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Author:Jones, John Bailey 

Working Paper
An Estimated Structural Model of Entrepreneurial Behavior

Using a rich panel of owner-operated New York dairy farms, we provide new evidence on entrepreneurial behavior. We formulate a dynamic model of farms facing uninsured risks and financial constraints. Farmers derive nonpecuniary benefits from operating their businesses. We estimate the model via simulated minimum distance, matching both production and financial data. We find that financial factors and nonpecuniary benefits are of first-order importance. Collateral constraints and liquidity restrictions inhibit borrowing and the accumulation of capital. The nonpecuniary benefits to farming are ...
Working Paper , Paper 17-7

Journal Article
Right before the end: asset decumulation at the end of life

Using data from the Asset and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old survey, the authors find that the assets of people who die decline much faster than the assets of people who survive, even after controlling for age, sex, and initial asset levels. Out-of-pocket medical expenses right before death can deplete the assets of many elderly households and constitute an important reason to keep assets in old age.
Economic Perspectives , Volume 30 , Issue Q III , Pages 2-13

Briefing
Can We Tax Social Security Benefits More Efficiently?

Many seniors pay taxes on their Social Security benefits due to a provision in the program's 1983 reform, under which the portion of benefits that's taxable rises with total income. This tax structure can impose high marginal rates on seniors even if their other income sources are modest. These high marginal rates, in turn, can determine whether beneficiaries decide to keep working or retire. Research suggests that several policy alternatives are more likely to keep seniors in the workforce and to generate more revenue for the Social Security Trust Fund.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue November

Briefing
Why Do People Save During Retirement?

Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Volume 21 , Issue 32

Journal Article
The Lifetime Medical Spending of Retirees

Using dynamic models of health, mortality, and out-of-pocket medical spending (both inclusive and net of Medicaid payments), we estimate the distribution of lifetime medical spending that retired US households face over the remainder of their lives. We find that households who turned 70 in 1992 will, on average, incur $122,000 in medical spending, including Medicaid payments, over their remaining lives. At the top tail, 5 percent of households will incur more than $300,000 and 1 percent of households will incur over $600,000 in medical spending inclusive of Medicaid. The level and the ...
Economic Quarterly , Issue 3Q , Pages 103-135

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

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.
Chicago Fed Letter

Working Paper
Life expectancy and old age savings

Rich people, women, and healthy people live longer. We document that this heterogeneity in life expectancy is large. We use an estimated structural model to assess the impact of life expectancy variation on the elderly?s savings. We find that the differences in life expectancy related to observable factors such as health, gender, and income have large effects on savings, and that these factors contribute by similar amounts. We also show that the risk of outliving one?s expected lifespan has a large effect on the elderly?s saving behavior.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-08-18

Briefing
How Well Insured Are Older Americans?

Using a combination of survey and administrative data, we calculate the portion of medical expenditures that retirees pay out of pocket. We find that retirees are mostly well insured against medical spending risk, with over 80 percent of their spending covered by Medicare, Medicaid or other insurers. We also find, however, that individuals with extremely high medical expenses pay a larger — not smaller — share out of pocket than those with more average expenses. Much of this difference is attributable to nursing home stays, which are typically uncovered by most insurers.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Volume 23 , Issue 19

Briefing
How Big Is the Inheritance Gap Between Black and White Families?

One of the most striking differences between Black and White households is a large disparity in wealth. A potential source of this gap is differences in transfers of wealth within families through bequests or gifts. In this article, we document who receives such transfers and the distribution of transfers among those who receive them. Black individuals are much less likely to receive any inheritances or gifts. Black recipients receive smaller amounts and have a much lower probability of extremely large transfers.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Volume 22 , Issue 49

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