Political Distribution Risk and Aggregate Fluctuations
We argue that political distribution risk is an important driver of aggregate fluctuations. To that end, we document significant changes in the capital share after large political events, such as political realignments, modifications in collective bargaining rules, or the end of dictatorships, in a sample of developed and emerging economies. These policy changes are associated with significant fluctuations in output and asset prices. Using a Bayesian proxy-VAR estimated with U.S. data, we show how distribution shocks cause movements in output, unemployment, and sectoral asset prices. To ...
Make-up Strategies for Monetary Policy
How the Federal Reserve is addressing the challenge of the long-term decline in interest rates.
Entrepreneurial tail risk: implications for employment dynamics
New businesses are important for job creation and have contributed more than proportionally to the expansion in the 1990s and the decline of employment after the 2007 recession. This paper provides a framework for analyzing determinants of business creation in a world where new business owners are exposed to idiosyncratic risk due to initial imperfect diversification. This paper uses this framework to analyze how entrepreneurial risk has changed over time and how this has affected employment in the US. Conditions are provided under which entrepreneurial risk can be identified using micro data ...
Why Are Recessions So Hard to Predict? Random Shocks and Business Cycles
Economists are like doctors, not soothsayers. They can't predict recessions, but they can help us understand why one is happening. And that can make all the difference for policymaking.
Accounting for the Sources of Macroeconomic Tail Risks
Using a multi-industry real business cycle model, we empirically examine the microeconomic origins of aggregate tail risks. Our model, estimated using industry-level data from 1972 to 2016, indicates that industry-specific shocks account for most of the third and fourth moments of GDP growth.
Just How Important Are New Businesses?
New businesses are major job generators, so disappointing trends in firm formation have raised concern. Thorsten Drautzburg discusses why at least some of the worry might be misplaced.
Partisanship and Fiscal Policy in Economic Unions: Evidence from U.S. States
In economic unions the ﬁscal authority consists not of one, but many governments. We analyze whether partisanship of state-level politicians aﬀects federal policies, such as ﬁscal stimulus in the U.S. Using data from close elections, we ﬁnd partisan diﬀerences in the marginal propensity to spend federal transfers: Republican governors spend less. This partisan diﬀerence has tended to increase with measures of polarization. We quantify the aggregate eﬀects in a New Keynesian model of Republican and Democratic states in a monetary union: Lowering partisan diﬀerences to levels ...
Refining Set-Identification in VARs through Independence
Identification in VARs has traditionally mainly relied on second moments. Some researchers have considered using higher moments as well, but there are concerns about the strength of the identification obtained in this way. In this paper, we propose refining existing identification schemes by augmenting sign restrictions with a requirement that rules out shocks whose higher moments significantly depart from independence. This approach does not assume that higher moments help with identification; it is robust to weak identification. In simulations we show that it controls coverage well, in ...
Fiscal stimulus and distortionary taxation
We quantify the fiscal multipliers in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. We extend the benchmark Smets-Wouters New Keynesian model (Smets and Wouters, 2007), allowing for credit-constrained households, the zero lower bound, government capital, and distortionary taxation. The posterior yields modestly positive short-run multipliers around 0.52 and modestly negative long-run multipliers around -0.42. The multiplier is sensitive to the fraction of transfers given to credit-constrained households, the duration of the zero lower bound, and the capital. The stimulus ...
Polarized Contributions but Convergent Agendas
The political process in the United States appears to be highly polarized: Data show that the political positions of legislators have diverged substantially, while the largest campaign contributions come from the most extreme donor groups and are directed to the most extreme candidates. Is the rise in campaign contributions the cause of the growing political polarization? In this paper, we show that, in standard models of campaign contributions and electoral competition, a free-rider problem among potential contributors leads naturally to polarization of campaign contributors but without any ...