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Author:Chien, YiLi 

Working Paper
Understanding the distributional impact of long-run inflation

The impact of fully anticipated inflation is systematically studied in heterogeneous agent economies with an endogenous labor supply and portfolio choices. In stationary equilibrium, inflation nonlinearly alters the endogenous distributions of income, wealth, and consumption. Small departures from zero inflation have the strongest impact. Three features determine how inflation impacts distributions and welfare: financial structure, shock persistence, and labor supply elasticity. When agents can self-insure only with money, inflation reduces wealth inequality but may raise consumption ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-058

Working Paper
The cost of business cycles with heterogeneous trading technologies

This paper investigates the welfare cost of business cycles in an economy where households have heterogeneous trading technologies. In an economy with aggregate risk, the different portfolio choices induced by heterogeneous trading technologies lead to a larger consumption inequality in equilibrium, while this source of inequality vanishes in an economy without business cycles. Put simply, the heterogeneity in trading technologies amplifies the effect of aggregate output fluctuation on consumption inequality. The welfare cost of business cycles is, therefore, larger in such an economy. In the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-15

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

Journal Article
The Rising Federal Funds Rate in the Current Low Long-Term Interest Rate Environment

The low long-term yield is likely a result of high foreign demand for Treasuries rather than a near-zero federal funds rate.
Economic Synopses , Issue 10 , Pages 1-2

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

Journal Article
How Long Will the Relief Check Last?

The money from relief checks will likely not last very long, even for low-income households.
Economic Synopses , Issue 13

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

Why the Same Inflation Target May Not Fit All Countries

The central banks of many advanced economies have adopted an inflation target at around 2%. But should they use the same target?
On the Economy

Journal Article
Will Workers Want To Be Laid Off?

The short-term income benefits from expanded unemployment insurance are unlikely to outweigh the long-term benefits of working.
Economic Synopses , Issue 22

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) Depending on the government's capacity to issue debt, there can exist different types of Ramsey steady states but they have the same implications for optimal long-run tax policies. (ii) The optimal capital tax is exclusively zero in a Ramsey steady state regardless of the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-007

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