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Jel Classification:P16 

Working Paper
Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier

Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data, we show that firms lever their political connections to win stimulus grants and that public expenditure channeled through politically connected firms hinders job creation. We build a unique database that links information on campaign contributions, state legislative elections, firm characteristics, and ARRA grant allocation. Using exogenous variation in political connections based on ex-post close elections held before ARRA, we causally show that politically connected firms are 38 percent more likely to secure a grant. Based on an ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-13

Working Paper
Expansionary Austerity: Reallocating Credit Amid Fiscal Consolidation

We study the impact of public debt limits on economic growth exploiting the introduction of a Mexican law capping the debt of subnational governments. Despite larger fiscal consolidation, states with higher ex-ante public debt grew substantially faster after the law, albeit at the expense of increased extreme poverty. Credit registry data suggests that the mechanism behind this result is a reduction in crowding out. After the law, banks operating in more indebted states reallocate credit away from local governments and into private firms. The unwinding of crowding out is stronger for riskier ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1323

Working Paper
Institutions Do Not Rule: Reassessing the Driving Forces of Economic Development

The pursuit to uncover the driving forces behind cross-country income gaps has divided economists into two major camps: One emphasizes institutions, while the other stresses non-institutional forces such as geography. Each school of thought has its own theoretical foundation and empirical support, but they share an implicit hypothesis?the forces driving economic development remain the same regardless of a country?s stage of development. Such hypothesis implies a theory that the process of development in human history is a continuous improvement in income levels, driven by the same forces, and ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-1

Working Paper
Financial Stability Committees and Basel III Macroprudential Capital Buffers

We evaluate how a country’s governance structure for macroprudential policy affects its implementation of Basel III macroprudential capital buffers. We find that the probabilities of using the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) are higher in countries that have financial stability committees (FSCs) with stronger governance mechanisms and fewer agencies, which reduces coordination problems. These higher probabilities are more sensitive to credit growth, consistent with the CCyB being used to mitigate systemic risk. A country’s probability of using the CCyB is even higher when the FSC ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-016

Working Paper
Continuous Markov equilibria with quasi-geometric discounting

We prove that the standard quasi-geometric discounting model used in dynamic consumer theory and political economics does not possess continuous Markov perfect equilibria (MPE) if there is a strictly positive lower bound on wealth. We also show that, at points of discontinuity, the decision maker strictly prefers lotteries over the next period's assets. We then extend the standard model to have lotteries and establish the existence of an MPE with continuous decision rules. The models with and without lotteries are numerically compared, and it is shown that the model with lotteries behaves ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-6

Working Paper
Modernization and Discrete Measures of Democracy

We reassess the empirical evidence for a positive relationship between income and democracy, commonly known as the ?modernization hypothesis,? using discrete democracy measures. While discrete measures have been advocated in the literature, they pose estimation problems under fixed effects due to incidental parameter issues. We use two methods to address these issues, the bias-correction method of Fernandez-Val, which directly computes the marginal effects, and the parameterized Wooldridge method. Estimation under the Fernandez-Val method consistently indicates a statistically and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2014-1

Working Paper
Politicians Avoid Tax Increases Around Elections

We use new annual data on gasoline taxes and corporate income taxes from U.S. states to analyze whether politicians avoid tax increases in election years. These data contain 3 useful attributes: (1) when state politicians enact tax laws, (2) when state politicians implement tax laws on consumers and firms, and (3) the size of tax changes. Using a pre-analysis research plan that includes regressions of tax rate changes and tax enactment years on time-to-gubernatorial election year indicators, we find that elections decrease the probability of politicians enacting increases in taxes and reduce ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-004

Working Paper
Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier

Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data, we show that firms lever their political connections to win stimulus grants and that public expenditure channeled through politically connected firms hinders job creation. We build a unique database that links information on campaign contributions, state legislative elections, firm characteristics, and ARRA grant allocation. Using exogenous variation in political connections based on ex-post close elections held before ARRA, we causally show that politically connected firms are 38 percent more likely to secure a grant. Based on an ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-005r1

Working Paper
Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier

Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data, we show that firms lever their political connections to win stimulus grants and public expenditure channeled through politically connected firms hinders job creation. We build a unique database that links campaign contributions and state legislative election outcomes to ARRA grant allocation. Using exogenous variation in political connections based on ex-post close elections held before ARRA, we causally show that politically connected firms are 64 percent more likely to secure a grant. Based on an instrumental variable approach, we ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-005

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