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Author:Nakajima, Makoto 

Working Paper
Cyclical Labor Income Risk

We investigate cyclicality of variance and skewness of household labor income risk using PSID data. There are five main findings. First, we find that head's labor income exhibits countercyclical variance and procyclical skewness. Second, the cyclicality of hourly wages is mutted, suggesting that head's labor income risk is mainly coming from the volatility of hours. Third, younger households face stronger cyclicality of income volatility than older ones, although the level of volatility is lower for the younger ones. Fourth, while a second earner helps lower the level of skewness, it does not ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 22

Working Paper
Medical Expenses and Saving in Retirement: The Case of U.S. and Sweden

Many U.S. households have significant wealth late in life, contrary to the predictions of a simple life-cycle model. In this paper, we document stark differences between U.S. and Sweden regarding out-of-pocket medical and long-term-care expenses late in life, and use them to investigate their role in discouraging the elderly from dissaving. Using a consumption-saving model in retirement with significant uninsurable expense risk, we find that medical expense risk accounts for a quarter of the U.S.-Sweden difference in retirees' dissaving patterns. Furthermore, medical expense risk affects ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 8

Working Paper
Reverse mortgage loans: a quantitative analysis

Supersedes Working Paper 13-27. Reverse mortgage loans (RMLs) allow older homeowners to borrow against housing wealth without moving. Despite growth in this market, only 2.1% of eligible homeowners had RMLs in 2011. In this paper, the authors analyze reverse mortgages in a calibrated life-cycle model of retirement. The average welfare gain from RMLs is $885 per homeowner. The authors? model implies that low-income, low-wealth, and poor-health households benefit the most, consistent with empirical evidence. Bequest motives, nursing-home-move risk, house price risk, and loan costs all ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-27

Working Paper
Worker flows and job flows: a quantitative investigation

This paper studies quantitative properties of a multiple-worker firm search/matching model and investigates how worker transition rates and job flow rates are interrelated. We show that allowing for job-to-job transitions in the model is essential to simultaneously account for the cyclical features of worker transition rates and job flow rates. Important to this result are the distinctions between the job creation rate and the hiring rate and between the job destruction rate and the layoff rate. In the model without job-to-job transitions, these distinctions essentially disappear, thus making ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-3

Working Paper
A tale of two commitments: equilibrium default and temptation

I construct the life-cycle model with equilibrium default and preferences featuring temptation and self-control. The model provides quantitatively similar answers to positive questions such as the causes of the observed rise in debt and bankruptcies and macroeconomic implications of the 2005 bankruptcy reform, as the standard model without temptation. However, the temptation model provides contrasting welfare implications, because of overborrowing when the borrowing constraint is relaxed. Specifically, the 2005 bankruptcy reform has an overall negative welfare effect, according to the ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-1

Working Paper
Credit, Bankruptcy, and Aggregate Fluctuations

We document the cyclical properties of unsecured consumer credit (procyclical and volatile) and of consumer bankruptcies (countercyclical and very volatile). Using a growth model with household heterogeneity in earnings and assets with access to unsecured credit (because of bankruptcy costs) and aggregate shocks, we show that the cyclical behavior of household earnings growth accounts for these properties, albeit not for the large volatility of credit. We ?nd that tilting household consumption towards goods that can be purchased on credit and a slight countercyclicality in the terms of access ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-48

Working Paper
Rising indebtedness and temptation: a welfare analysis

Is the observed large increase in consumer indebtedness since 1970 beneficial for U.S. consumers? This paper quantitatively investigates the macroeconomic and welfare implications of relaxing borrowing constraints using a model with preferences featuring temptation and self-control. The model can capture two contrasting views: the positive view, which links increased indebtedness to financial innovation and thus better consumption smoothing, and the negative view, which is associated with consumers' over-borrowing. The author finds that the latter is sizable: the calibrated model implies a ...
Working Papers , Paper 11-39

Working Paper
Home Equity in Retirement

Retired homeowners dissave more slowly than renters, which suggests that homeownership a?ects retirees? saving decisions. We investigate empirically and theoretically the life-cycle patterns of homeownership, housing and nonhousing assets in retirement. Using an estimated structural model of saving and housing decisions, we ?nd, ?rst, that homeowners dissave slowly because they prefer to stay in their house as long as possible but cannot easily borrow against it. Second, the 1996-2006 housing boom signi?cantly increased homeowners? assets. These channels are quantitatively signi?cant; without ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-50

Working Paper
Capital Income Taxation with Housing

This paper quantitatively investigates capital income taxation in the general-equilibrium overlap-ping generations model with household heterogeneity and housing. Housing tax policy is found to affect how capital income should be taxed, due to substitution between housing and non-housing capital. Given the existing U.S. preferential tax treatment for owner-occupied housing, the optimal capital income tax rate is close to zero (1%), contrary to the high optimal capital income tax rate found with overlapping generations models without housing. A low capital income tax rate improves welfare by ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-02

Working Paper
Worker flows and job flows: a quantitative investigation

This paper studies the quantitative properties of a multiple-worker firm matching model with on-the-job search where heterogeneous firms operate decreasing-returns-to-scale production technology. We focus on the model's ability to replicate the business cycle features of job flows, worker flows between employment and unemployment, and job-to-job transitions. The calibrated model successfully replicates (i) countercyclical worker flows between employment and unemployment, (ii) procyclical job-to-job transitions, and (iii) opposite movements of job creation and destruction rates over the ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-09

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