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Author:Gordon, Grey 

Working Paper
Dynamics of investment, debt, and default

How does physical capital accumulation affect the decision to default in developing small open economies? We find that, conditional on a level of foreign indebtedness, more capital improves the sovereign?s ability to meet its obligations, reducing the likelihood of default and the risk premium. This effect, however, is diminishing in the stock of capital because capital also tames the severity of the contraction following default, making autarky more appealing. Access to long-term debt and costly capital adjustment are crucial for matching business cycles. Our quantitative model delivers ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-18

Working Paper
Dealing with consumer default: bankruptcy vs. garnishment

What are the positive and normative implications of eliminating bankruptcy protection for indebted individuals? Without bankruptcy protection, creditors can collect on defaulted debt to the extent permitted by wage garnishment laws. The elimination lowers the default premium on unsecured debt and permits low-net-worth individuals suffering bad earnings shocks to smooth consumption by borrowing. There is a large increase in consumer debt financed essentially by super-wealthy individuals, a modest drop in capital per worker, and a higher frequency of consumer default. Average welfare rises by 1 ...
Working Papers , Paper 11-35

Working Paper
Nonlinear adventures at the zero lower bound

Motivated by the recent experience of the U.S. and the Eurozone, the authors describe the quantitative properties of a New Keynesian model with a zero lower bound (ZLB) on nominal interest rates, explicitly accounting for the nonlinearities that the bound brings. Besides showing how such a model can be efficiently computed, the authors found that the behavior of the economy is substantially affected by the presence of the ZLB. In particular, the authors document 1) the unconditional and conditional probabilities of hitting the ZLB; 2) the unconditional and conditional probabilty distributions ...
Working Papers , Paper 12-10

Working Paper
On Regional Borrowing, Default, and Migration

Migration plays a key role in city finances with every new entrant reducing debt per person and every exit increasing it. We study the interactions between regional borrowing, migration, and default from empirical, theoretical, and quantitative perspectives. Empirically, we document that in-migration rates are positively correlated with deficits, that many cities appear to be at or near state-imposed borrowing limits, and that defaults can occur after booms or busts in productivity and population. Theoretically, we show that migration creates an externality that results in over-borrowing, and ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-4

Working Paper
Efficient Computation with Taste Shocks

Taste shocks result in nondegenerate choice probabilities, smooth policy functions, continuous demand correspondences, and reduced computational errors. They also cause significant computational cost when the number of choices is large. However, I show that, in many economic models, a numerically equivalent approximation may be obtained extremely efficiently. If the objective function has increasing differences (a condition closely tied to policy function monotonicity) or is concave in a discrete sense, the proposed algorithms are O(n log n) for n states and n choice--a drastic improvement ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-15

Working Paper
Loan Delinquency Projections for COVID-19

The authors forecast the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on loan delinquency rates under three scenarios for unemployment and house price movements. In the baseline scenario, their model predicts that loan delinquency rises from 2.3 percent in 2019 to a peak of 3.9 percent in 2025 with a total of $580 billion in write-offs. In 2021, absent policy intervention, the model predicts that delinquency would be 3.1 percent. However, mortgage forbearance, student loan forbearance, and fiscal transfers keep delinquency from increasing in 2021. The greatest reductions in delinquency are achieved ...
Working Paper , Paper 20-02

Briefing
Loan-Delinquency Projections for COVID-19

The authors forecast the effects of COVID-19 on loan-delinquency rates under three scenarios for unemployment and house-price movements. Absent policy interventions, the model predicts peak loan-delinquency rates of 2.8 percent in the favorable scenario, 8.1 percent in the severe scenario, and 3.9 percent in the baseline scenario. The greatest reductions in delinquency are achieved through home mortgage forbearance and student loan forbearance, with fiscal transfers playing a smaller role.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue 20-05 , Pages 4

Journal Article
Computing Dynamic Heterogeneous-Agent Economies: Tracking the Distribution

Theoretical formulations of dynamic heterogeneous-agent economies typically include a distribution as an aggregate state variable. This paper introduces a method for computing equilibrium of these models by including a distribution directly as a state variable if it is finite-dimensional or a fine approximation of it if it is infinite-dimensional. The method accurately computes equilibrium in an extreme calibration of Huffman's (1987) overlapping-generations economy where quasi-aggregation, the accurate forecasting of prices using a small state space, fails to obtain. The method also ...
Economic Quarterly , Issue 2Q , Pages 61-95

Working Paper
Efficient VAR Discretization

The standard approach to discretizing VARs uses tensor grids. However, when the VAR components exhibit significant unconditional correlations or when there are more than a few variables, this approach creates large inefficiencies because some discretized states will be visited with only vanishingly small probability. I propose pruning these low-probability states, thereby constructing an efficient grid. I investigate how much an efficient grid improves accuracy in the context of an AR(2) model and a small-scale New Keynesian model featuring four shocks. In both contexts, the efficient grid ...
Working Paper , Paper 20-06

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