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Jel Classification:D15 

Working Paper
Are Millennials Different?

The economic wellbeing of the millennial generation, which entered its working-age years around the time of the 2007-09 recession, has received considerable attention from economists and the popular press. This chapter compares the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of millennials with those of earlier generations and compares their income, saving, and consumption expenditures. Relative to members of earlier generations, millennials are more racially diverse, more educated, and more likely to have deferred marriage; these comparisons are continuations of longer-run trends in the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-080

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
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
Wage Risk and Government and Spousal Insurance

The extent to which households can self-insure and the government can help them to do so depends on the wage risk that they face and their family structure. We study wage risk in the UK and show that the persistence and riskiness of wages depends on one's age and position in the wage distribution. We also calibrate a model of couples and singles with two alternative processes for wages: a canonical one and a flexible one that allows for the much richer dynamics that we document in the data. We use our model to show that allowing for rich wage dynamics is important to properly evaluate the ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 44

Journal Article
Aging, Deflation, and Secular Stagnation

Prior to the COVID pandemic, industrialized countries experienced a sustained episode of low inflation, low real interest rates, and low per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth. As the logistical and other disruptions created by the COVID pandemic fade, will industrialized economies once again face downward pressure on prices, real interest rates, and output growth? We present evidence that the aging of the population was depressing the inflation rate, as well as real interest rates and GDP growth, prior to the COVID pandemic. Aging is ongoing in industrialized countries, and it will ...
Policy Hub , Volume 2022 , Issue 13

Working Paper
Marriage and Work among Prime-Age Men

Married men work substantially more hours than men who have never been married, even after controlling for observables. Panel data reveal that much of this gap is attributable to an increase in work in the years leading up to marriage. Two potential explanations for this increase are: (i) men hit by positive labor market shocks are more likely to marry; and (ii) the prospect of marriage increases men's labor supply. We quantify the relative importance of these two channels using a structural life-cycle model of marriage and labor supply. Our calibration implies that marriage substantially ...
Working Paper , Paper 23-02

Working Paper
Finite-State Markov-Chain Approximations: A Hidden Markov Approach

This paper proposes a novel finite-state Markov chain approximation method for Markov processes with continuous support, providing both an optimal grid and transition probability matrix. The method can be used for multivariate processes, as well as non-stationary processes such as those with a life-cycle component. The method is based on minimizing the information loss between a Hidden Markov Model and the true data-generating process. We provide sufficient conditions under which this information loss can be made arbitrarily small if enough grid points are used. We compare our method to ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2023-040

Working Paper
Estimating the marginal propensity to consume using the distributions of income, consumption and wealth

Recent studies of economic inequality almost always separately examine income, consumption, and wealth inequality and, hence, miss the important synergy among the three measures explicit in the life-cycle budget constraint. Using Panel Study of Income Dynamics data from 1999 through 2013, we examine whether these changes are more dramatic at higher or lower levels of wealth and find that the marginal propensity to consume is lower at higher wealth quintiles. This suggests that low-wealth households cannot smooth consumption as much as other households do, which further implies that increasing ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-4

Working Paper
Marriage and Work Among Prime-Age Men

Married men work substantially more hours than men who have never been married, even after controlling for observables. Panel data reveal that much of this gap is attributable to an increase in work in the years leading up to marriage. Two potential explanations for this increase are: (i) men hit by positive labor market shocks are more likely to marry; and (ii) the prospect of marriage increases men’s labor supply. We quantify the relative importance of these two channels using a structural life-cycle model of marriage and labor supply. Our calibration implies that marriage substantially ...
Working Papers , Paper 2313

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

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