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Author:Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor 

Report
Heterogeneity in expected longevities

We develop a new methodology to compute differences in the expected longevity of individuals who are in different socioeconomic groups at age 50. We deal with two main problems associated with the standard use of life expectancy: that people?s socioeconomic characteristics evolve over time and that there is a time trend that reduces mortality over time. Using HRS data for individuals from different cohorts, we estimate a hazard model for survival with time-varying stochastic endogenous covariates that yields the desired expected durations. We uncover an enormous amount of heterogeneity in ...
Staff Report , Paper 471

Report
Intergenerational Redistribution in the Great Recession

We construct a stochastic overlapping-generations general equilibrium model in which households are subject to aggregate shocks that affect both wages and asset prices. We use a calibrated version of the model to quantify how the welfare costs of big recessions are distributed across different household age groups. The model predicts that younger cohorts fare better than older cohorts when the equilibrium decline in asset prices is large relative to the decline in wages. Asset price declines hurt the old, who rely on asset sales to finance consumption, but benefit the young, who purchase ...
Staff Report , Paper 498

Discussion Paper
Realistic neoclassical multiplier

Standard neoclassical models are unable to generate large values for the fiscal multiplier, the aggregate economic response to increased government spending. Empirical estimates place the multiplier between 0.7 and 1.0. Standard models deliver figures close to zero. In an earlier policy paper, we modified the standard model, with features of demand-based productivity. These modifications raised the figure to just 0.17, still very far from the range found in the empirical literature.
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 13-5

Discussion Paper
Models of government expenditure multipliers

In this note, we demonstrate and analyze the inability of standard neoclassical models to generate accurate estimates of the fiscal multiplier (that is, the macroeconomic response to increased government spending). We then examine whether estimates can be improved by incorporating recently developed theory on demand-induced productivity increases into neoclassical models. We find that neoclassical models modified in this fashion produce considerably better estimates, but they remain unable to generate anything close to an accurate value of the fiscal multiplier.
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 12-2

Discussion Paper
The Great Recession and Financial Shocks

A case can be made for the Great Recession being the result of a large financial shock that makes household borrowing difficult. The channel involves large reductions in house prices, which trigger sharp reductions in consumption. {{p}} We discuss the ingredients necessary for a quantitative macroeconomic model to successfully implement such a theory. They include: wealth heterogeneity, where the majority of the population needs to acquire financing to purchase houses despite the large amount of wealth in the economy; sizable real frictions that hinder the transformation of consumption into ...
Economic Policy Paper , Paper 16-3

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
Life insurance and household consumption.

In this paper, we use data of life insurance holdings by age, sex, and marital status to infer how individuals value consumption in different demographic stages. Essentially, we use revealed preference to estimate equivalence scales and altruism simultaneously in the context of a fully specified model with agents facing U.S. demographic features and with access to savings markets and life insurance markets. Our findings indicate that individuals are very caring for their dependents, that there are large economies of scale in consumption, that children are costly but wives with children ...
Working Papers , Paper 04-10

Working Paper
A finite-life private-information theory of unsecured consumer debt

The authors present a theory of unsecured consumer debt that does not rely on utility costs of default or on enforcement mechanisms that arise in repeated-interaction settings. The theory is based on private information about a person's type and on a person's incentive to signal his type to entities other than creditors. Specifically, debtors signal their low-risk status to insurers by avoiding default in credit markets. The signal is credible because in equilibrium people who repay are more likely to be the low-risk type and so receive better insurance terms. The authors explore two ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-14

Working Paper
A quantitative theory of unsecured consumer credit with risk of default

The authors study, theoretically and quantitatively, the general equilibrium of an economy in which households smooth consumption by means of both a riskless asset and unsecured loans with the option to default. The default option resembles a bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Competitive financial intermediaries offer a menu of loan sizes and interest rates wherein each loan makes zero profits. They prove the existence of a steady-state equilibrium and characterize the circumstances under which a household defaults on its loans. They show that their model accounts ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-16

Working Paper
Credit, bankruptcy, and aggregate fluctuations

We ask two questions related to how access to credit affects the nature of business cycles. First, does the standard theory of unsecured credit account for the high volatility and procyclicality of credit and the high volatility and countercyclicality of bankruptcy filings found in U.S. data? Yes, it does, but only if we explicitly model recessions as displaying countercyclical earnings risk (i.e., rather than having all households fare slightly worse than normal during recessions, we ensure that more households than normal fare very poorly). Second, does access to credit smooth aggregate ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-31

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