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Author:Luo, Yulei 

Working Paper
Model uncertainty and intertemporal tax smoothing

In this paper we examine how model uncertainty due to the preference for robustness (RB) affects optimal taxation and debt structure in the Barro tax-smoothing model (1979). We first study how the government spending shocks are absorbed in the short run by varying taxes or through debt under RB. Furthermore, we show that introducing RB can improve the model?s predictions by generating (i) the observed relative volatility of the changes in tax rates to government spending and (ii) the observed comovement between government deficits and spending, and (iii) more consistent behavior of government ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 12-01

Working Paper
Ignorance, Uncertainty, and Strategic Consumption-Portfolio Decisions

This paper constructs a recursive utility version of a canonical Merton (1971) model with uninsurable labor income and unknown income growth to study how the interaction between two types of uncertainty due to ignorance affects strategic consumption-portfolio rules and precautionary savings. Specifically, after solving the model explicitly, we theoretically and quantitatively explore (i) how these ignorance-induced uncertainties interact with intertemporal substitution, risk aversion, and the correlation between the equity return and labor income, and (ii) how they jointly affect strategic ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 17-13

Working Paper
Elastic attention, risk sharing, and international comovements

In this paper we examine the effects of elastic information-processing capacity (or optimal inattention) proposed in Sims (2010) on international consumption and income correlations in a tractable small open economy (SOE) model with exogenous income processes. We find that in the presence of capital mobility in financial markets, optimal inattention due to fixed information-processing cost lowers the international consumption correlations by generating heterogeneous consumption adjustments to income shocks across countries facing different macroeconomic uncertainty. In addition, we show that ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 15-16

Working Paper
Wealth in the Utility Function and Consumption Inequality

Wealth in the utility function (WIU) has been increasingly used in macroeconomic modelsand this specification can be justified by a few theories such as Max Weber’s (1904-05, German; 1958) theory on “spirit of capitalism.” We incorporate the WIU into a general equilibriumconsumption-portfolio choice model to study the implications of the WIU for consumption inequality, equilibrium interest rate, and equity premium—an unexplored area in the literature.Our general equilibrium framework features recursive exponential utility, uninsurable labor risks,and multiple assets and can deliver ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 21-17

Working Paper
Robust control, informational frictions, and international consumption correlations

In this paper we examine the effects of two types of information imperfections, robustness (RB) and nite information-processing capacity (called rational inattention or RI), on international consumption correlations in an otherwise standard small open economy model. We show that in the presence of capital mobility in nancial markets, RB lowers the international consumption correlations by generating heterogeneous responses of consumption to income shocks across countries facing different macroeconomic uncertainty. However, the calibrated RB model cannot explain the observed consumption ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 10-16

Working Paper
Production and Inventory Dynamics under Ambiguity Aversion

We propose a production-cost smoothing model with Knightian uncertainty due to ambiguity aversion to study the joint behavior of production, inventories, and sales. Our model can explain four facts that previous studies find difficult to account for simultaneously: (i) the high volatility of production relative to sales, (ii) the low ratio of inventory-investment volatility to sales volatility, (iii) the positive correlation between sales and inventories, and (iv) the negative correlation between the inventory-to-sales ratio and sales. We find that the stock-out avoidance motive (Kahn 1987) ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 21-05

Working Paper
Sticky information diffusion and the inertial behavior of durable consumption

A leading theory of consumption behavior is that consumers choose their consumption based only on their expected total lifetime income. This theory is called the permanent income hypothesis. According to this theory, consumers should adjust their consumption if they experience a change that affects their expected lifetime income, such as through an unexpected change in employment that affects their expected earnings going forward. One challenge for this theory is that the empirical evidence on consumer spending decisions for durable and nondurable goods does not match the implications of this ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 12-11

Working Paper
Money, Growth, and Welfare in a Schumpeterian Model with the Spirit of Capitalism

According to Schumpeter (1934), entrepreneurs are driven to innovate not only for the fruits of success but for success itself. This description of entrepreneurship echoes Weber’s (1958) description of the “spirit of capitalism,” which states that people enjoy the accumulation of wealth irrespective of its effect on smoothing consumption. This paper explores the implications of the spirit of capitalism on monetary policy, growth, and welfare in a Schumpeterian growth model. Different from the existing literature, we show that money is not superneutral in the long run and could promote ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 20-16

Working Paper
Growth and Welfare Gains from Financial Integration Under Model Uncertainty

We build a robustness (RB) version of the Obstfeld (1994) model to study the effects of financial integration on growth and welfare. Our model can account for the empirically observed heterogeneity in the relationship between growth and volatility for different countries. The calibrated model shows that financial integration leads to significantly larger gains in growth and welfare for advanced countries than developing countries, with some developing countries experiencing growth and welfare loss in financial integration. Our analytical solutions help uncover the key mechanisms by which this ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 18-12

Working Paper
What we don’t know doesn’t hurt us: rational inattention and the permanent income hypothesis in general equilibrium

This paper derives the general equilibrium effects of rational inattention (or RI; Sims 2003,2010) in a model of incomplete income insurance (Huggett 1993, Wang 2003). We show that,under the assumption of CARA utility with Gaussian shocks, the permanent income hypothesis (PIH) arises in steady state equilibrium due to a balancing of precautionary savings and impatience. We then explore how RI affects the equilibrium joint dynamics of consumption, income and wealth, and find that elastic attention can make the model fit the data better. We finally show that the welfare costs of incomplete ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 14-14

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