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Author:Prescott, Edward C. 

Journal Article
Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?

Americans now work 50 percent more than do the Germans, French, and Italians. This was not the case in the early 1970s, when the Western Europeans worked more than Americans. This article examines the role of taxes in accounting for the differences in labor supply across time and across countries; in particular, the effective marginal tax rate on labor income. The population of countries considered is the G-7 countries, which are major advanced industrial countries. The surprising finding is that this marginal tax rate accounts for the predominance of differences at points in time and the ...
Quarterly Review , Volume 28 , Issue Jul , Pages 2-13

Report
Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?

Americans now work 50 percent more than do the Germans, French, and Italians. This was not the case in the early 1970s when the Western Europeans worked more than Americans. In this paper, I examine the role of taxes in accounting for the differences in labor supply across time and across countries, in particular, the effective marginal tax rate on labor income. The population of countries considered is that of the G-7 countries, which are major advanced industrial countries. The surprising finding is that this marginal tax rate accounts for the predominance of the differences at points in ...
Staff Report , Paper 321

Report
Technology adoption and growth

Technology change is modeled as the result of decisions of individuals and groups of individuals to adopt more advanced technologies. The structure is calibrated to the U.S. and postwar Japan growth experiences. Using this calibrated structure we explore how large the disparity in the effective tax rates on the returns to adopting technologies must be to account for the huge observed disparity in per capita income across countries. We find that this disparity is not implausibly large.
Staff Report , Paper 136

Working Paper
Equilibrium with Mutual Organizations in Adverse Selection Economies

An equilibrium concept in the Debreu (1954) theory-of-value tradition is developed for a class of adverse selection economies and applied to the Spence signaling and Rothschild-Stiglitz (1976) adverse selection environments. The equilibrium exists and is optimal. Further, all equilibria have the same individual type utility vector. The economies are large with a finite number of types that maximize expected utility on an underlying commodity space. An implication of the analysis is that the invisible hand works for this class of adverse selection economies.
Working Papers , Paper 717

Report
Unmeasured investment and the puzzling U.S. boom in the 1990s (technical appendix)

Staff Report , Paper 395

Report
Needed: a theory of total factor productivity

This paper evaluates the argument that differences in physical and intangible capital can account for the large international income differences that characterize the world economy today. The finding is that they cannot. Savings rate differences are of minor importance. What is all-important is total factor productivity. In addition, the paper presents industry evidence that total factor productivities differ across countries and time for reasons other than differences in the publicly available stock of technical knowledge. These findings lead me to conclude a theory of TFP is needed. This ...
Staff Report , Paper 242

Journal Article
Productivity and the post-1990 U.S. economy

In this paper, the authors show that ignoring corporate intangible investments gives a distorted picture of the post-1990 U.S. economy. In particular, ignoring intangible investments in the late 1990s leads one to conclude that productivity growth was modest, corporate profits were low, and corporate investment was at moderate levels. In fact, the late 1990s was a boom period for productivity growth, corporate profits, and corporate investment.
Review , Volume 87 , Issue Jul , Pages 537-550

Report
Time consistency and policy

Staff Report , Paper 115

Monograph
Great depressions of the twentieth century

The worldwide Great Depression of the 1930s was a watershed for both economic thought and economic policymaking. It led to the belief that market economies are inherently unstable and to the revolutionary work of John Maynard Keynes. Its impact on popular economic wisdom is still apparent today. ; This book, which uses a common framework to study sixteen depressions, from the interwar period in Europe and America as well as from more recent times in Japan and Latin America, challenges the Keynesian theory of depressions. It develops and uses a methodology for studying depressions that relies ...
Monograph

Report
Valuation equilibria with clubs

This paper considers model worlds in which there is a continuum of individuals who form finite-sized associations to undertake joint activities. We show how, through a suitable choice of commodity space, restrictions on the composition of feasible groups can be incorporated into the specification of the consumption and production sets of the economy. We also show that if there are a finite number of types, then the classical results from the competitive analysis of convex finite-agent economies can be reinterpreted to apply.
Staff Report , Paper 174

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