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Jel Classification:D80 

Journal Article
Risk Aversion at the Country Level

This article estimates the coefficient of relative risk aversion for 75 countries using data on self-reports of personal well-being from the 2006 Gallup World Poll. The analysis suggests that the coefficient of relative risk aversion varies closely around 1, which corresponds to a logarithmic utility function. The authors conclude that their results support the use of the log utility function in numerical simulations of economic models.
Review , Volume 97 , Issue 1 , Pages 53-66

Working Paper
Communicating Data Uncertainty: Multi-Wave Experimental Evidence for UK GDP

Economic statistics are commonly published without any explicit indication of their uncertainty. To assess if and how the UK public interprets and understands data uncertainty, we conduct two waves of a randomized controlled online experiment. A control group is presented with the headline point estimate of GDP, as emphasized by the statistical office. Treatment groups are then presented with alternative qualitative and quantitative communications of GDP data uncertainty. We find that most of the public understands that uncertainty is inherent in official GDP numbers. But communicating ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-28

Working Paper
Doubts about the Model and Optimal Policy

This paper analyzes optimal policy in setups where both the leader and the follower have doubts about the probability model of uncertainty. I illustrate the methodology in two environments: a) an industry populated with a large firm and many small firms in a competitive fringe, where both types of firms doubt the probability model of demand shocks, and b) a general equilibrium economy, where a policymaker taxes linearly the labor income of a representative household in order to finance an exogenous stream of stochastic spending shocks. The policymaker can distrust the probability model of ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-12

Working Paper
Inflation targeting and the anchoring of inflation expectations: cross-country evidence from consensus forecasts

Using survey data of inflation expectations across a 36 developed and developing countries, this paper examines whether the adoption of inflation targeting has helped to anchor inflation expectations. We examine the response of inflation expectations following a shock to inflation, inflation expectations, and oil prices. For the 13 countries that adopted inflation targeting midway through the time period used in this study, there is a significant difference in the responses between the earlier and the later subperiods. A shock leads to a positive, significant, and persistent increase ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 174

Working Paper
Insurance and Inequality with Persistent Private Information

This paper studies the implications of optimal insurance provision for long-run welfare and inequality in economies with persistent private information. We consider a model in which a principal insures an agent whose privately observed endowment follows an ergodic, finite Markov chain. The optimal contract always induces immiseration: the agent’s consumption and utility decrease without bound. Under positive serial correlation, the optimal contract also features backloaded high-powered incentives: the sensitivity of the agent’s utility with respect to his report increases without bound. ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-020

Working Paper
The Complexity of CEO Compensation

I study firm characteristics that justify the use of options or refresher grants in the optimal compensation packages for CEOs in the presence of moral hazard. I model explicitly the determination of stock prices as a function of the output realizations of the firm: Symmetric learning by all parties about the exogenous quality of the firm makes stock prices sensitive to output observations. Compensation packages are designed to transform this sensitivity of prices-to-output into the sensitivity of consumption-to-output that is dictated by the optimal contract. Heterogeneity in the structure ...
Working Paper , Paper 14-16

Working Paper
Asymmetric firm dynamics under rational inattention

We study the link between business failures, markups and business cycle asymmetry in the U.S. economy with a model of optimal firm exit under rational inattention. We show that the model's predictions of lagged, counter-cyclical and positively skewed markups together with counter-cyclical exit rates are consistent with the empirical evidence. Moreover, our model uncovers a new mechanism that links information processing with the business cycle. It predicts counter-cyclical attention to economic conditions consistent with survey evidence.
Working Papers , Paper 1411

Working Paper
Understanding Uncertainty Shocks and the Role of Black Swans

Economic uncertainty is a powerful force in the modern economy. Research shows that surges in uncertainty can trigger business cycles, bank runs and asset price fluctuations. But where do sudden surges in uncertainty come from? This paper provides a data-disciplined theory of belief formation that explains large fluctuations in uncertainty. It argues that people do not know the true distribution of macroeconomic outcomes. Like Bayesian econometricians, they estimate a distribution. Our main contribution is to explain why real-time estimation of distributions with non-normal tails results in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2022-083

Report
An overview of the Survey of Consumer Expectations

This report presents an overview of the Survey of Consumer Expectations, a new monthly online survey of a rotating panel of household heads. The survey collects timely information on consumers? expectations and decisions on a broad variety of topics, including but not limited to inflation, household finance, the labor market, and the housing market. There are three main goals of the survey: (1) measuring consumer expectations at a high frequency, (2) understanding how these expectations are formed, and (3) investigating the link between expectations and behavior. This report discusses the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 800

Working Paper
Visible Hands: Professional Asset Managers' Expectations and the Stock Market in China

Unemployment insurance and wage subsidies are key tools to support labor markets in recessions. We develop a multi-sector search and matching model with on-the-job human capital accumulation to study labor market policy responses to sector-specific shocks. Our calibration accounts for structural differences in labor markets between the United States and the euro area, including a lower job-finding rate in the latter. We use the model to evaluate unemployment insurance and wage subsidy policies in recessions of different duration. We find that, after a temporary sector-specific shock, ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1362

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