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Jel Classification:H23 

Working Paper
Preventing Controversial Catastrophes

In a market-based democracy, we model different constituencies that disagree regarding the likelihood of economic disasters. Costly public policy initiatives to reduce or eliminate disasters are assessed relative to private alternatives presented by financial markets. Demand for such public policies falls as much as 40% with disagreement, and crowding out by private insurance drives most of the reduction. As support for disaster-reducing policy jumps in periods of disasters, costly policies may be adopted only after disasters occur. In some scenarios constituencies may even demand policies ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-052

Working Paper
Recycling Carbon Tax Revenue to Maximize Welfare

This paper explores how to recycle carbon tax revenue back to households to maximize welfare. Using a general equilibrium lifecycle model calibrated to reflect the heterogeneity in the U.S. economy, we find the optimal policy uses two thirds of carbon-tax revenue to reduce the distortionary tax on capital income while the remaining one third is used to increase the progressivity of the labor-income tax. The optimal policy attains higher welfare and more equality than the lump-sum rebate approach preferred by policymakers as well as the approach originally prescribed by economists -- which ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-023

Working Paper
Foreclosure Externalities and Vacant Property Registration Ordinances

This paper tests the effectiveness of vacant property registration ordinances (VPROs) in reducing negative externalities from foreclosures. VPROs were widely adopted by local governments across the United States during the foreclosure crisis and facilitated the monitoring and enforcement of existing property maintenance laws. We implement a border discontinuity design combined with a triple-difference specification to overcome policy endogeneity concerns, and we find that the enactment of VPROs in Florida more than halved the negative externality from foreclosure. This finding is robust to a ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2019-20

Report
Optimal Policy for Macro-Financial Stability

There is a new and now large literature analyzing government policies for financial stability based on models with endogenous borrowing constraints. These normative analyses build upon the concept of constrained efficient allocation, where the social planner is constrained by the same borrowing limit that agents face. In this paper, we show that the same set of policy tools that implement the constrained efficient allocation can be used by a Ramsey planner to replicate the unconstrained allocation, thus achieving higher welfare. The constrained social planner approach may lead to inaccurate ...
Staff Reports , Paper 899

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

Working Paper
The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending : It’s All About Taxes

This paper investigates how government spending multipliers depend on the distribution of taxes across households. We exploit historical variations in the financing of spending in the U.S. since 1913 to show that multipliers are positive only when financed with more progressive taxes, and zero otherwise. We rationalize this finding within a heterogeneous-household model with indivisible labor supply. The model results in a lower labor responsiveness to tax changes for higher-income earners. In turn, spending financed with more progressive taxes induces a smaller crowding-out, and thus larger ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1237

Working Paper
Politically influenced counterterrorism policy and welfare efficiency

The paper examines how two targeted countries strategically deploy their counterterror forces when lobbying defense firms influence counterterror provision. For proactive measures, lobbying activities in a single targeted country lessen underprovision, raise overall counterterrorism, and reduce terrorism. Welfare decreases in the politically influenced country but increases in the other targeted country owing to enhanced free riding. Lobbying influence on the targeted countries’ welfare is tied to terrorists’ targeting preferences and how the lobbied government weighs citizens’ welfare. ...
Working Papers , Paper 2022-007

Working Paper
Policy Externalities and Banking Integration

Can policies directed at the banking sector in one jurisdiction spill over and affect real economic activity elsewhere? To investigate this question, I exploit changes in tax rates on bank profits across U.S. states. Banks respond by reallocating small-business lending to otherwise unaffected states. Moreover, counties in non-tax-changing states that have more exposure to treated banks experience greater changes in lending, which in turn impacts local employment. The findings demonstrate that policies aimed at the banking sector in one jurisdiction can impose externalities on other regions. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-8

Working Paper
The Macro Effects of Climate Policy Uncertainty

Uncertainty surrounding if and when the U.S. government will implement a federal climate policy introduces risk into the decision to invest in capital used in conjunction with fossil fuels. To quantify the macroeconomic impacts of this climate policy risk, we develop a dynamic, general equilibrium model that incorporates beliefs about future climate policy. We find that climate policy risk reduces carbon emissions by causing the capital stock to shrink and become relatively cleaner. Our results reveal, however, that a carbon tax could achieve the same reduction in emissions at less than half ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-018

Working Paper
Optimal Need-Based Financial Aid

We study the optimal design of student financial aid as a function of parental income. We derive optimal financial aid formulas in a general model. For a simple model version, we derive mild conditions on primitives under which poorer students receive more aid even without distributional concerns. We quantitatively extend this result to an empirical model of selection into college for the United States that comprises multidimensional heterogeneity, endogenous parental transfers, dropout, labor supply in college, and uncertain returns. Optimal financial aid is strongly declining in parental ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 14

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