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Author:French, Eric 

Newsletter
How does a federal minimum wage hike affect aggregate household spending?
This article finds that a federal minimum wage hike would boost the real income and spending of minimum wage households. The impact could be sufficient to offset increasing consumer prices and declining real spending by most non-minimum-wage households and, therefore, lead to an increase in aggregate household spending. The authors calculate that a $1.75 hike in the hourly federal minimum wage could increase the level of real gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 0.3 percentage points in the near term, but with virtually no effect in the long term.
AUTHORS: Aaronson, Daniel; French, Eric
DATE: 2013-08

Newsletter
Is there still an investment overhang, and if so, should we worry about it?
AUTHORS: French, Eric; Oppedahl, David B.; Klier, Thomas H.
DATE: 2002-05

Newsletter
Part-time work and hourly wages
AUTHORS: French, Eric; Aaronson, Daniel
DATE: 2000-08

Newsletter
How do the risks of living long and facing high medical expenses affect the elderly’s saving behavior?
This article shows that the elderly, especially those with high lifetime incomes, maintain large asset holdings to account for the possibility of their living a long time and facing high medical expenses.
AUTHORS: French, Eric; De Nardi, Mariacristina; Jones, John Bailey
DATE: 2012-01

Newsletter
Savings after Retirement: A Survey
Retired U.S. households, especially those with high income, decumulate their assets more slowly than implied by the basic life cycle model. The observed patterns of out-of-pocket medical expenses, which rise quickly with age and income during retirement, and longevity, which also rises with income, can explain a significant portion of U.S. retirement saving. However, more work is needed to disentangle these precautionary motives from other motives, such as the desire to leave bequests.
AUTHORS: French, Eric; Jones, John Bailey; De Nardi, Mariacristina
DATE: 2016

Newsletter
How do sudden large losses in wealth affect labor force participation?
The authors assess whether the sudden large losses in household wealth due to recent declines in stock and home values have significantly affected the U.S. labor market. They find that the overall labor force participation rate would be 0.7 percentage points lower were it not for the declines in the values of stocks and houses over the 2006?10 period.
AUTHORS: French, Eric; Benson, David
DATE: 2011-01

Working Paper
The effect of disability insurance receipt on labor supply
This paper estimates the effect of the Disability Insurance program on labor supply. We find that 30% of denied applicants and 15% of allowed applicants work several years after a disability determination decision. The earnings elasticity with respect to the after tax wage is 0.8. However, the labor supply of those over age 55, college graduates, and those with mental illness is not sensitive to allowance of benefits.
AUTHORS: French, Eric; Song, Jae
DATE: 2009

Working Paper
Medicaid insurance in old age
Medicaid was primarily designed to protect and insure the poor against medical shocks. Yet, poorer people tend to live shorter lifespans and incur lower medical expenses before death than richer people. Taking these and other important dimensions of heterogeneity into account, and carefully modeling key institutional aspects, we estimate a structural model of savings and endogenous medical expenses to assess the costs and benefits of Medicaid for single retirees. ; We show that even higher-income retirees benefit from Medicaid, if they live long enough for their resources to be depleted by medical expenses. We also find that all retirees value Medicaid insurance coverage highly, compared to the value of the Medicaid transfers that they actually receive on average.
AUTHORS: De Nardi, Mariacristina; French, Eric; Jones, John Bailey
DATE: 2012

Working Paper
The effect of Disability Insurance receipt on labor supply: a dynamic analysis
This paper estimates the effect of Disability Insurance receipt on labor supply, accounting for the dynamic nature of the application process. Exploiting the effectively random assignment of judges to disability insurance cases, we use instrumental variables to address the fact that those allowed benefits are a selected sample. We find that benefit receipt reduces labor force participation by 26 percentage points three years after a disability determination decision when not considering the dynamic nature of the applications process. OLS estimates are similar to instrumental variables estimates. We also find that over 60% of those denied benefits by an Administrative Law Judge are subsequently allowed benefits within 10 years, showing that most applicants apply, re-apply, and appeal until they get benefits. Next, we estimate a dynamic programming model of optimal labor supply and appeals choices. Consistent with the law, we assume that people cannot work and appeal at the same time. We match labor supply, appeals, and subsequent allowance decisions predicted by the model to the decisions observed in the data. We use the model to predict labor supply responses to benefit denial when there is no option to appeal. We find that if there was no appeals option, those denied benefits are 35 percentage points more likely to work. However, there is considerable heterogeneity in responses. Most individuals in their 40s would return to work if denied benefits, for example. Our results suggest that many of those denied benefits not because they are unable to work, but because they remain out of the labor force in order to appeal their benefit denial.
AUTHORS: French, Eric; Song, Jae
DATE: 2012

Working Paper
Differential mortality, uncertain medical expenses, and the saving of elderly singles
People have heterogenous life expectancies: women live longer than men, rich people live longer than poor people, and healthy people live longer than sick people. People are also subject to heterogenous out-of-pocket medical expense risk. We show that all of these dimensions of heterogeneity are large for the elderly. Can these factors explain their lack of asset decumulation even at very advanced ages and the high saving rate of the income-rich elderly? We answer this question in two steps. We first estimate the uncertainty about mortality and outof pocket medical expenditures as functions of sex, health, permanent income, and age. We then formalize a rich structural model of saving behavior for retired single households, and we estimate it by using the method of simulated moments.
AUTHORS: De Nardi, Mariacristina; French, Eric; Jones, John Bailey
DATE: 2005

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