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Jel Classification:H31 

Working Paper
In the Driver's Seat: Pandemic Fiscal Stimulus and Light Vehicles

This paper explores the impact of two fiscal programs, the Economic Impact Payments and the Paycheck Protection Program, on vehicle purchases and relates our findings to post-pandemic price pressures. We find that receiving a stimulus check increased the probability of purchasing new vehicles. In addition, the disbursement of funds from the Paycheck Protection Program was associated with a rise in local new car registrations. Our estimates indicate that these two programs account for a boost of 1 3/4 million units—or 12 percent—to new car sales in 2020. Furthermore, the induced ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2024-013

Working Paper
Set it and Forget it? Financing Retirement in an Age of Defaults

Retirement savings abandonment is a rising concern connected to defined contribution systems and default enrollment. We use tax data on Individual RetirementAccounts (IRAs) to establish that for a recent cohort, 0.4% of retirement-age individuals abandoned an aggregate of $66 million, proxied by a failure to claim over ten years after a legal requirement to do so. Analysis of state unclaimed property databases suggests that workplace defined contribution plans are abandoned at a higher rate than IRAs. Finally, regression discontinuity estimates show that certain accounts created by default ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2022-50

Working Paper
Proxy SVARs: Asymptotic Theory, Bootstrap Inference, and the Effects of Income Tax Changes in the United States

Proxy structural vector autoregressions (SVARs) identify structural shocks in vector autoregressions (VARs) with external proxy variables that are correlated with the structural shocks of interest but uncorrelated with other structural shocks. We provide asymptotic theory for proxy SVARs when the VAR innovations and proxy variables are jointly ?-mixing. We also prove the asymptotic validity of a residual-based moving block bootstrap (MBB) for inference on statistics that depend jointly on estimators for the VAR coefficients and for covariances of the VAR innovations and proxy variables. These ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1619

Working Paper
Disentangling rent index differences: data, methods, and scope

Rent measurement determines 32 percent of the CPI. Accurate rent measurement is therefore essential for accurate inflation measurement, but the CPI rent index often differs from alternative measures of rent inflation. Using repeat-rent inflation measures created from CPI microdata, we show that this discrepancy is largely explained by differences in rent growth for new tenants relative to all tenants. New-tenant rent inflation provides information about future all-tenant rent inflation, but the use of new-tenant rents is contraindicated in a cost-of-living index such as the CPI. Nevertheless, ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-38R

Working Paper
Whose Child Is This? Shifting of Dependents Among EITC Claimants Within the Same Household

Using a panel of household level tax data, we estimate the degree to which dependents are "reassigned" between tax units within households, and how these reassignments affect combined tax liabilities. Reassigning dependents reduces combined tax liabilities on average, suggesting some household level coordination. Additionally, when EITC benefits expanded in 2009, reassignments increasingly involved adding a third child to tax returns to claim these new benefits. However, the subgroup reassigning towards three child tax units actually increased total household tax liabilities, suggesting ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-089

Working Paper
Family and Government Insurance: Wage, Earnings, and Income Risks in the Netherlands and the U.S.

We document new facts about risk in male wages and earnings, household earnings, and pre- and post-tax income in the Netherlands and the United States. We find that, in both countries, earnings display important deviations from the typical assumptions of linearity and normality. Individual-level male wage and earnings risk is relatively high at the beginning and end of the working life, and for those in the lower and upper parts of the income distribution. Hours are the main driver of the negative skewness and, to a lesser extent, the high kurtosis of earnings changes. Even though we find no ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 42

Working Paper
Structural Change in Labor Supply and Cross-Country Differences in Hours Worked

This paper studies how structural change in labor supply along the development spectrum shapes cross-country differences in hours worked. We emphasize two main forces: sectoralreallocation from self-employment to wage work, and declining fixed costs of wage work. We show that these forces are crucial for understanding how the extensive margin (the employment rate) and intensive margin (hours per worker) of aggregate hours worked vary with income per capita. To do so we build and estimate a quantitative model of labor supply featuring a traditional self-employment sector and a modern ...
Working Papers , Paper 2022-006

Working Paper
The Household Expenditure Response to a Consumption Tax Rate Increase

This study measures the effect of an increase in Japan's Value Added Tax rate on the timing of household expenditures and consumption, which do not necessarily coincide. The analysis finds that durable and storable expenditures surged in the month prior to the tax rate increase, fell sharply upon implementation, but quickly returned to their previous long-run levels. Non-storable non-durable expenditures increased slightly in the month prior to the tax rate increase, but were otherwise unresponsive. A dynamic structural model of household consumption reveals that the observed expenditure ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-035

Working Paper
Hours and Wages

We document two robust features of the cross-sectional distribution of usual weekly hours and hourly wages. First, usual weekly hours are heavily concentrated around 40 hours, while at the same time a substantial share of total hours come from individuals who work more than 50 hours. Second, mean hourly wages are non-monotonic across the usual hours distribution, with a peak at 50 hours. We develop and estimate a model of labor supply to account for these features. The novel feature of our model is that earnings are non-linear in hours, with the extent of nonlinearity varying over the hours ...
Working Papers , Paper 2022-005

Working Paper
Consumer Spending and Fiscal Consolidation: Evidence from a Housing Tax Experiment

A major change of the property tax system in 2011 generated significant variation in the amount of housing taxes paid by Italian households. Using new questions added to the Survey on Household Income and Wealth (SHIW), we exploit this variation to provide an unprecedented analysis of the effects of property taxes on consumer spending. A tax on the main dwelling leads to large expenditure cuts among households with mortgage debt and low liquid wealth but generates only small revenues for the government. In contrast, higher tax rates on other residential properties reduce private savings and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-57

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