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Author:Hurst, Erik 

Discussion Paper
Lifestyle prices and production

Using scanner data and time diaries, we document how households substitute time for money through shopping and home production. We find evidence that there is substantial heterogeneity in prices paid across households for identical consumption goods in the same metro area at any given point in time. For identical goods, prices paid are highest for middle-aged, rich, and large households, consistent with the hypothesis that shopping intensity is low when the cost of time is high. The data suggest that a doubling of shopping frequency lowers the price paid for a given good by approximately 10 ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 05-3

Discussion Paper
Social Security and unsecured debt

Most young households simultaneously hold both unsecured debt on which they pay an average of 10 percent interest and social security wealth on which they earn less than 2 percent. We document this fact using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We then consider a life-cycle model with ?tempted? households, who find it impossible to commit to an optimal consumption plan and ?disciplined? households who have no such problem, and we explore ways to reduce this inefficiency. We show that allowing households to use social security wealth to pay off debt while exempting young households ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 04-10

Conference Paper
The macroeconomic transition to high household debt - comments

Proceedings , Issue Nov

Working Paper
Are household surveys like tax forms: evidence from income underreporting of the self-employed

There is a large literature showing that the self-employed underreport their income to tax authorities. In this paper, we quantify the extent to which the self-employed also systematically underreport their income in U.S. household surveys. To do so, we use the Engel curve describing the relationship between income and expenditures of wage and salary workers to infer the actual income, and thus the reporting gap, of the self-employed based on their reported expenditures. We find that the self-employed underreport their income by about 30 percent. This result is remarkably robust across data ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2011-06

Conference Paper
Measuring trends in leisure

In this paper, we use five decades of time-use surveys to document trends in the allocation of time. We find that a dramatic increase in leisure time lies behind the relatively stable number of market hours worked (per working-age adult) between 1965 and 2003. Specifically, we show that leisure for men increased by 6-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in market work hours) and for women by 4-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). This increase in leisure corresponds to roughly an additional 5 to 10 weeks of vacation per year, assuming a 40-hour work week. ...
Proceedings

Report
Wealth, tastes, and entrepreneurial choice

The nonpecuniary benefits of managing a small business are a first order consideration for many nascent entrepreneurs, yet the preference for business ownership is mostly ignored in models of entrepreneurship and occupational choice. In this paper, we study a population with varying entrepreneurial tastes and wealth in a simple general equilibrium model of occupational choice. This choice yields several important results: (1) entrepreneurship can be thought of as a normal good, generating wealth effects independent of any financing constraints; (2) nonpecuniary entrepreneurs select into ...
Staff Reports , Paper 747

Report
Regional heterogeneity and the refinancing channel of monetary policy

We argue that the time-varying regional distribution of housing equity influences the aggregate consequences of monetary policy through its effects on mortgage refinancing. Using detailed loan-level data, we show that regional differences in housing equity affect refinancing and spending responses to interest rate cuts but that these effects vary over time with changes in the regional distribution of house price growth. We then build a heterogeneous household model of refinancing with both mortgage borrowers and lenders and use it to explore the aggregate implications for monetary policy ...
Staff Reports , Paper 731

Working Paper
Within-city variation in urban decline: the case of Detroit

When a city experiences a decline in income or population, do all neighborhoods within the city decline equally? Or do some neighborhoods decline more than others? What are the characteristics of the neighborhoods that decline the most? We answer these questions by looking at what happened to neighborhoods within Detroit as the city experienced a sharp decline in income and population from the 1980s to the late 2000s. We find patterns of changes in income and population that are consistent with the model and empirical patterns of gentrification presented in Guerrieri, Hartley, and Hurst ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1205

Working Paper
Endogenous gentrification and housing price dynamics

Using a unique dataset of interest rates offered by a large sample of U.S. banks on various retail deposit and loan products, we explore the rigidity of bank retail interest rates. We study periods over which retail interest rates remain fixed ("spells") and document a large degree of lumpiness of retail interest rate adjustments as well as substantial variation in the duration of these spells, both across and within different products. To explore the sources of this variation we apply duration analysis and calculate the probability that a bank will change a given deposit or loan rate ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1008

Working Paper
Measuring trends in leisure: the allocation of time over five decades

In this paper, we use five decades of time-use surveys to document trends in the allocation of time. We document that a dramatic increase in leisure time lies behind the relatively stable number of market hours worked (per working-age adult) between 1965 and 2003. Specifically, we document that leisure for men increased by 6-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in market work hours) and for women by 4-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). This increase in leisure corresponds to roughly an additional 5 to 10 weeks of vacation per year, assuming a 40-hour work ...
Working Papers , Paper 06-2

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