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Author:Young, Eric R. 

Working Paper
Model uncertainty and intertemporal tax smoothing

In this paper we examine how model uncertainty due to the preference for robustness (RB) affects optimal taxation and debt structure in the Barro tax-smoothing model (1979). We first study how the government spending shocks are absorbed in the short run by varying taxes or through debt under RB. Furthermore, we show that introducing RB can improve the model?s predictions by generating (i) the observed relative volatility of the changes in tax rates to government spending and (ii) the observed comovement between government deficits and spending, and (iii) more consistent behavior of government ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 12-01

Working Paper
Can Wealth Explain Neighborhood Sorting by Race and Income?

Why do high-income blacks live in neighborhoods with characteristics similar to those of low-income whites? One plausible explanation is wealth, since homeownership requires some wealth, and black households hold less wealth than white households at all levels of income. We present evidence against this hypothesis by showing that wealth does not predict sorting into neighborhood quality once race and income are taken into account. An alternative explanation is that the scarcity of high-quality black neighborhoods increases the cost of living in a high-quality neighborhood for black households ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1808

Working Paper
The Piketty Transition

We study the effects on inequality of a "Piketty transition" to zero growth. In a model with a worker-capitalist dichotomy, we show first that the relationship between inequality (measured as a ratio of incomes for the two types) and growth is complicated; zero growth can raise or lower inequality, depending on parameters. Extending our model to include idiosyncratic wage risk we show that growth has quantitatively negligible effects on inequality, and the effect is negative. Finally, following Piketty?s thought experiment, we study how the transition might occur without declining returns; ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1432

Working Paper
The Politics of Flat Taxes

We study the political determination of flat tax systems using a workhorse macroeconomic model of inequality. There is significant variation in preferred tax policy across the wealth and income distribution. The majority voting outcome features (i) zero labor income taxation, (ii) simultaneous use of capital income and consumption taxation, and (iii) essentially zero transfers. This policy is supported by a coalition of low- and middle-wealth households. Zero labor income taxation is supported by households with below average wealth, while the middle-wealth households prefer to keep the ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-42R2

Working Paper
Government Debt Limits and Stabilization Policy

We evaluate alternative public debt management policies in light of constraints imposed by the effective lower bound on interest rates. Replacing the current limit on gross debt issued by the fiscal authority with a limit on consolidated debt of the government can ensure that output always reaches its potential, but it may permit excess government spending when the economy is away from the effective lower bound. The welfare-maximizing policy sets the gross debt limit to the level implied by Samuelson (1954), while the central bank finances government spending with money when the economy is at ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-23

Working Paper
Bankruptcy and Delinquency in a Model of Unsecured Debt

This paper documents and interprets two facts central to the dynamics of informal default or "delinquency" on unsecured consumer debt. First, delinquency does not mean a persistent cessation of payment. In particular, we observe that for individuals 60 to 90 days late on payments, 85% make payments during the next quarter that allow them to avoid entering more severe delinquency. Second, many in delinquency (40%) have smaller debt obligations one quarter later. To understand these facts, we develop a theoretically and institutionally plausible model of debt delinquency and bankruptcy. Our ...
Working Paper , Paper 16-12

Working Paper
Optimal policy for macro-financial stability

In this paper we study whether policy makers should wait to intervene until a financial crisis strikes or rather act in a preemptive manner. We study this question in a relatively simple dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model in which crises are endogenous events induced by the presence of an occasionally binding borrowing constraint as in Mendoza (2010). First, we show that the same set of taxes that replicates the constrained social planner allocation could be used optimally by a Ramsey planner to achieve the first best unconstrained equilibrium: in both cases without any ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-041

Working Paper
Loan guarantees for consumer credit markets

Loan guarantees are arguably the most widely used policy intervention in credit markets, especially for consumers. This may be natural, as they have several features that, a priori, suggest that they might be particularly effective in improving allocations. However, despite this, little is actually known about the size of their effects on prices, allocations, and welfare. ; In this paper, we provide a quantitative assessment of loan guarantees, in the context of unsecured consumption loans. Our work is novel as it studies loan guarantees in a rich dynamic model where credit allocation is ...
Working Paper , Paper 11-06

Optimal Policy for Macro-Financial Stability

There is a new and now large literature analyzing government policies for financial stability based on models with endogenous borrowing constraints. These normative analyses build upon the concept of constrained efficient allocation, where the social planner is constrained by the same borrowing limit that agents face. In this paper, we show that the same set of policy tools that implement the constrained efficient allocation can be used by a Ramsey planner to replicate the unconstrained allocation, thus achieving higher welfare. The constrained social planner approach may lead to inaccurate ...
Staff Reports , Paper 899

Working Paper
Revenue-maximizing monetary policy

In this paper, we examine the impact that changes in the rate of money creation and reserve requirements have on real seigniorage revenue. We consider two additional features that differ from previous analyses. First, the model economies grow endogenously, and that growth depends on the accumulation of intermediated capital. Second, agents have two means of financing; one is bank deposits against which reserves must be held and the other is a nonbank intermediary. Thus, growth-rate effects and financing-substitution effects are both present, and one can assess the quantitiative importance or ...
Working Papers , Paper 9801


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