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Jel Classification:H31 

Working Paper
The Lost Ones: The Opportunities and Outcomes of Non-College-Educated Americans Born in the 1960s

White, non-college-educated Americans born in the 1960s face shorter life expectancies, higher medical expenses, and lower wages per unit of human capital compared with those born in the 1940s, and men's wages declined more than women's. After documenting these changes, we use a life-cycle model of couples and singles to evaluate their effects. The drop in wages depressed the labor supply of men and increased that of women, especially in married couples. Their shorter life expectancy reduced their retirement savings but the increase in out-of-pocket medical expenses increased them by more. ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 19

Working Paper
Cyclical Labor Income Risk

We investigate cyclicality of variance and skewness of household labor income risk using PSID data. There are five main findings. First, we find that head's labor income exhibits countercyclical variance and procyclical skewness. Second, the cyclicality of hourly wages is mutted, suggesting that head's labor income risk is mainly coming from the volatility of hours. Third, younger households face stronger cyclicality of income volatility than older ones, although the level of volatility is lower for the younger ones. Fourth, while a second earner helps lower the level of skewness, it does not ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 22

Report
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
Regional Consumption Responses and the Aggregate Fiscal Multiplier

We use regional variation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009-2012) to analyze the effect of government spending on consumer spending. Our consumption data come from household-level retail purchases in Nielsen and auto purchases from Equifax credit balances. We estimate that a $1 increase in county-level government spending increases consumer spending by $0.29. We translate the regional consumption responses to an aggregate fiscal multiplier using a multi-region, New Keynesian model with heterogeneous agents and incomplete markets. Our model successfully generates the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-4

Working Paper
The Causes of Household Bankruptcy: The Interaction of Income Shocks and Balance Sheets

We examine how household balance sheets and income statements interact to affect bankruptcy decisions following an exogenous income shock. For identification, we exploit government payments in one but not any other Canadian province that varied exogenously based on family size. Receiving a larger income shock from the payment (relative to household income) reduces the count of bankruptcies, with fewer remaining filers having higher net balance sheet benefits of bankruptcy (unsecured debt discharged minus liquidated assets forgone). Receiving an income shock thus causes households that would ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-19

Working Paper
Effects of Gentrification on Homeowners: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

A major overhaul of the property tax system in 2013 in the city of Philadelphia has generated significant variations in the amount of property taxes across properties. This exogenous policy shock provides a unique opportunity to identify the causal effects of gentrification, which is often accompanied by increased property values, on homeowners’ tax payment behavior and residential mobility. The analysis, based on a difference-in-differences framework, suggests that gentrification leads to a higher risk of delinquency on homeowners’ tax bills on average, but there was no sign of a ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-16

Working Paper
The impact of student loan debt on small business formation

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and account for approximately one-half of the private-sector economy and 99% of all businesses. To start a small business, individuals need access to capital. Given the importance of an entrepreneur?s personal debt capacity in financing a startup business, student loan debt, which is difficult to discharge via bankruptcy, can have lasting effects and may have an impact on the ability of future small business owners to raise capital. This study examines the impact of the growth in student debt on net small business formation. We find a ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-26

Working Paper
Cyclical Labor Income Risk

We investigate cyclicality of variance and skewness of household labor income risk using PSID data. There are five main findings. First, we find that head?s labor income exhibits countercyclical variance and procyclical skewness. Second, the cyclicality of hourly wages is muted, suggesting that head?s labor income risk is mainly coming from the volatility of hours. Third, younger households face stronger cyclicality of income volatility than older ones, although the level of volatility is lower for the younger ones. Fourth, while a second earner helps lower the level of skewness, it does not ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-34

Working Paper
Regional Consumption Responses and the Aggregate Fiscal Multiplier

We use regional variation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009-2012) to analyze the effect of government spending on consumer spending. Our consumption data come from household-level retail purchases in Nielsen and auto purchases from Equifax credit balances. We estimate that a $1 increase in county-level government spending increases consumer spending by $0.18. We translate the regional consumption responses to an aggregate fiscal multiplier using a multi-region, New Keynesian model with heterogeneous agents and incomplete markets. Our model successfully generates the ...
Working Paper , Paper 18-4

Briefing
Asymmetric responses to tax-induced changes in personal income: the 2013 payroll tax hike versus anticipated 2012 tax refunds

As part of the Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition's free tax preparation service offered at the Boston Roxbury Resource Center between January and April 2013, 945 low-to-moderate income individuals were asked about payroll tax changes, financial planning, and their personal characteristics. Using these survey responses, the authors calculated how these individuals planned to respond to the payroll tax hike and their tax refund. The results show that their marginal propensity to consume (MPC) out of the tax refund is 30 percentage points lower than their spending reaction to the tax ...
Public Policy Brief

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