Should Capital Be Taxed?
We design an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agents and incomplete-markets model to demonstrate analytically that in the absence of any redistributional effects of government policies, optimal capital tax is zero despite capital overaccumulation under precautionary savings and borrowing constraints. Our result indicates that public debt is a better tool than capital taxation to restore aggregate productive efficiency.
Switching Volatility in a Nonlinear Open Economy
Uncertainty about an economy’s regime can change drastically around a crisis. An imported crisis such as the global financial crisis in the euro area highlights the effect of foreign shocks. Estimating an open-economy nonlinear dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model for the euro area and the United States including Markov-switching volatility shocks, we show that these shocks were significant during the global financial crisis compared with periods of calm. We describe how U.S. shocks from both the real economy and financial markets affected the euro area economy and how bond ...
Endogenous Borrowing Constraints and Stagnation in Latin America
The Latin American debt crisis of the 1980's had a major and long lasting effect on per-capita consumption: its level in 2005 was not that different from that in 1980. This paper studies the long stagnation in per-capita consumption that followed the crisis, and its relationship with recessions and sovereign risk, using a small open economy real business cycle model with complete markets, endogenous borrowing limits (limited commitment), endogenous capital accumulation, and domestic productivity and international interest rate shocks. I find that the model does an excellent job at explaining ...
Efficient Computation with Taste Shocks
Taste shocks result in nondegenerate choice probabilities, smooth policy functions, continuous demand correspondences, and reduced computational errors. They also cause significant computational cost when the number of choices is large. However, I show that, in many economic models, a numerically equivalent approximation may be obtained extremely efficiently. If the objective function has increasing differences (a condition closely tied to policy function monotonicity) or is concave in a discrete sense, the proposed algorithms are O(n log n) for n states and n choice--a drastic improvement ...
Optimal Ramsey Capital Taxation with Endogenous Government Spending
The authors study optimal capital income taxation in heterogeneous agent economies featuring endogenous government spending. Similar to Aiyagari (1995), they find that the long-run optimal capital tax rate should not be zero as long as the competitive equilibrium risk-free interest rate differs from the subjective time discount rate. The authors first argue that this result holds in a wide range of economic environments and is not limited to only the standard incomplete market model with heterogeneous agents. As an example, a decentralized economy with limited commitment is considered. ...
Risk Premia at the ZLB: A Macroeconomic Interpretation
Historically, inflation is negatively correlated with stock returns, leading investors to fear inflation. We document using a variety of measures that this association became positive in the U.S. during the 2008-2015 period. We then show how an off-the-shelf New Keynesian model can reproduce this change of association due to the binding zero lower bound (ZLB) on short-term nominal interest rates during this period: in the model, demand shocks become more important when the ZLB binds because the central bank cannot respond as effectively as when interest rates are positive. This changing ...
An anatomy of U.S. personal bankruptcy under Chapter 13
We build a structural model of Chapter 13 bankruptcy that captures salient features of personal bankruptcy under Chapter 13. We estimate our model using a novel data set that we construct from bankruptcy court dockets recorded in Delaware in 2001 and 2002. Our estimation results highlight the importance of debtor?s choice of repayment plan length for Chapter 13 outcomes under the restrictions imposed by the bankruptcy law. We use the estimated model to conduct policy experiments to evaluate the impact of more stringent provisions of Chapter 13 that impose additional restrictions on the length ...
What we don’t know doesn’t hurt us: rational inattention and the permanent income hypothesis in general equilibrium
This paper derives the general equilibrium effects of rational inattention (or RI; Sims 2003,2010) in a model of incomplete income insurance (Huggett 1993, Wang 2003). We show that,under the assumption of CARA utility with Gaussian shocks, the permanent income hypothesis (PIH) arises in steady state equilibrium due to a balancing of precautionary savings and impatience. We then explore how RI affects the equilibrium joint dynamics of consumption, income and wealth, and find that elastic attention can make the model fit the data better. We finally show that the welfare costs of incomplete ...
Optimal target criteria for stabilization policy
This paper considers a general class of nonlinear rational-expectations models in which policymakers seek to maximize an objective function that may be household expected utility. We show how to derive a target criterion that is 1) consistent with the model?s structural equations, 2) strong enough to imply a unique equilibrium, and 3) optimal, in the sense that a commitment to adjust the policy instrument at all dates so as to satisfy the target criterion maximizes the objective function. The proposed optimal target criterion is a linear equation that must be satisfied by the projected paths ...
Solving asset pricing models with stochastic volatility
This paper provides a closed-form solution for the price-dividend ratio in a standard asset pricing model with stochastic volatility. The solution is useful in allowing comparisons among numerical methods used to approximate the non-trivial closed-form.