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Author:Chien, YiLi 

Journal Article
The Welfare Cost of Business Cycles with Heterogeneous Trading Technologies

The author 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 ...
Review , Volume 97 , Issue 1 , Pages 67-85

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

We use an analytically tractable, heterogeneous-agent incomplete-markets model to show that the Ramsey planner's decision to finance stochastic public expenditures implies a departure from tax smoothing and an endogenous mean-reverting force to support positive debt growth despite the government's precautionary saving motives. Specifically, the government's attempt to balance the competing incentives between its own precautionary saving (tax smoothing) and households' precautionary saving (individual consumption smoothing)---even at the cost of extra tax distortion---implies an endogenous, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-038

Working Paper
Time-Inconsistent Optimal Quantity of Debt

A key property of the Aiyagari-type heterogeneous-agent models is that the equilibrium interest rate of public debt lies below the time discount rate. This fundamental property, however, implies that the Ramsey planner's fiscal policy may be time-inconsistent because the forward-looking planner would have a dominate incentive to issue plenty of debt, such that all households are fully self-insured against idiosyncratic risk whenever the interest rate of government borrowing is lower than the household time discount rate. But such a full self-insurance allocation may be paradoxical because, to ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-037

Working Paper
Optimal Ramsey Capital Income Taxation —A Reappraisal

This paper addresses a long-standing problem in the optimal Ramsey capital taxation literature. The tractability of our model enables us to solve the Ramsey problem analytically along the entire transitional path. We show that the conventional wisdom on Ramsey tax policy and its underlying intuition and rationales do not hold in our model and may thus be misrepresented in the literature. We uncover a critical trade off for the Ramsey planner between aggregate allocative efficiency in terms of the modified golden rule and individual allocative efficiency in terms of self-insurance. Facing the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-24

What Do Financial Markets Say about Future Inflation?

Though U.S. inflation has been unexpectedly high in the past year, inflation swap data indicate that longer-term inflation expectations remain relatively steady.
On the Economy

Working Paper
The Ramsey Steady-State Conundrum in Heterogeneous-Agent Economies

In infinite horizon, heterogeneous-agent and incomplete-market models, the existence of an interior Ramsey steady state is often assumed instead of proven. This paper makes two fundamental contributions: (i) We prove that the interior Ramsey steady state assumed by Aiyagari (1995) does not exist in the standard Aiyagari model. Specifically, a steady state featuring the modified golden rule and a positive capital tax is feasible but not optimal. (ii) We design a modified, analytically tractable version of the standard Aiyagari model to unveil the necessary and/or sufficient conditions for the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2022-009

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

Journal Article
State Government Expenditures by Party Affiliation

While political divisions have widened considerably in the U.S., dominant political leanings do not appear to correlate with state government expenditures.
The Regional Economist

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 (golden rule) level of aggregate capital stock in an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agents incomplete-markets economy where capital is 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 dealing with the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-002

Journal Article
Many Americans Still Lack Retirement Savings

This article aims to offer a glimpse into the current state of retirement readiness in the United States. We examine the participation in and usage of the two most common types of financial accounts designed exclusively for retirement savings. Overall, our analysis indicates that many households either do not utilize or underutilize the retirement savings plans available to them. We also examine how retirement savings vary with age and discuss alternative ways that nonparticipants may be preparing for retirement.
The Regional Economist , Volume 26 , Issue 1

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