Human Capital Dynamics and the U.S. Labor Market
The high U.S. unemployment rate after the Great Recession is usually considered to be a result of changes in factors influencing either the demand side or the supply side of the labor market. However, no matter what factors have caused the changes in the unemployment rate, these factors should have influenced workers' and firms' decisions. Therefore, it is important to take into account workers' endogenous responses to changes in various factors when seeking to understand how these factors affect the unemployment rate. To address this issue, we estimate a Mortensen-Pissarides style of ...
Model uncertainty, state uncertainty, and state-space models
This technical paper considers ways to capture uncertainty in the context of so-called "state-space" models. ; State-space models are powerful tools commonly used in macroeconomics, international economics, and finance. State-space models can generate estimates of an underlying, ultimately unobserved variable?such as the natural rate of unemployment?based on the movements of other variables that are observed and have some relationship to the unobserved variable. The paper shows how several macroeconomic models can be mapped to the state-space framework, thus helping quantify uncertainty ...
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 ...
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 ...
Robustness, information-processing constraints, and the current account in small open economies
We examine the effects of two types of informational frictions, robustness (RB) and nite information-processing capacity (called rational inattention or RI) on the current account, in an otherwise standard intertemporal current account (ICA) model. We show that the interaction of RB and RI has the potential to improve the model?s predictions on the joint dynamics of the current account and income: (i) the contemporaneous correlation between the current account and income, (ii) the volatility and persistence of the current account in small open emerging and developed economies. In addition, we ...
Training or search? evidence and an equilibrium model
Training programs are a major tool of labor market policies in OECD countries. I use a unique panel data set on the labor market experience of individual German workers between 2000 and 2002 to estimate a dynamic model of search and training, which allows me to quantify the impact of training programs and unemployment benefits on employment, unemployment, output, and the government expenditures. ; The model extends Ljungqvist and Sargent (JPE, 1998) by incorporating a training decision and a broader menu of unemployment benefits. Government-sponsored training programs feature a key trade-off ...
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 ...
Forecasting Foreign Economic Growth Using Cross-Country Data
We construct a monthly measure of foreign economic growth based on a wide range of cross-county indicators. Unlike GDP data, which are normally released with a delay of one to two quarters in most countries, our monthly measure incorporates monthly information up to the current month. As new information arrives, this measure of foreign growth can be updated as frequently as daily. This monthly measure of foreign growth not only helps gauge the economic conditions in other countries but also provides a timely measure of foreign demand to help forecast U.S. export growth.
Wealth distribution with state-dependent risk aversion
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 ...