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Jel Classification:H20 

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
Estimating the Tax and Credit-Event Risk Components of Credit Spreads

This paper argues that tax liabilities explain a large fraction of observed short-maturity investment-grade (IG) spreads, but credit-event premia do not. First, we extend Duffie and Lando (2001) by permitting management to issue both debt and equity. Rather than defaulting, managers of IG firms who receive bad private signals conceal this information and service existing debt via new debt issuance. Consistent with empirical observation, this strategy implies that IG firms have virtually zero credit-event risk (at least until they become ?fallen angels"). Second, we provide empirical evidence ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-17

Report
Pay with Promises or Pay as You Go? Lessons from the Death Spiral of Detroit

As part of compensation, municipal employees typically receive promises of future benefits. Motivated by the recent bankruptcy of Detroit, we develop a model of the equilibrium size of a city and use it to analyze how pay-with-promises schemes interact with city growth. The paper examines the circumstances under which a death spiral arises, where cutbacks of city services and increases in taxes lead to an exodus of residents, compounding financial distress. The model is put to work to analyze issues such as the welfare effects of having cities absorb pension risk and how unions affect the ...
Staff Report , Paper 501

Working Paper
Why Does Consumption Fluctuate in Old Age and How Should the Government Insure it?

In old age, consumption can fluctuate because of shocks to available resources and because health shocks affect utility from consumption. We find that even temporary drops in income and health are associated with drops in consumption and most of the effect of temporary drops in health on consumption stems from the reduction in the marginal utility from consumption that they generate. More precisely, after a health shock, richer households adjust their consumption of luxury goods because their utility of consuming them changes. Poorer households, instead, adjust both their necessary and luxury ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 40

Report
Implications of Increasing College Attainment for Aging in General Equilibrium

We develop and calibrate an overlapping generations general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy with heterogeneous consumers who face idiosyncratic earnings and health risk to study the implications of exogenous trends in increasing college attainment, decreasing fertility, and increasing longevity between 2005 and 2100. While all three trends contribute to a higher old age dependency ratio, increasing college attainment has different macroeconomic implications because it increases labor productivity. Decreasing fertility and increasing longevity require the government to increase the ...
Staff Report , Paper 583

Working Paper
Fiscal Forward Guidance: A Case for Selective Transparency

Should the fiscal authority use forward guidance to reduce future policy uncertainty perceived by private agents? Using dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models, we examine the welfare effects of announcing future fiscal policy shocks. Analytical as well as numerical experiments show that selective transparency is desirable?announcing future fiscal policy shocks that are distortionary can be detrimental to ex ante social welfare, whereas announcing nondistortionary shocks generally improves welfare. Sizable welfare gains are found with constructive ambiguity regarding the timing of a ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 318

Working Paper
State-Dependent Local Projections

Do state-dependent local projections asymptotically recover the population responses of macroeconomic aggregates to structural shocks? The answer to this question depends on how the state of the economy is determined and on the magnitude of the shocks. When the state is exogenous, the local projection estimator recovers the population response regardless of the shock size. When the state depends on macroeconomic shocks, as is common in empirical work, local projections only recover the conditional response to an infinitesimal shock, but not the responses to larger shocks of interest in many ...
Working Papers , Paper 2302

Working Paper
Do increases in subsidized housing reduce the incidence of homelessness?: evidence from the low-income housing tax credit

The provision of affordable housing for low-income families is often cited by policymakers and advocacy groups as a necessity for ending homelessness. The U.S. government spends a considerable amount on housing programs for the nation's poor, and the use of federal housing programs to mitigate homelessness has attracted increasing interest following the recent financial downturn and housing market crisis. While important for housing policy, however, the question of whether subsidized housing is effective for combating homelessness remains unresolved. In this paper, the authors examine the ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-11

Working Paper
Tax Policy Endogeneity: Evidence from R&D Tax Credits

Because policymakers may consider the state of the economy when setting taxes, endogeneity bias can arise in regression models that estimate relationships between economic variables and taxes. This paper quantifies the policy endogeneity bias and estimates the impact of R&D tax incentives on R&D expenditures at the U.S. state level. Identifying tax variation comes from changes in federal corporate tax laws that heterogeneously impact state-level R&D tax incentives due to the simultaneity of state and federal corporate taxes. With this exogenous variation, my preferred estimates indicate a 1 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-101

Working Paper
Majority Voting in a Model of Means Testing

We study a model of endogenous means testing where households differ in their income and where the in-kind transfer received by each household declines with income. Majority voting determines the two dimensions of public policy: the size of the welfare program and the means-testing rate. We establish the existence of a sequential majority voting equilibrium and show that the means-testing rate increases with the size of the program but the fraction and the identity of the households receiving the transfers are independent of the program size. Furthermore, the set of subsidy recipients does ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-14

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