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Author:Wen, Yi 

Working Paper
Flight to What? — Dissecting Liquidity Shortages in the Financial Crisis

We endogenize the liquidity and the quality of private assets in a tractable incomplete-market model with heterogeneous agents. The model decomposes the convenience yield of government bond into a "liquidity premium" (flight to liquidity) and a "safety premium" (flight to quality) over the business cycle. When calibrated to match the U.S. aggregate output fluctuations and bond premiums, the model reveals that a sharp reduction in the quality, instead of the liquidity, of private assets was the culprit of the recent financial crisis, consistent with the perception that it was the subprime ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-25

Working Paper
Wavelet: a new tool for business cycle analysis

One basic problem in business-cycle studies is how to deal with nonstationary time series. The market economy is an evolutionary system. Economic time series therefore contain stochastic components that are necessarily time dependent. Traditional methods of business cycle analysis, such as the correlation analysis and the spectral analysis, cannot capture such historical information because they do not take the time-varying characteristics of the business cycles into consideration. In this paper, we introduce and apply a new technique to the studies of the business cycle: the wavelet-based ...
Working Papers , Paper 2005-050

Working Paper
Are Government Bonds Net Wealth or a Liability? ---Optimal Debt and Taxes in an OLG Model with Uninsurable Income Risk

A positive national debt is often rationalized either by the assumption of dynamic inefficiency in an overlapping-generations (OLG) model, or by the hypothesis of heterogeneous-agents and incomplete-markets (HAIM) in an infinite horizon model. Both assumptions imply insufficient private liquidity to support private saving and investment, thus calling for a positive level of public debt to improve social welfare. However, since public debt is financed often by distortionary future taxes, optimal debt and tax policies ought to be studied jointly in a single framework. In this paper we use a ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-007

Working Paper
Credit Search and Credit Cycles

The supply and demand of credit are not always well aligned and matched, as is reflected in the countercyclical excess reserve-to-deposit ratio and interest spread between the lending rate and the deposit rate. We develop a search-based theory of credit allocations to explain the cyclical fluctuations in both bank reserves and the interest spread. We show that search frictions in the credit market can not only naturally explain the countercyclical bank reserves and interest spread, but also generate endogenous business cycles driven primarily by the cyclical utilization rate of credit ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-23

Working Paper
Liquidity and welfare

This paper develops an analytically tractable Bewley model of money featuring capital and financial intermediation. It is shown that when money is a vital form of liquidity to meet uncertain consumption needs, the welfare costs of inflation can be extremely large. With log utility and parameter values that best match both the aggregate money demand curve suggested by Lucas (2000) and the variance of household consumption, agents in our model are willing to reduce consumption by 7% ~ 10% (or more) to avoid 10% annual inflation. In other words, raising the U.S. inflation target from 2% to 3% ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-037

Working Paper
Financial development and economic volatility: a unified explanation

Empirical studies showed that firm-level volatility has been increasing but the aggregate volatility has been decreasing in the US for the post-war period. This paper proposes a unified explanation for these diverging trends. Our explanation is based on a story of financial development - measured by the reduction of borrowing constraints because of greater access to external financing and options for risk sharing. By constructing a dynamic stochastic general-equilibrium model of heterogenous firms facing borrowing constraints and investment irreversibility, it is shown that financial ...
Working Papers , Paper 2009-022

Working Paper
Foreign trade and equilibrium indeterminacy

We show that dependence of production on foreign inputs (or non-producible natural resources) can significantly increase the likelihood of indeterminacy. Payment of imported foreign factors of production may act as a semi-fixed cost, amplifying production externalities and returns to scale, making self-fulfilling expectations driven busyness cycles easier to arise. This is demonstrated using a standard neoclassical growth model. Calibration exercise shows that the required increasing returns to scale can be reduced by as much as 64% based on estimated share of foreign inputs in production for ...
Working Papers , Paper 2005-041

Working Paper
Liquidity demand and welfare in a heterogeneous-agent economy

This paper provides an analytically tractable general-equilibrium model of money demand with micro-foundations. The model is based on the incomplete-market model of Bewley (1980) where money serves as a store of value and provides liquidity to smooth consumption. The model is applied to study the effects of monetary policies. It is shown that heterogeneous liquidity demand can lead to sluggish movements in aggregate prices and positive responses from aggregate output to transitory money injections. However, permanent money growth can be extremely costly: With log utility function and an ...
Working Papers , Paper 2010-009

Journal Article
The Changing Relationship between Trade and America’s Gold Reserves

For much of U.S. history, gold reserves and trade flows were closely linked. That changed with the end of the gold standard.
The Regional Economist , Volume 28 , Issue 1

Working Paper
Inflation dynamics: a cross-country investigation

We document that "persistent and lagged" inflation (with respect to output) is a world-wide phenomenon in that these short-run inflation dynamics are highly synchronized across countries. In particular, the average cross-country correlation of inflation is significantly and systematically stronger than that of output, while the cross-country correlation of money growth is essentially zero. We investigate whether standard monetary models driven by monetary shocks are consistent with the empirical facts. We find that neither the new Keynesian sticky-price model nor the sticky-information ...
Working Papers , Paper 2005-076

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