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Author:Drozd, Lukasz A. 

Working Paper
Financial contracting with enforcement externalities

Contract enforceability in financial markets often depends on the aggregate actions of agents. For example, high default rates in credit markets can delay legal enforcement or reduce the value of collateral, incentivizing even more defaults and potentially affecting credit supply. We develop a theory of credit provision in which enforceability of individual contracts is linked to aggregate behavior. The central element behind this link is enforcement capacity, which is endogenously determined by investments in enforcement infrastructure. Our paper sheds new light on the emergence of credit ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-1

Working Paper
Financial Contracting with Enforcement Externalities

We study the negative feedback loop between the aggregate default rate and the efficacy of enforcement in a model of debt-financed entrepreneurial activity. The novel feature of our model is that enforcement capacity is accumulated ex ante and thus subject to depletion ex post. We characterize the effect of shocks that deplete enforcement resources on the aggregate default rate and credit supply. In the model default decisions by entrepreneurs are strategic complements, leading to multiple equilibria. We propose a global game selection to overcome equilibrium indeterminacy and show how shocks ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-21

Working Paper
Responding to COVID-19: A Note

We consider several epidemiological simulations of the COVID-19 pandemic using the textbook SIR model and discuss the basic implications of these results for crafting an adequate response to the ensuing economic crisis. Our simulations are meant to be illustrative of the findings reported in the epidemiological literature using more sophisticated models (e.g., Ferguson et al. (2020)). The key observation we stress is that moderating the epidemiological response of social distancing according to the models may come at a steep price of extending the duration of the pandemic and hence the time ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-14

Journal Article
Why Credit Cards Played a Surprisingly Big Role in the Great Recession

Lukasz Drozd examines the links between zero-APR credit card offers and the Great Recession’s persistent declines in employment and output.
Economic Insights , Volume 6 , Issue 2 , Pages 7-17

Working Paper
Long-Run Trade Elasticity and the Trade-Comovement Puzzle

We show that the trade-comovement puzzle - theory's failure to account for the positive relation between trade and business cycle synchronization - is intimately related to its counterfactual implication that short- and long-run trade elasticities are equal. Based on this insight, we show that modeling the disconnect between the low short- and the high long-run trade elasticity in consistency with the data is promising in resolving the puzzle. In a broader context, our findings are relevant for analyzing business cycle transmission in a large class of models and caution against the use of ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-42

Report
Understanding international prices: customers as capital

This paper develops a theory of pricing-to-market driven by marketing and bargaining frictions. Our key innovation is a capital theoretic model of marketing in which relations with customers are valuable. In our model, producers search and form long-lasting relations with their customers, and marketing helps overcome the search frictions involved in forming such matches. In the context of international business cycle patterns, the model accounts for observations that are puzzles for a large class of theories: (i) pricing-to-market, (ii) positive correlation of aggregate real export and import ...
Staff Report , Paper 411

Working Paper
Understanding Growth Through Automation: The Neoclassical Perspective

We study how advancements in automation technology affect the division of aggregate income between capital and labor in the context of long-run growth. Our analysis focuses on the fundamental trade-off between the labor-displacing effect of automation and its positive productivity effect in an elementary task-based framework featuring a schedule of automation prices across tasks linked to the state of technology. We obtain general conditions for the automation technology and technical change driving automation to be labor-share displacing. We identify a unique task technology that reconciles ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-25

Working Paper
Credit Enforcement Cycles

Empirical evidence suggests that widespread financial distress, by disrupting enforcement of credit contracts, can be self-propagatory and adversely affect the supply of credit. We propose a unifying theory that models the interplay between enforcement, borrower default decisions, and the provision of credit. The central tenets of our framework are the presence of capacity constrained enforcement and borrower heterogeneity. We show that, despite heterogeneity, borrowers tend to coordinate their default choices, leading to fragility and to credit rationing. Our model provides a rationale for ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-27

Working Paper
Modeling the credit card revolution: the role of debt collection and informal bankruptcy

In the data, most consumer defaults on unsecured credit are informal and the lending industry devotes significant resources to debt collection. We develop a new theory of credit card lending that takes these two features into account. The two key elements of our model are moral hazard and costly state verification that relies on the use of information technology. We show that the model gives rise to a novel channel through which IT progress can affect outcomes in the credit markets, and argue that this channel can be critical to understand the trends associated with the rapid expansion of ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-12

Working Paper
The Future of Labor: Automation and the Labor Share in the Second Machine Age

We study the effect of modern automation on firm-level labor shares using a 2018 survey of 1,618 manufacturing firms in China. We exploit geographic and industry variation built into the design of subsidies for automation paid under a vast government industrialization program, “Made In China 2025,” to construct an instrument for automation investment. We use a canonical CES framework of automation and develop a novel methodology to structurally estimate the elasticity of substitution between labor and automation capital among automating firms, which for our preferred specification is 3.8. ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-11

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