asset Trading and Valuation with Uncertain Exposure
This paper considers an asset market where investors have private information not only about asset payoffs, but also about their own exposure to an aggregate risk factor. In equilibrium, rational investors disagree about asset payoffs: Those with higher exposure to the risk factor are (endogenously) more optimistic about claims on the risk factor. Thus, information asymmetry limits risk sharing and trading volumes. Moreover, uncertainty about exposure amplifies the effect of aggregate exposure on asset prices, and can thereby help explain the excess volatility of prices and the predictability ...
Technical appendix for \"Frictional wage dispersion in search models: a quantitative assessment\"
In this Technical Appendix to Hornstein, Krusell, and Violante (2006) (HKV, 2006, hereafter) we provide a detailed characterization of the search model with (1) wage shocks during employment and (2) on-the-job search outlined in Sections 6 and 7 of that paper, and we derive all of the results that are only stated in HKV (2006). In particular, we derive the expressions for our preferred measure of frictional wage inequality: the ratio of average wages to the reservation wage, or, the `mean-min' wage ratio.
The political economy of labor subsidies
We explore a political economy model of labor subsidies, extending Meltzer and Richard's median voter model to a dynamic setting. We explore only one source of heterogeneity: initial wealth. As a consequence, given an operative wealth effect, poorer agents work harder, and if the agent with median wealth is poorer than average, a politico-economic equilibrium will feature a subsidy to labor. The dynamic model does not have capital, but it has perfect markets for borrowing and lending. Because tax rates influence interest rates, another channel for redistribution appears, since a decrease in ...
Technology-policy interaction in frictional labor markets
Does capital-embodied technological change play an important role in shaping labor market outcomes? To address this question, we develop a model with vintage capital and search-matching frictions where irreversible investment in new vintages of capital creates heterogeneity in productivity among firms, matched as well as vacant. We demonstrate that capital-embodied technological change reduces labor demand and raises equilibrium unemployment and unemployment durations. In addition, the presence of labor market regulation?we analyze unemployment benefits, payroll and income taxes, and firing ...
The IT revolution : is it evident in the productivity numbers?
Quality change in the CPI - commentary
On the size of U.S. government: political economy in the neoclassical growth model
We study a dynamic version of Meltzer and Richard's median-voter analysis of the size of government. Taxes are proportional to total income, and they are used for government consumption, which is exogenous, and for lump-sum transfers, whose size is chosen by electoral vote. Votes take place sequentially over time, and each agent votes for the policy that maximizes his equilibrium utility. We calibrate the model and its income and wealth distribution to match postwar U.S. data. This allows a quantitative assessment of the equilibrium costs of redistribution, which involves distortions to the ...