Examining the housing crisis by home price tier
When broken down by price level - high-priced, mid-priced, and lower-priced homes - the housing boom and subsequent implosion affected each tier differently.
A general equilibrium theory of college with education subsidies, in-school labor supply, and borrowing constraints
This paper analyzes the effectiveness of three different types of education policies: tuition subsidies (broad based, merit based, and flat tuition), grant subsidies (broad based and merit based), and loan limit restrictions. We develop a quantitative theory of college within the context of general equilibrium overlapping generations economy. College is modeled as a multi-period risky investment with endogenous enrollment, time-to-degree, and dropout behavior. Tuition costs can be financed using federal grants, student loans, and working while at college. We show that our model accounts for ...
Estate taxation with warm-glow altruism
This article examines the properties of the optimal fiscal policy in an economy with warm-glow altruism (utility interdependence) and heterogeneous individuals. We propose a new efficiency concept, D-efficiency, that considers an implicit constraint in the act of giving: donors cannot bequeath to donees more than their existing resources. Considering this constraint, we show that the market equilibrium is not socially efficient. The efficient level of bequest transfers can be implemented by the market with estate and labor-income subsidies and a capital-income tax. In the absence of lump-sum ...
House Hunting in a Period of Social Distancing
Lower housing demand due to quarantine orders, slowing price growth and mortgage originations, and a historically high housing supply are all hitting the economy at the same time.
Optimal taxation with imperfect competition and aggregate returns to specialization
In this paper we explore the proposition that in economies with imperfect competitive markets the optimal capital income tax is negative and the optimal tax on firms profits is confiscatory. We show that if the total factor productivity as well as the measure of firms or varieties are endogenous instead of fixed, then the optimal fiscal policy can lead to different results. The government faces a trade-off between the fixed costs that society pays for the introduction of a new firm and the productivity gains associated to the introduction of a new variety. We find that the optimal fiscal ...
Withdrawal history, private information, and bank runs
This paper provides a simple two-depositor, two-stage model to understand how a bank?s withdrawal history affects an individual?s decision about withdrawals, which could possibly trigger bank runs. Individual depositors have private information about their personal consumption types and receive noisy private signals about the quality of the bank?s portfolio. Depositors make publicly observable withdrawal decisions in sequence. Computed examples indicate that the optimal contract contingent on withdrawal histories can tolerate bank runs. These runs are triggered by unfavorable signals about a ...
Indirect taxation and the welfare effects of altruism on the optimal fiscal policy
This paper analyzes the welfare effects of altruism on the optimal fiscal policy. The existence of positive bequests links present and future generations in the economy. We show that these altruistic links provide a new role for indirect taxation (consumption and estate taxes) with important welfare implications. We use three different altruistic approaches (warm-glow, dynastic, and family) to illustrate how the presence of bequests in the budget constraint of the donee gives the government the ability to use indirect taxation to mimic lump-sum taxation and to implement the first-best outcome ...
Recent trends in homeownership
The homeownership rate began to trend upward in 1995 after years of being relatively constant, near 64 percent. This article describes recent changes in the share of U.S. housing that is owner-occupied and explores the reasons for the surprising rise over the past decade. Explanations that have been offered include demographics, low mortgage rates, changes in housing policy, and innovations in the mortgage financial market. Of all these explanations, the most plausible one is that innovations in the financial markets increased access to mortgage finance, mainly by reducing downpayment ...
Reconstructing the great recession
This paper evaluates the role of the construction sector in accounting for the performance of the U.S. economy before, during and after the Great Recession. We use input-output analysis to evaluate its linkages with the rest of the economy and measure the transmission of its demand shocks to the overall economy. Such effects are quantified by means of a dynamic multi-sector model parameterized to reproduce the boom-bust dynamics of employment in construction during 2000-13. The model suggests that the interlinkages account for a large share of the actual changes in aggregate employment and ...
Mortgage Debt, Consumption, and Illiquid Housing Markets in the Great Recession
Using a model with housing search, endogenous credit constraints, and mortgage default, this paper accounts for the housing crash from 2006 to 2011 and its implications for aggregate and cross-sectional consumption during the Great Recession. Left tail shocks to labor market uncertainty and tighter down payment requirements emerge as the key drivers. An endogenous decline in housing liquidity amplifies the recession by increasing foreclosures, contracting credit, and depressing consumption. Balance sheets act as a transmission mechanism from housing to consumption that depends on gross ...