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Jel Classification:D11 

Working Paper
Estimating Taxable Income Responses with Elasticity Heterogeneity

We extend a standard taxable income model with its typical functional-form assumptions to account for nonlinear budget sets. We propose a new method to estimate taxable income elasticity that is more policy relevant than the typically estimated elasticity based on linearized budget sets. Using U.S. data from the NBER tax panel for 1979-1990 and differencing methods, we estimate an elasticity of 0.75 for taxable income and 0.20 for broad income. These estimates are higher than those obtained by specifications based on linearization. Our approach offers a new way to address the problem of ...
Working Papers , Paper 1611

Journal Article
Market Power and Asset Contractibility in Dynamic Insurance Contracts

The authors study the roles of asset contractibility, market power, and rate of return differentials in dynamic insurance when the contracting parties have limited commitment. They define, characterize, and compute Markov-perfect risk-sharing contracts with bargaining. These contracts significantly improve consumption smoothing and welfare relative to self-insurance through savings. Incorporating savings decisions into the contract (asset contractibility) implies sizable gains for both the insurers and the insured. The size and distribution of these gains depend critically on the insurers? ...
Review , Volume 98 , Issue 2

Working Paper
Rationally Inattentive Savers and Monetary Policy Changes: A Laboratory Experiment

We present a model where rationally inattentive agents decide how much to save while imperfectly tracking interest rate changes. Suitable assumptions on agents’ preferences and interest rate distribution allow us to derive testable theoretical predictions and their implications for monetary policy. We probe these predictions using a laboratory experiment with induced inattention that closely reflects the theoretical assumptions. We find that, empirically, the laboratory data corroborates the results of the theoretical model. In particular, we show that experimental subjects respond to ...
Working Papers , Paper 1915

Working Paper
Bundling Time and Goods: Implications for Hours Dispersion

We document the large dispersion in hours worked in the cross-section. We account for this fact using a model in which households combine market inputs and time to produce a set of nonmarket activities. To estimate the model, we create a novel data set that pairs market expenditures and time use at the activity level using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and the American Time Use Survey, respectively. The estimated model can account for a large fraction of the dispersion of hours worked in the data. The substitutability between market inputs and time within an activity and across a ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-1

Working Paper
Markov-Perfect Risk Sharing, Moral Hazard and Limited Commitment

We define, characterize and compute Markov-perfect risk-sharing contracts in a dynamic stochastic economy with endogenous asset accumulation and simultaneous limited commitment and moral hazard frictions. We prove that Markov-perfect insurance contracts preserve standard properties of optimal insurance with private information and are not more restrictive than a long-term contract with one-sided commitment. Markov-perfect contracts imply a determinate asset time-path and a non-degenerate long-run stationary wealth distribution. We show numerically that Markov-perfect contracts provide sizably ...
Working Papers , Paper 2011-030

Working Paper
Continuous Markov equilibria with quasi-geometric discounting

We prove that the standard quasi-geometric discounting model used in dynamic consumer theory and political economics does not possess continuous Markov perfect equilibria (MPE) if there is a strictly positive lower bound on wealth. We also show that, at points of discontinuity, the decision maker strictly prefers lotteries over the next period's assets. We then extend the standard model to have lotteries and establish the existence of an MPE with continuous decision rules. The models with and without lotteries are numerically compared, and it is shown that the model with lotteries behaves ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-6

Working Paper
Why Does Consumption Fluctuate in Old Age and How Should the Government Insure it?

In old age, consumption can fluctuate because of shocks to available resources and because health shocks affect utility from consumption. We find that even temporary drops in income and health are associated with drops in consumption and most of the effect of temporary drops in health on consumption stems from the reduction in the marginal utility from consumption that they generate. More precisely, after a health shock, richer households adjust their consumption of luxury goods because their utility of consuming them changes. Poorer households, instead, adjust both their necessary and luxury ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 40

Working Paper
Scarcity and Intertemporal Choice

Scarcity is a ubiquitous experience, and existing evidence largely suggests that people become more myopic when they feel their resources are scarce. Importantly, evidence for this proposition comes primarily from contexts in which scarcity threatens needs that require resources imminently. The current work examines instances in which scarcity threatens needs along a broader time horizon. Archival data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Consumer Finance Institute and five pre-registered studies (N = 7,728) show that the time horizon of threatened needs is an important ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-27

Working Paper
Welfare Evaluation in a Heterogeneous Agent Model: How Representative is the CES Representative Consumer?

The present paper investigates the impact of asymmetric price changes on welfare in a model with heterogeneous consumers. I consider consumer heterogeneity a la Anderson et al. (1992). The standard welfare equivalence between the CES representative consumer and the discrete choice model breaks down in presence of asymmetric price changes. In fact, asymmetric variation in prices produce differential gains among heterogeneous consumers. I show that there exists no feasible Kaldor-Hicks income transfer such that the gains are equally redistributed. Intuitively, in presence of decreasing marginal ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-109

Working Paper
Rationally Inattentive Consumer: An Experiment

This paper presents a laboratory experiment that directly tests the theoretical predictions of consumption choices under rational inattention. Subjects are asked to select consumption when income is random. They can optimally decide to reduce uncertainty about income by acquiring signals about it. The informativeness of the signals directly relates to the cognitive effort required to process the information. We find that subjects? behavior is largely in line with the predictions of the theory: 1) Subjects optimally make stochastic consumption choices; 2) They respond to incentives and changes ...
Working Papers , Paper 1813


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