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Working Paper
Heterogeneity and aggregation in the labor market : implications for aggregate preference shifts

The cyclical behavior of hours of work, wages, and consumption does not conform with the prediction of the representative agent with standard preferences. The residual in the intra-temporal first-order condition for commodity consumption and leisure is often viewed as a failure of labor-market clearing. We show that a simple heterogeneous agent economy with incomplete markets and indivisible labor generates an aggregation error that looks much like the preference residual in aggregate data. Our results caution against viewing the preference residual as a failure of labor-market clearing or a ...
Working Paper , Paper 03-17

Working Paper
Optimal Vaccine Policies: Spillovers and Incentives

We offer a novel theoretical framework to study optimal vaccination policies. The key features of the model are that agents: 1) differ both in their potential exposure (x) to others and vulnerability (y​) to severe illness, 2) exert negative externalities through interaction, and 3) can take voluntary preventative measures, for instance self-isolation. Our main result is a complete characterization of the second-best policy. Three striking features emerge. First, it is non-monotone – people with intermediate y are vaccinated more than those with either low or high y. Second, it exhibits ...
Working Paper , Paper 21-06

Working Paper
Is Money Essential? An Experimental Approach

Working Paper , Paper 21-12

Working Paper
Liquidity Risk, Bank Networks, and the Value of Joining the Federal Reserve System

Reducing systemic liquidity risk related to seasonal swings in loan demand was one reason for the founding of the Federal Reserve System. Existing evidence on the post-Federal Reserve increase in the seasonal volatility of aggregate lending and the decrease in seasonal interest rate swings suggests that it succeeded in that mission. Nevertheless, less than 8 percent of state-chartered banks joined the Federal Reserve in its first decade. Some have speculated that nonmembers could avoid higher costs of the Federal Reserve?s reserve requirements while still obtaining access indirectly to the ...
Working Paper , Paper 16-6

Working Paper
Discretionary monetary policy in the Calvo model

We study discretionary equilibrium in the Calvo pricing model for a monetary authority that chooses the money supply. The steady-state inflation rate is above 8 percent for a baseline calibration, but it varies substantially with alternative structural parameter values. If the initial condition involves inflation higher than steady state, discretionary policy generates an immediate drop in inflation followed by a gradual increase to the steady state. Unlike the two-period Taylor model, discretionary policy in the Calvo model does not accommodate predetermined prices in a way that inevitably ...
Working Paper , Paper 11-03

Working Paper
Lending Relationships and Optimal Monetary Policy

We construct and calibrate a monetary model of corporate finance with endogenous formation of lending relationships. The equilibrium features money demands by firms that depend on their access to credit and a pecking order of financing means. We describe the mechanism through which monetary policy affects the creation of relationships and firms' incentives to use internal or external finance. We study optimal monetary policy following an unanticipated destruction of relationships under different commitment assumptions. The Ramsey solution uses forward guidance to expedite creation of new ...
Working Paper , Paper 20-13

Working Paper
Productivity insurance: the role of unemployment benefits in a multi-sector model

We construct a multi-sector search and matching model where the unemployed receive idiosyncratic productivity shocks that make working in certain sectors more productive than in the others. Agents must decide which sector to search in and face moving costs when leaving their current sector for another. In this environment, unemployment is associated with an additional risk: low future wages if mobility costs preclude search in the appropriate sector. This introduces a new role for unemployment benefits?productivity insurance while unemployed. Analytically, we characterize two competing ...
Working Paper , Paper 13-11

Working Paper
Logit analysis of the effect of rent control on housing quality

Rent control is one of the few policy issues on which there is a general agreement among economists. Economic theory predicts, and few economists have tried to dispute, that imposing rent controls on a housing market is likely to lead to rental housing shortages and general deterioration of quality. Even on income distribution grounds, rent control receives poor reviews, since it is generally agreed to be a clumsy and inexact means of helping the poor.
Working Paper , Paper 85-06

Working Paper
The cyclicality of the user cost of labor with search and matching

The user cost of labor captures the hiring wage and the expected effect of the economic conditions at the time of hiring on future wages. In search and matching models, I show that it is the user cost and not the wage that is weighted against the worker's marginal product at the time of hiring; so, the user cost is the allocational variable. I construct its measure in the data and estimate that it is more procyclical than average wages or wages of newly hired workers. I show that the textbook search and matching model cannot simultaneously generate the empirical elasticities of the ...
Working Paper , Paper 09-12

Working Paper
Fiscal rules and the sovereign default premium

We find the optimal target values for fiscal rules and measure their aggregate effects using a model of sovereign default. We calibrate the model to an economy that pays a significant sovereign default premium when the government is not constrained by fiscal rules. For different levels of the default premium, we find that a government with a debt of 38 percent of trend income (typical in the case studied here) chooses to commit to a debt ceiling of 30 percent of trend income that starts being enforced four years after its announcement. This rule generates expectations of lower future ...
Working Paper , Paper 12-01

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