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Jel Classification:E62 

Opening remarks for the Chapter 9 and Alternatives for Distressed Municipalities and States Workshop

Remarks at the Chapter 9 and Alternatives for Distressed Municipalities and States Workshop, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City.
Speech , Paper 163

Labor-dependent capital income taxation that encourages work and saving

This paper proposes a simple mechanism of capital taxation that is negatively correlated with labor supply. Using a life-cycle model of heterogeneous agents, I show that this tax scheme provides a strong work incentive when households possess large assets and high productivity later in the life cycle, when they would otherwise work less. This reformed system also adds to the saving motive and raises aggregate capital. Moreover, the increased economic activities expand the tax base, and the revenue-neutral reform results in a lower average tax rate. My findings show that this tax scheme ...
Staff Reports , Paper 435

Identifying shocks via time-varying volatility

An n-variable structural vector auto-regression (SVAR) can be identified (up to shock order) from the evolution of the residual covariance across time if the structural shocks exhibit heteroskedasticity (Rigobon (2003), Sentana and Fiorentini (2001)). However, the path of residual covariances can only be recovered from the data under specific parametric assumptions on the variance process. I propose a new identification argument that identifies the SVAR up to shock orderings using the autocovariance structure of second moments of the residuals, implied by an arbitrary stochastic process for ...
Staff Reports , Paper 871

Understanding HANK: insights from a PRANK

We show analytically that whether incomplete markets resolve New Keynesian ?paradoxes? depends primarily on the cyclicality of income risk, rather than marginal propensity to consume (MPC) heterogeneity. Incomplete markets reduce the effectiveness of forward guidance and multipliers in a liquidity trap only with procyclical risk. Countercyclical risk amplifies these ?puzzles.? Procyclical risk permits determinacy under a peg; countercyclical risk generates indeterminacy even under the Taylor principle. MPC heterogeneity leaves determinacy and paradoxes qualitatively unaffected, but can change ...
Staff Reports , Paper 835

Optimal Monetary Policy According to HANK

We study optimal monetary policy in a heterogeneous agent new Keynesian economy. A utilitarian planner seeks to reduce consumption inequality, in addition to stabilizing output gaps and inflation. The planner does so both by reducing income risk faced by households, and by reducing the pass-through from income to consumption risk, trading off the benefits of lower inequality against productive inefficiency and higher inflation. When income risk is countercyclical, policy curtails the fall in output in recessions to mitigate the increase in inequality. We uncover a new form of time ...
Staff Reports , Paper 916

Working Paper
Optimal Paternalistic Savings Policies

We study optimal savings policies when there is a dual concern about undersaving for retirement and income inequality. Agents differ in present bias and earnings ability, both unobservable to a planner with paternalistic and redistributive motives. We characterize the solution to this two-dimensional screening problem and provide a decentralization using realistic policy instruments: mandatory savings at low incomes but a choice between subsidized savings vehicles at high incomes?resembling Social Security, 401(k), and IRA accounts in the US. Offering more savings choice at higher incomes ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 17

Optimal Income Taxation: Mirrlees Meets Ramsey

What structure of income taxation maximizes the social benefits of redistribution while minimizing the social harm associated with distorting the allocation of labor input? Many authors have advocated scrapping the current tax system, which redistributes primarily via marginal tax rates that rise with income, and replacing it with a flat tax system, in which marginal tax rates are constant and redistribution is achieved via non-means-tested transfers. In this paper we compare alternative tax systems in an environment with distinct roles for public and private insurance. We evaluate ...
Staff Report , Paper 507

Working Paper
Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models

In this paper, we explore the proposition that the optimal capital income tax is zero using an overlapping generations model. We prove that for a large class of preferences, the optimal capital income tax along the transition path and in steady state is non-zero. For a version of the model calibrated to the US economy, we find that the model could justify the observed rates of capital income taxation for an empirically reasonable intertemporal utility function and a robust demographic structure.
Working Papers , Paper 2017-32

Working Paper
The Aggregate and Relative Economic Effects of Government Financed Health Care

Government-financed health care (GFHC) expenditures, through Medicare and Medicaid, have grown from roughly zero to over 7.6 percent of national personal income over the past 50 years. Recently, some analysts (e.g., the Council of Economics Advisers (2014)) have argued that an expansion of GFHC (in particular Medicaid) has large positive employment effects. Using quarterly data for 1978:Q2-2016:Q4, this paper estimates the impact of GFHC spending on prime-age employment using an instrumental variables strategy that exploits exogenous variation in Medicare spending. Our IV estimate of the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-27

Working Paper
Macroeconomic Effects of Government Spending in China

Government spending plays an important role in determining economic performances in China. Its macroeconomic effects are analyzed in this paper. We show that government spending in China (i) Granger-causes output, consumption and investment booms as well as inflation and (ii) has a multiplier larger than 1. The large multiplier effects are found not only in aggregate time-series data but also in panel data at the provincial level. We also provide a theoretical model and Monte Carlo analysis to rationalize our empirical findings. Our theoretical and Monte Carlo analyses support the large ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-013


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