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Jel Classification:E13 

Working Paper
Time-Inconsistent Optimal Quantity of Debt

A key property of the Aiyagari-type heterogeneous-agent models is that the equilibrium interest rate of public debt lies below the time discount rate. This fundamental property, however, implies that the Ramsey planner’s fiscal policy may be time-inconsistent because the forward-looking planner would have a dominant incentive to issue plenty of debt such that all households are fully self-insured against idiosyncratic risk. But such a full self-insurance allocation may be paradoxical because, to achieve it, the optimal labor tax rate may approach 100% and aggregate consumption may approach ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-037

Working Paper
Interpreting Shocks to the Relative Price of Investment with a Two-Sector Model

Consumption and investment comove over the business cycle in response to shocks that permanently move the price of investment. The interpretation of these shocks has relied on standard one-sector models or on models with two or more sectors that can be aggregated. However, the same interpretation continues to go through in models that cannot be aggregated into a standard one-sector model. Furthermore, such a two-sector model with distinct factor input shares across production sectors and commingling of sectoral outputs in the assembly of final consumption and investment goods, in line with ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-7

Working Paper
The Stable Transformation Path

Standard dynamic models of structural transformation, without knife-edge and counterfactual parameter values, preclude balanced growth path (BGP) analysis. This paper develops a dynamic equilibrium concept for a more general class of models | an alternative to a BGP, which we coin a Stable Transformation Path (STraP). The STraP characterizes the medium-term dynamics of the economy in a turnpike sense; it is the path toward which the economy (quickly) converges from an arbitrary initial capital stock. Calibrated simulations demonstrate that the relaxed parameter values that the STraP allows ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-23

Working Paper
Optimal Fiscal Policies under Market Failures

The aggregate capital stock in a nation can be overaccumulated for many different reasons. This paper studies which policy or policy mix is more effective in achieving the socially optimal (golden rule) level of aggregate capital stock in an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agents incomplete-markets economy where capital is over-accumulated for two distinct reasons: (i) precautionary savings and (ii) production externalities. By solving the Ramsey problem analytically along the entire transitional path, we show that public debt and capital taxation play very distinct roles in dealing with the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-002

Working Paper
The Real Effects of Monetary Shocks: Evidence from Micro Pricing Moments

This paper evaluates the informativeness of eight micro pricing moments for monetary non-neutrality. Frequency of price changes is the only robustly informative moment. The ratio of kurtosis over frequency is significant only because of frequency, and insignificant when non-pricing moments are included. Non-pricing moments are additionally informative about monetary non-neutrality, indicating potential omitted variable bias and the inability of pricing moments to serve as sufficient statistics. In contrast to existing theoretical work, this ratio has an ambiguous relationship with monetary ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-17

Working Paper
Technology adoption, mortality and population dynamics

We develop a quantitative theory of mortality trends and population dynamics. Our theory emphasizes individual choices on costly adoption of healthy technologies and diffusion of knowledge about infections as a key channel for reducing mortality. Our theory is consistent with three observations on mortality: (i) The cross-country correlation between levels of mortality and income is negative; (ii) mortality in poor countries has converged to that of rich countries despite no convergence in income; and (iii) economic growth is not a prerequisite for mortality to decline. We calibrate our model ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-039

Working Paper
The Ramsey Steady State Conundrum in Heterogeneous-Agent Economies

In infinite horizon, heterogeneous-agent and incomplete-market models, the existence of an interior Ramsey steady state is often assumed instead of proven. This paper demonstrates the critical importance of proving the existence of the Ramsey steady state when conducting theoretical or numerical analysis on optimal fiscal policies. We use an analytically tractable heterogeneous-agent model to make our point by showing that the conditions for the existence of an interior Ramsey steady state are quite sensitive to structural parameter values. In particular, we show that researchers may draw ...
Working Papers

Working Paper
Revisiting Capital-Skill Complementarity, Inequality, and Labor Share

This paper revisits capital-skill complementarity and inequality, as in Krusell, Ohanian, Rios-Rull and Violante (KORV, 2000). Using their methodology, we study how well the KORV model accounts for more recent data, including the large changes in the labor's share of income that were not present in KORV. We study both labor share of gross income (as in KORV), and income net of depreciation. We also use nonfarm business sector output as an alternative measure of production to real GDP. We find strong evidence for continued capital-skill complementarity in the most recent data, and we also find ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1319

Journal Article
China's Growth Outlook: Is High-Income Status in Reach?

Can China build on its development success to achieve high-income status in the decades ahead? To shed light on this question, we examine the past and prospective future sources of growth in China through the lens of the neoclassical growth model. Our key finding is that China would need to sustain total factor productivity growth at the top end of the range achieved by its high-income Pacific Rim neighbors in order to match their success in raising living standards. While fast-growing working-age populations boosted per capita income growth elsewhere in the Pacific Rim, a rapidly aging ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 26 , Issue 4 , Pages 69-97

Working Paper
The Determination of Public Debt under both Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Uncertainty

We use an analytically tractable, heterogeneous-agent incomplete-markets model to show that the Ramsey planner's decision to finance stochastic public expenditures implies a departure from tax smoothing and an endogenous mean-reverting force to support positive debt growth despite the government's precautionary saving motives. Specifically, the government's attempt to balance the competing incentives between its own precautionary saving (tax smoothing) and households' precautionary saving (individual consumption smoothing)---even at the cost of extra tax distortion---implies an endogenous, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-038

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