Consumption and Hours between the United States and France
We document large differences between the United States and France in allocations of consumption expenditures and time by age. Using a life-cycle model, we quantify to what extent tax and transfer programs and market and home productivity can account for the differences. We find that while labor efficiency by age and home-production productivity are crucial in accounting for the differences in the allocation of time, the consumption tax and social security are more important regarding allocation of expenditures. Adopting the U.S. consumption tax decreases welfare in France, and adopting the ...
Piketty’s Book and Macro Models of Wealth Inequality
Thomas Piketty?s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century is, in the author?s own words, a book about the history of the distribution of income and wealth. Among other interesting and important facts, the book quantifies the evolution of wealth inequality and wealth concentration over time and across a number of countries. Wealth is highly concentrated, and its distribution is skewed with a long right tail; a small number of very rich individuals hold a large share of total wealth in the economy.
Housing over time and over the life cycle: a structural estimation
Supersedes Working Paper 09-7. We estimate a structural model of optimal life-cycle housing and nonhousing consumption in the presence of labor income and house price uncertainties. The model postulates constant elasticity of substitution between housing service and nonhousing consumption and explicitly incorporates a housing adjustment cost. Our estimation fits the cross-sectional and time-series household wealth and housing profies from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (1984 to 2005) reasonably well and suggests an intratemporal elasticity of substitution between housing and nonhousing ...
American dream or American obsession? The economic benefits and costs of homeownership
Homeownership, like baseball and hotdogs, is an integral part of the American culture. Over the past 70 years, the U.S. government has devoted significant public resources to encouraging and promoting homeownership. The recent financial crisis has prompted the government to spend even more on preserving homeownership, despite the fact that the financial crisis itself was led by the meltdown of the U.S. housing market. Now, an increasing number of academicians and media reporters are questioning the previously unquestionable: Has the American dream turned into an American obsession? In ...
Are Marriage-Related Taxes and Social Security Benefits Holding Back Female Labor Supply?
In the United States, both taxes and old age Social Security benefits depend on one's marital status and tend to discourage the labor supply of the secondary earner. To what extent are these provisions holding back female labor supply? We estimate a rich life cycle model of labor supply and savings for couples and singles using the method of simulated moments (MSM) on the 1945 and 1955 birth-year cohorts and use it to evaluate what would happen without these provisions. Our model matches well the life cycle profiles of labor market participation, hours, and savings for married and single ...
Home production and Social Security reform
This paper incorporates home production into a dynamic general equilibrium model of overlapping generations with endogenous retirement to study Social Security reforms. As such, the model differentiates both consumption goods and labor effort according to their respective roles in home production and market activities. Using a calibrated model, we find that eliminating the current pay-as-you-go Social Security system has important implications for both labor supply and consumption decisions and that these decisions are influenced by the presence of a home production technology. Comparing our ...
Population Aging, Credit Market Frictions, and Chinese Economic Growth
We build a uniﬁed framework to quantitatively examine population aging and credit market frictions in contributing to Chinese economic growth between 1977 and 2014. We ﬁnd that demographic changes together with endogenous human capital accumulation account for a large part of the rise in per capita output growth, especially after 2007, as well as some of the rise in savings. Credit pol-icy changes initially alleviate the capital misallocation between private and public ﬁrms and lead to signiﬁcant increases in both savings and output growth. Later, they distort capital allocation. ...
Accounting for the heterogeneity in retirement wealth
This paper studies a quantitative dynamic general equilibrium life-cycle model where parents and their children are linked by bequests, both voluntary and accidental, and by the transmission of earnings ability. This model is able to match very well the empirical observation that households with similar lifetime incomes hold very different amounts of wealth at retirement. Income heterogeneity and borrowing constraints are essential in generating the variation in retirement wealth among low lifetime income households, while the existence of intergenerational links is crucial in explaining the ...
Demographic Aging, Industrial Policy, and Chinese Economic Growth
We examine the role of demographics and changing industrial policies in ac- counting for the rapid rise in household savings and in per capita output growth in China since the mid-1970s. The demographic changes come from reductions in the fertility rate and increases in the life expectancy, while the industrial policies take many forms. These policies cause important structural changes; first benefiting private labor-intensive firms by incentivizing them to increase their share of employment, and later on benefiting capital-intensive firms resulting in an increasing share of capital devoted ...
Consumption and time use over the life cycle
The authors incorporate home production in a dynamic general equilibrium model of consumption and saving with illiquid housing and a collateralized borrowing constraint. They show that the model is capable of explaining life-cycle patterns of households' time use and consumption of different categories. Specifically, households' market hours and home hours are fairly stable early in the life cycle. Market hours start to decline sharply at age 50, while home hours begin to increase at age 55. Households' consumption of the market good, home input, and housing services all exhibit hump shapes ...