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Author:Aiyagari, S. Rao 

Working Paper
Banking panics, information, and rational expectations equilibrium

This paper shows that bank runs can be modeled as an equilibrium phenomenon. We demonstrate that some aspects of the intuitive ?story? that bank runs start with fears of insolvency of banks can be rigorously modeled. If individuals observe long ?lines? at the bank, they correctly infer that there is a possibility that the bank is about to fail and precipitate a bank run. However, bank runs occur even when no one has any adverse information. Extra market constraints such as suspension of convertibility can prevent bank runs and result in superior allocations.
Working Papers , Paper 320

Journal Article
Deficits, interest rates, and the tax distribution

Quarterly Review , Volume 9 , Issue Win

Social insurance and taxation under sequential majority voting and utilitarian regimes

It is often argued that with a positively skewed income distribution (median less than mean) majority voting would result in higher tax rates than maximizing average welfare and, hence, lower aggregate savings. We reexamine this view in a capital accumulation model, in which distorting redistributive taxes provide insurance against idiosyncratic shocks and income distributions evolve endogenously. We find small differences of either sign between the tax rates set by a majority voting and a utilitarian government, for reasonable parametric specifications, despite the fact that model ...
Staff Report , Paper 197

Working Paper
Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving

We find that precautionary saving accounts for only a modest (less than 3 percentage point) increase in the aggregate saving rate, at least for moderate and empirically plausible parameter values. This finding is based on a quantitative analysis of a reasonably parameterized version of the standard growth model modified to include a large number of agents who receive uninsured idiosyncratic labor endowment shocks. In contrast to representative agent models, asset trading is quite important to individuals. The model can also account qualitatively for the positive skewness of wealth and income ...
Working Papers , Paper 502

Working Paper
Government transaction policy, the medium of exchange, and welfare

An interpretation of government policy regarding what it accepts in transactions is embedded in a version of the Kiyotaki-Wright model of media of exchange. In an example with two goods and one fiat money, the policies consistent with fiat money being the unique medium of exchange are identified. These uniqueness policies have the government favoring fiat money in its transactions. Benefits and costs accompany any such policy. The benefit is that a worse nonmonetary equilibrium is eliminated; the cost is that a better monetary equilibrium is also eliminated.
Working Papers , Paper 516

Journal Article
Response to a defense of zero inflation

This essay distills the differences between zero inflation proponents and critics to three main questions: Can the central bank make a credible commitment to maintaining a stable price level? Should monetary policy be used to reduce the tax on capital income? And would reducing uncertainty about inflation produce significant social benefits? Proponents of zero inflation answer all three questions yes, while critics answer no. The essay reviews both answers for each question and suggests that the disagreements are at least partly due to inadequacies in economic models. The essay repeats the ...
Quarterly Review , Volume 15 , Issue Spr , Pages 21-24

Journal Article
Economic fluctuations without shocks to fundamentals; or, does the stock market dance to its own music?

Quarterly Review , Volume 12 , Issue Win , Pages 8-24

Working Paper
The optimal quantity of debt

We describe a model for calculating the optimal quantity of debt and then apply it to the U.S. economy. The model consists of a large number of infinitely-lived households whose saving behavior is influenced by precautionary saving motives and borrowing constraints. This model incorporates a different role for government debt than the standard representative agent growth model and captures different trade-offs between the benefits and costs of varying its level. Government debt enhances the liquidity of households by providing additional assets for smoothing consumption (in addition to claims ...
Working Papers , Paper 538

Working Paper
Equilibrium existence in an overlapping generations model with altruistic preferences

We prove the existence of a competitive equilibrium in an overlapping generations model in which each generation has a preference ordering over its own and its descendents? consumptions. The model is one of pure exchange with many goods in each period and two period lived generations. The bequest from one generation to the next is required to be non-negative and is endogenous. In equilibrium, some sequences of agents of successive generations may be continually ?linked? by positive bequests and act as infinitely lived agents. Other sequences of agents may not be so linked and therefore behave ...
Working Papers , Paper 356

Discussion Paper
The output, employment, and interest rate effects of government consumption

This paper investigates the impact of aggregate variables of changes in government consumption in the context of a stochastic, neoclassical growth model. We show, theoretically, that the impact on output and employment of a persistent change in government consumption exceeds that of a temporary change. We also show that, in principle, there can be an analog to the Keynesian multiplier in the neoclassical growth model. Finally, in an empirically plausible version of the model, we show that the interest rate impact of a persistent government consumption shock exceeds that of a temporary one. ...
Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics , Paper 25


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