Optimal nonlinear income taxation with costly tax avoidance
Wealth Effects with Endogenous Retirement
In this article, we study wealth effects, i.e., the response of consumption to exogenous changes in wealth. We use a consumption-saving model with endogenous retirement to show that the endogenous response of the value of a worker's human capital to changes in her wealth helps to account for the weak wealth effects observed in the data.
Contingent Debt and Performance Pricing in an Optimal Capital Structure Model with Financial Distress and Reorganization
Building on the trade-off between agency costs and monitoring costs, we develop a dynamic theory of optimal capital structure with financial distress and reorganization. Costly monitoring eliminates the agency friction and thus the risk of inefficient liquidation. Our key assumption is that monitoring cannot be applied instantaneously. Rather, transitions between agency and monitoring are subject to search frictions. In the optimal contract, the firm seeks a monitoring opportunity whenever it is financially distressed, i.e., when the risk of liquidation is high. If a monitoring opportunity ...
Systemic risk regulation and the "too big to fail" problem
A single regulator tasked with preventing threats to systemic stability would need to have considerable power and discretion. But creating such a powerful entity could reinforce the moral hazard problem resulting from the idea that some firms are too big to fail.
Opinion : When disclosure is not enough
Optimal Institutions in Economies with Private Information: Exclusive Contracts, Taxes, and Bankruptcy Law
In economies with private information, it is typically optimal to prohibit or otherwise discourage a subset of trades that individual agents want to enter. Economists often refer to such optimal distortions as wedges. In this article, we use a simple private-information Mirrleesian economy to, first, show examples of these wedges and, second, discuss institutions that may be used to implement them in practice. We discuss and compare three such institutions: exclusive contracts, taxes, and bankruptcy law. Our analysis underscores the multiplicity of possible implementations and, therefore, the ...
Optimal Incentive Contracts with Job Destruction Risk
We study the implications of job destruction risk for optimal incentives in a long-term contract with moral hazard. We extend the dynamic principal-agent model of Sannikov (2008) by adding an exogenous Poisson shock that makes the match between the firm and the agent permanently unproductive. In modeling job destruction as an exogenous Poisson shock, we follow the Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides search-and-matching literature. The optimal contract shows how job destruction risk is shared between the rm and the agent. Arrival of the job-destruction shock is always bad news for the rm but can be ...
Optimal Contracts with Reflection
In this paper, we show that whenever the agent's outside option is nonzero, the optimal contract in the continuous-time principal-agent model of Sannikov (2008) is reflective at the lower bound. This means the agent is never terminated or retired after poor performance. Instead, the agent is asked to put zero effort temporarily, which brings his continuation value up. The agent is then asked to resume effort, and the contract continues. We show that a nonzero agent's outside option arises endogenously if the agent is allowed to quit and find a new firm (after a random search time of finite ...
Saving for Retirement with Job Loss Risk
This article studies a tractable theoretical model of optimal consumption and saving decisions with endogenous retirement. Particular attention is paid to the impact of an increase in the risk of losing one?s job on the optimal path of consumption and wealth accumulation. Even if one does not actually lose their job, an increase in the risk of a job loss is by itself sufficient to cause lower consumption, higher saving, and, through faster retirement, lower labor supply.
Financial firm resolution policy as a time-consistency problem
In this article, we describe a time-consistency problem that can arise in the government's policy toward insolvent financial firms. We present this problem using a simple model in which shareholders of a large financial firm can raise low-cost debt financing and take on an excessive amount of risk. If this risk backfires, there are spillover effects harmful to the economy as a whole. In such a crisis event, the government's best action is to bail the firm out. The prospect of this bailout is the very reason why the firm can raise debt at low cost while taking on excessive risk. Given the ...