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Author:Ravikumar, B. 

Economic Development and the Evolution of Mortality

Since 1960, the gap in GDP per capita between rich and poor countries has remained wide. Yet the gap in death rates has practically vanished during that period.
On the Economy

Journal Article
What flattened the earnings profile of recent college graduates?

Over their working lifetimes, college graduates who entered the workforce many decades ago experienced a greater increase in wages than more-recent college graduates.
Economic Synopses

Journal Article
The Lost Weeks of COVID-19 Testing in the United States: Part I

The weeks lost due to inaction in the U.S. during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in rationing of tests and a large number of confirmed cases.
Economic Synopses , Issue 24

Working Paper
Explaining Cross-Cohort Differences in Life Cycle Earnings

College-educated workers entering the labor market in 1940 experienced a 4-fold increase in their labor earnings between the ages of 25 and 55; in contrast, the increase was 2.6-fold for those entering the market in 1980. For workers without a college education these figures are 3.6-fold and 1.5-fold, respectively. Why are earnings profiles flatter for recent cohorts? We build a parsimonious model of schooling and human capital accumulation on the job and calibrate it to earnings statistics of workers from the 1940 cohort. The model accounts for 99 percent of the flattening of earnings ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-35

Discussion Paper
Endogenous expenditures on public schools and persistent growth

In this paper, we present a model where individuals accumulate human capital through the formal schooling. To take into account the large involvement of the public sector in education we introduce a government which collects taxes from households and provides inputs to the learning technology. In our model the public expenditures on schools and growth rates are determined endogenously. Under plausible restrictions on the parameters of our model, we show that the predictions of our model qualitatively match the observations on per capita income, years of schooling, public expenditures on ...
Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics , Paper 85

Working Paper
Technology Adoption, Mortality, and Population Dynamics

We develop a quantitative theory of mortality trends and population dynamics. We emphasize diseases as causes of death and individuals' decisions to reduce their mortality by adopting, at some cost, a modern health-related technology. Adoption confers a dynamic externality: Adoption becomes cheaper as more individuals acquire the modern technology. Our model generates an S-shaped diffusion curve, whose shape dictates the pace of mortality reduction in each country. We use the model to explain the gradual decline of mortality in Western Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-039

Working Paper
Optimal auditing and insurance in a dynamic model of tax compliance

We study the optimal auditing of a taxpayer?s income in a dynamic principal- agent model of hidden income. Taxpayers in our model initially have low income and stochastically transit to high income that is an absorbing state. A low-income taxpayer who transits to high income can underreport his true income and evade his taxes. With a constant absolute risk-aversion utility function and a costly and imperfect auditing technology, we show that the optimal auditing mechanism in our model consists of cycles. Within each cycle, a low-income taxpayer is initially unaudited, but if the duration of ...
Working Papers , Paper 2011-020

Working Paper
Price equalization does not imply free trade

In this paper we show that price equalization alone is not sufficient to establish that there are no barriers to international trade. There are many barrier combinations that deliver price equalization, but each combination implies a different volume of trade. Therefore, in order to make statements about trade barriers it is necessary to know the trade flows. We demonstrate this first theoretically in a simple two-country model. We then extend the result quantitatively to a multicountry model with two sectors. We show that for the case of capital goods trade, barriers have to be large in ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 129

How Spread Out Is the U.S. Population?

Half the nation’s population lives in less than 5% of its counties.
On the Economy

Journal Article
Value-Added Trade vs. Gross Trade

Measuring value-added trade provides a more accurate picture of global trade.
Economic Synopses , Issue 3

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