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Author:Wen, Yi 

Working Paper
Self-Fulfilling Credit Cycles

In U.S. data 1981?2012, unsecured firm credit moves procyclically and tends to lead GDP, while secured firm credit is acyclical; similarly, shocks to unsecured firm credit explain a far larger fraction of output fluctuations than shocks to secured credit. In this paper we develop a tractable dynamic general equilibrium model in which unsecured firm credit arises from self-enforcing borrowing constraints, preventing an efficient capital allocation among heterogeneous firms. Unsecured credit rests on the value that borrowers attach to a good credit reputation which is a forward-looking ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-5

Working Paper
Evaluating unconventional monetary policies -why aren’t they more effective?

We use a general equilibrium finance model that features explicit government purchases of private debts to shed light on some of the principal working mechanisms of the Federal Reserve?s large-scale asset purchases (LSAP) and their macroeconomic effects. Our model predicts that unless private asset purchases are highly persistent and extremely large (on the order of more than 50% of annual GDP), money injections through LSAP cannot effectively boost aggregate output and employment even if inflation is fully anchored and the real interest rate significantly reduced. Our framework also sheds ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-028

Working Paper
By force of demand: explaining international comovements and the saving-investment correlation puzzle

This paper explores the possibility that economic fluctuations may be largely demand-driven. It is shown that the stylized open-economy business cycle regularities documented by Feldstein and Horioka (1980) and Backus, Kehoe and Kydland (1992) can be explained by demand shocks alone even in a standard general equilibrium model. Frictions such as market incompleteness, increasing returns to scale, and sticky prices do not appear to be the preconditions for resolving these long-standing puzzles.
Working Papers , Paper 2005-043

Working Paper
International Credit Markets and Global Business Cycles

This paper stresses a new channel through which global financial linkages contribute to the co-movement in economic activity across countries. We show in a two-country setting with borrowing constraints that international credit markets are subject to self-fulfilling variations in the world real interest rate. Those expectation-driven changes in the borrowing cost in turn act as global shocks that induce strong cross-country co-movements in both financial and real variables (such as asset prices, GDP, consumption, investment and employment). When firms around the world benefit from ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-9

Working Paper
When does heterogeneity matter?

How do movements in the distribution of income affect the macroeconomy? Krusell and Smith (1998) analyzed this question in a neoclassical growth model, and their results show that the representative-agent assumption provides a good approximation for aggregate behaviors of heterogeneous agents. This paper extends their analysis to a cash-in-advance model with heterogeneous money demand. It is shown that movements in the distribution of monetary income can have significant impact on the macroeconomy. For example, the dynamic responses of aggregate output to monetary shocks behave very ...
Working Papers , Paper 2009-024

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
Imperfect competition and indeterminacy of aggregate output

This paper shows imperfect competition can lead to indeterminacy in aggregate output in a standard DSGE model with imperfect competition. Indeterminacy arises in the model from the composition of aggregate output. In sharp contrast to the indeterminacy literature pioneered by Benhabib and Farmer [3] and Gali [19], indeterminacy in our model is global; hence it is more robust to structural parameters. In addition, sunspots in our model can be autocorrelated. The paper provides a justification for exogenous variations in desired markups, which play an important role as a source of cost-push ...
Working Papers , Paper 2006-017

Working Paper
Time-Inconsistent Optimal Quantity of Debt

A key property of the Aiyagari-type heterogeneous-agent models is that the equilibrium interest rate of public debt lies below the time discount rate. This fundamental property, however, implies that the Ramsey planner’s fiscal policy may be time-inconsistent because the forward-looking planner would have a dominant incentive to issue plenty of debt such that all households are fully self-insured against idiosyncratic risk. But such a full self-insurance allocation may be paradoxical because, to achieve it, the optimal labor tax rate may approach 100% and aggregate consumption may approach ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-037

Working Paper
Sentiments and aggregate demand fluctuations

We formalize the Keynesian insight that aggregate demand driven by sentiments can generate output fluctuations under rational expectations. When production decisions must be made un- der imperfect information about aggregate demand, optimal decisions based on sentiments can generate stochastic self-fulfilling rational expectations equilibria in standard economies without aggregate shocks, externalities, persistent informational frictions, or even any strategic comple- mentarity. Our general equilibrium model is deliberately simple, but could serve as a benchmark for more complicated ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-039

Working Paper
Can rising housing prices explain China’s high household saving rate?

China?s average household saving rate is one of the highest in the world. One popular view attributes the high saving rate to fast rising housing prices and other costs of living in China. This article uses simple economic logic to show that rising housing prices and living costs per se cannot explain China?s high household saving rate. Although borrowing constraints and demographic changes can help translate housing prices to the aggregate saving rate, quantitative simulations using Chinese data on household income, housing prices, and demographics indicate that rising mortgage costs ...
Working Papers , Paper 2010-048


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