Endogenous productivity and development accounting
Cross-country data reveal that the per capita incomes of the richest countries exceed those of the poorest countries by a factor of thirty-five. We formalize a model with embodied technical change in which newer, more productive vintages of capital coexist with older, less productive vintages. A reduction in the cost of investment raises both the quantity and productivity of capital simultaneously. The model induces a simple relationship between the relative price of investment goods and per capita income. Using cross-country data on the prices of investment goods, we find that the model does ...
A Model of the Federal Funds Market: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
The landscape of the federal funds market changed drastically in the wake of the Great Recession as large-scale asset purchase programs left depository institutions awash with reserves, and new regulations made it more costly for these institutions to lend. As traditional levers for implementing monetary policy became less effective, the Federal Reserve introduced new tools to implement the target range for the federal funds rate, changing this landscape even more. In this paper, we develop a model that is capable of reproducing the main features of the federal funds market, as observed ...
The rise of corporate savings
Over the past few decades, several developed economies have experienced large changes in how much households and firms save. In fact, a sharp increase in firms? savings behavior has changed the net position of the (nonfinancial) corporate sector vis--vis the rest of the economy. ; Why have firms in the business of producing goods or services become lenders? This is quite at odds with traditional models of corporate finance, which suggest that firms issue debt and equity to fund their operations and finance their investment projects. But successful firms appear to accumulate financial assets ...
Economies of scale and the size of exporters
Exporters are few-less than one-fifth among U.S. manufacturing firms-and are larger than non-exporting firms-about 4-5 times more total sales per firm. These facts are often cited as support for models with economies of scale and firm heterogeneity as in Melitz (2003). The authors find that the basic Melitz model cannot simultaneously match the size and share of exporters given the observed distribution of total sales. Instead exporters are expected to be between 90 and 100 times larger than non-exporters. It is easy to reconcile the model with the data. However, a lot of variation ...
On the timing of monetary policy reform
This paper argues that there is a normative case for delaying policy reform. Policy design in dynamic economies typically faces a trade-off between the policy effects in the short and long term, and possibly across future states of nature. When the economy is in an atypical state or available policies are less flexible than ideal, this trade-off can be steep enough that retaining the status-quo policy in the short term and taking on the reform at a later date is welfare improving. In a simple New Keynesian economy, I consider monetary policy reform from discretion to the optimal targeting ...
A model of the federal funds market: yesterday, today, and tomorrow
The landscape of the federal funds market changed drastically in the wake of the Great Recession as large-scale asset purchase programs left depository institutions awash with reserves and new regulations made it more costly for these institutions to lend. As traditional levers for implementing monetary policy became less effective, the Federal Reserve introduced new tools to implement the target range for the federal funds rate, changing this landscape even more. In this paper, we develop a model that is capable of reproducing the main features of the federal funds market, as observed before ...
Geometric Methods for Finite Rational Inattention
We present a geometric approach to the finite Rational Inattention (RI) model, recasting it as a convex optimization problem with reduced dimensionality that is well-suited to numerical methods. We provide an algorithm that outperforms existing RI computation techniques in terms of both speed and accuracy. We also introduce methods to quantify the impact of numerical inaccuracy on the behavioral predictions and to produce robust predictions regarding the most frequently implemented actions.
Rational Inattention via Ignorance Equivalence
We introduce the concept of the ignorance equivalent to effectively summarize the payoff possibilities in a finite Rational Inattention problem. The ignorance equivalent is a unique fictitious action that is weakly preferable to all existing learning strategies and yet generates no new profitable learning opportunities when added to the menu of choices. We fully characterize the relationship between the ignorance equivalent and the optimal learning strategies. Agents with heterogeneous priors self-select their own ignorance equivalent, which gives rise to an expected-utility analogue of the ...
Rational Inattention via Ignorance Equivalence
We present a novel approach to finite Rational Inattention (RI) models based on the ignorance equivalent, a fictitious action with state-dependent payoffs that effectively summarizes the optimal learning and conditional choices. The ignorance equivalent allows us to recast the RI problem as a standard expected utility maximization over an augmented choice set called the learning-proof menu, yielding new insights regarding the behavioral implications of RI, in particular as new actions are added to the menu. Our geometric approach is also well suited to numerical methods, outperforming ...
The macroeconomics of firms' savings
The authors document that the U.S. non-financial corporate sector became a net lender in the 2000s, using aggregate and firm-level data. They develop a structural model with investment, debt, and equity. Debt is fiscally advantageous but subject to a no-default borrowing constraint. Equity allows the firm to suspend dividends when the cash flow is negative. Firms accumulate financial assets for precautionary reasons, yet value equity as partial insurance against shocks. The calibrated model replicates the prevalence of net savings in the period 2000-2007 and attributes the rise in corporate ...