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Jel Classification:E13 

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 (modified golden rule) level of aggregate capital stock in an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agents incomplete-markets economy where capital may be 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 ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-002

Working Paper
Don’t Tax Capital — Optimal Ramsey Taxation in Heterogeneous Agent Economies with Quasi-Linear Preferences

We build a tractable heterogeneous-agent incomplete-markets model with quasi-linear preferences to address a set of long-standing issues in the optimal Ramsey taxation literature. The tractability of our model enables us to analytically prove the existence of a Ramsey steady state and establish several novel results: (i) In the absence of any redistributional effects of capital taxation or lump-sum transfers, the optimal capital tax is exclusively zero in a Ramsey steady state regardless of the modified golden rule (MGR) and government debt limits. (ii) Whether the MGR holds or not depends ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-007

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

We use an analytically tractable model to show that the Ramsey planner's decisions to finance stochastic public expenditures under uninsurable idiosyncratic risk implies a departure from tax smoothing. In the absence of state-contingent bonds the government's attempt to balance the competing incentives between tax smoothing and individual consumption smoothing---even at the cost of extra tax distortion---implies a bounded stochastic unit root component in optimal taxes. Nonetheless, a sufficiently high average level of public debt to support individuals’ self-insurance position is welfare ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-038

Working Paper
Are Government Bonds Net Wealth or a Liability? ---Optimal Debt and Taxes in an OLG Model with Uninsurable Income Risk

A positive national debt is often rationalized either by the assumption of dynamic inefficiency in an overlapping-generations (OLG) model, or by the hypothesis of heterogeneous-agents and incomplete-markets (HAIM) in an infinite horizon model. Both assumptions imply insufficient private liquidity to support private saving and investment, thus calling for a positive level of public debt to improve social welfare. However, since public debt is financed often by distortionary future taxes, optimal debt and tax policies ought to be studied jointly in a single framework. In this paper we use a ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-007

Working Paper
Are Government Bonds Net Wealth or a Liability? ---Optimal Debt and Taxes in an OLG Model with Uninsurable Income Risk

A positive national debt is often rationalized either by the assumption of dynamic inefficiency in an overlapping-generations (OLG) model, or by the hypothesis of heterogeneous-agents and incomplete-markets (HAIM) in an infinite horizon model. Both assumptions imply insufficient private liquidity to support private saving and investment, thus calling for a positive level of public debt to improve social welfare. However, since public debt is financed often by distortionary future taxes, optimal debt and tax policies ought to be studied jointly in a single framework. In this paper we use a ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-007

Report
RBC Methodology and the Development of Aggregate Economic Theory

This essay reviews the development of neoclassical growth theory, a unified theory of aggregate economic phenomena that was first used to study business cycles and aggregate labor supply. Subsequently, the theory has been used to understand asset pricing, growth miracles and disasters, monetary economics, capital accounts, aggregate public finance, economic development, and foreign direct investment. {{p}} The focus of this essay is on real business cycle (RBC) methodology. Those who employ the discipline behind the methodology to address various quantitative questions come up with ...
Staff Report , Paper 527

Working Paper
Are Government Bonds Net Wealth or a Liability? ---Optimal Debt and Taxes in an OLG Model with Uninsurable Income Risk

The rapidly growing national debt in the U.S. since the 1970s has alarmed and intrigued the academic world. Consequently, the concept of dynamic (in)efficiency in an overlapping generations (OLG) world and the importance of the heterogeneous-agents and incomplete markets (HAIM) hypothesis to justify a high debt-to-GDP ratio have been extensively studied. Two important consensus emerge from this literature: (i) The optimal quantity of public debt is positive—due to insufficient private liquidity to support private saving and investment (see, e.g., Barro (1974), Woodford (1990), and Aiyagari ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-007

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

Journal Article
How Have Shanghai, Saudi Arabia, and Supply Chains Affected U.S. Inflation Dynamics?

Understanding and forecasting inflation has always been a key focus of macroeconomics and monetary policymaking. Historically, many macroeconomists and central banks have relied on the ?Phillips curve? framework for this purpose. Recently, however, the Phillips curve framework has not been performing well. This article examines a number of possible explanations for the breakdown of the ?Phillips curve? relationship between slack and inflation. These explanations include the possibility that the curve may have flattened or shifted, that standard measures may not be capturing key aspects of the ...
Review , Volume 101 , Issue 1 , Pages 27-44

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