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Jel Classification:D15 

Working Paper
How does liquidity affect consumer payment choice?

We measure consumers? readiness to face emergency expenses. Based on data from a representative survey of US consumers, we find that financial readiness varies widely across consumers, with lowest-income, least-educated, unemployed, and black consumers most likely to have $0 saved for emergency expenses. For these consumers, even a temporary financial shock, either an unexpected negative income shock (such as a layoff or a short-term government shutdown) or an unexpected expenditure (such as a medical expense or a car repair), could have severe financial consequences. The literature likely ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-7

Working Paper
Did the 2017 Tax Reform Discriminate against Blue State Voters?

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) made significant changes to corporate and personal federal income taxation, including limiting the SALT (state and local property, income and sales taxes) deductibility to $10,000. States with high SALT tend to vote Democratic. This paper estimates the differential effect of the TCJA on red- and blue-state taxpayers and investigates the importance of the SALT limitation to this differential. We calculate the effect of permanent implementation of the TCJA on households using The Fiscal Analyzer: a life-cycle, consumption-smoothing program incorporating ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2019-7

Working Paper
A Day Late and a Dollar Short : Liquidity and Household Formation among Student Borrowers

The federal government encourages human capital investment through lending and grant programs, but resources from these programs may also finance non-education activities for students whose liquidity is otherwise restricted. This paper explores this possibility, using administrative data for the universe of federal student loan borrowers linked to tax records. We examine the effects of a sharp discontinuity in program limits?generated by the timing of a student borrower?s 24th birthday?on household formation early in the lifecycle. After demonstrating that this discontinuity induces a jump in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-025

Working Paper
Monetary Policy over the Life Cycle

A tighter monetary policy is generally associated with higher real interest rates on depositsand loans, weaker performance of equities and real estate, and slower growth in employment andwages. How does a household’s exposure to monetary policy vary with its age? The size andcomposition of both household income and asset portfolios exhibit large variation over the lifecycle inJapanese data. We formulate an overlapping generations model that reproduces these observationsand use it to analyze how household responses to monetary policy shocks vary over the lifecycle. Boththe signs and the ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-20a

Working Paper
Payments Evolution from Paper to Electronic: Bill Payments and Purchases

Consumer payments in the United States gradually have been shifting away from paper checks for the past several years. Cash use has declined as well, although at a much slower pace. As the number of check payments has decreased, those payments have been replaced with electronic and card payments. However, the transition from paper to electronic and card payments for bills has not proceeded in the same way as the transition for purchases. Using detailed consumer survey panel data collected over nine years, we track the same respondents over time and find that consumers who reduced their check ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-5

Working Paper
Credit card utilization and consumption over the life cycle and business cycle

The revolving credit available to consumers changes substantially over the business cycle, life cycle, and for individuals. We show that debt changes at the same time as credit, so credit utilization is remarkably stable. From ages 20?40, for example, credit card limits grow by more than 700 percent, and yet utilization holds steadily at around 50 percent. We estimate a structural model of life-cycle consumption and credit use in which credit cards can be used for payments, precautionary smoothing, and life-cycle smoothing, uniting their monetary and revolving credit functions. Our estimates ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-14

Working Paper
Student Loans, Access to Credit and Consumer Financial Behavior

This paper provides novel evidence that increased student loan debts, caused by rising tuitions, increase borrowers’ demand for additional consumer debt, while simultaneously restricting their ability to access it. The net effect of student loan debt on consumer borrowing varies by market, depending on whether the supply or demand channel dominates. In loosely underwritten credit markets, increased student loan debt causes borrowing to increase, while in tightly underwritten markets, increased student loan debt reduces the use of credit. These findings match predictions of a standard ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-050

Report
Subjective Intertemporal Substitution

We estimate the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS)—the response of expected consumption growth to changes in the real interest rate—using subjective expectations data from the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). This unique data set allows us to estimate the consumption Euler equation with no auxiliary assumptions on the properties of expectations, which are instead necessary when using choice data. We find a subjective EIS of about 0.5, consistent with the results of much of the literature. In addition, planned consumption displays excess sensitivity to ...
Staff Reports , Paper 734

Working Paper
Why Do Couples and Singles Save During Retirement?

While the savings of retired singles tend to fall with age, those of retired couples tend to rise. We estimate a rich model of retired singles and couples with bequest motives and uncertain longevity and medical expenses. Our estimates imply that while medical expenses are an important driver of the savings of middle-income singles, bequest motives matter for couples and high-income singles, and generate transfers to non-spousal heirs whenever a household member dies. The interaction of medical expenses and bequest motives is a crucial determinant of savings for all retirees. Hence, to ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 49

Working Paper
Scarred Consumption

We show that prior lifetime experiences can "scar" consumers. Consumers who have lived through times of high unemployment exhibit persistent pessimism about their future financial situation and spend significantly less, controlling for the standard life-cycle consumption factors, even though their actual future income is uncorrelated with past experiences. Due to their experience-induced frugality, scarred consumers build up more wealth. We use a stochastic lifecycle model to show that the negative relationship between past experiences and consumption cannot be generated by financial ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1259

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