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Jel Classification:E25 

Working Paper
Earnings Inequality and the Minimum Wage: Evidence from Brazil

We show that an increase in the minimum wage can have large effects throughout the earnings distribution, using a combination of theory and evidence. To this end, we develop an equilibrium search model featuring empirically relevant worker and firm heterogeneity. The minimum wage induces firms to adjust their equilibrium wage and vacancy policies, leading to spillovers on higher wages. We use the estimated model to evaluate the effects of a 119 percent increase in the real minimum wage in Brazil from 1996 to 2012. The policy change explains a large decline in earnings inequality, with ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 7

Working Paper
Occupation Mobility, Human Capital and the Aggregate Consequences of Task-Biased Innovations

We construct a dynamic general equilibrium model with occupation mobility, human capital accumulation and endogenous assignment of workers to tasks to quantitatively assess the aggregate impact of automation and other task-biased technological innovations. We extend recent quantitative general equilibrium Roy models to a setting with dynamic occupational choices and human capital accumulation. We provide a set of conditions for the problem of workers to be written in recursive form and provide a sharp characterization for the optimal mobility of individual workers and for the aggregate supply ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-13

Working Paper
Does Redistribution Increase Output? The Centrality of Labor Supply

The aftermath of the recent recession has seen numerous calls to use transfers to poorer households as a means to enhance aggregate activity. We show that the key to understanding the direction and size of such interventions lies in labor supply decisions. We study the aggregate impact of short-term redistributive economic policy in a standard incomplete-markets model. We characterize analytically conditions under which redistribution leads to an increase or decrease in effective hours worked, and hence, output. We then show that under the parameterization that matches the wealth distribution ...
Working Paper , Paper 14-4

Working Paper
Capital-Task Complementarity and the Decline of the U.S. Labor Share of Income

This paper provides evidence that shifts in the occupational composition of the U.S. workforce are the most important factor explaining the trend decline in the labor share over the past four decades. Estimates suggest that while there is unitary elasticity between equipment capital and non-routine tasks, equipment capital and routine tasks are highly substitutable. Through the lenses of a general equilibrium model with occupational choice and the estimated production technology, I document that the fall in relative price of equipment capital alone can explain 72 percent of the observed ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1200

Working Paper
Credit and the Labor Share: Evidence from U.S. States

We analyze the role of credit markets in explaining the changes in the U.S. labor share by evaluating the effects of state-level banking deregulation, which resulted in improved access to cheaper credit. Utilizing a difference-in-differences strategy, we provide causal evidence showing labor share declined following the interstate banking deregulation. We show that the lower cost of credit, increase in the availability of credit, and greater bank competition in each state are mechanisms that led to the decline in the labor share. We use this evidence to obtain the elasticity of labor share ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 326

Working Paper
The Global Rise of Corporate Saving

The sectoral composition of global saving changed dramatically during the last three decades. Whereas in the early 1980s most of global investment was funded by household saving, nowadays nearly two-thirds of global investment is funded by corporate saving. This shift in the sectoral composition of saving was not accompanied by changes in the sectoral composition of investment, implying an improvement in the corporate net lending position. We characterize the behavior of corporate saving using both national income accounts and firm-level data and clarify its relationship with the global ...
Working Papers , Paper 736

Working Paper
Accounting for Factorless Income

Comparing U.S. GDP to the sum of measured payments to labor and imputed rental payments to capital results in a large and volatile residual or ?factorless income.? We analyze three common strategies of allocating and interpreting factorless income, speci?cally that it arises from economic pro?ts (Case ?), unmeasured capital (Case K), or deviations of the rental rate of capital from standard measures based on bond returns (Case R). We are skeptical of Case ? as it reveals a tight negative relationship between real interest rates and markups, leads to large ?uctuations in inferred ...
Working Papers , Paper 749

Journal Article
Top Income Inequality in the 21st Century: Some Cautionary Notes

We revisit recent empirical evidence about the rise in top income inequality in the United States, drawing attention to key issues that we believe are critical for an informed discussion about changing inequality since 1980: the definition of income (labor versus total), the unit of analysis (individual versus tax unit), the importance of partnership and S-corporation income, income shifting between the corporate and personal sectors in response to tax incentives, the definition of the top of the distribution, and trends in the middle and bottom of the distribution. Our goal is to inform ...
Quarterly Review , Issue October , Pages 2-15

Working Paper
Market Power, Inequality, and Financial Instability

Over the last four decades, the U.S. economy has experienced a few secular trends, each of which may be considered undesirable in some aspects: declining labor share; rising profit share; rising income and wealth inequalities; and rising household sector leverage and associated financial instability. We develop a real business cycle model and show that the rise of market power of the firms in both product and labor markets over the last four decades can generate all of these secular trends. We derive macroprudential policy implications for financial stability.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-057


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