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Keywords:Incomplete markets 

How Should Tax Progressivity Respond to Rising Income Inequality?

We address this question in a heterogeneous-agent incomplete-markets model featuring exogenous idiosyncratic risk, endogenous skill investment, and flexible labor supply. The tax and transfer schedule is restricted to be log-linear in income, a good description of the US system. Rising inequality is modeled as a combination of skill-biased technical change and growth in residual wage dispersion. When facing shifts in the income distribution like those observed in the US, a utilitarian planner chooses higher progressivity in response to larger residual inequality but lower progressivity in ...
Staff Report , Paper 615

Working Paper
Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Default under Incomplete Markets

How are the optimal tax and debt policies affected if the government has the option to default on its debt? We address this question from a normative perspective in an economy with noncontingent government debt, domestic default and labor taxes. On one hand, default prevents the government from incurring future tax distortions that would come along with the service of the debt. On the other hand, default risk gives rise to endogenous credit limits that hinder the government's ability to smooth taxes. We characterize the fiscal policy and show how the option to default alters the near-unit ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1297

Working Paper
Closing Large Open Economy Models

A large class of international business cycle models admits multiple locally isolated deterministic steady states, if the elasticity of substitution between traded goods is sufficiently low. I explore the conditions under which such multiplicity occurs and characterize the dynamic properties in the neighborhood of each steady state. Models with standard incomplete markets, portfolio costs, a debt-elastic interest rate, or an overlapping generations framework allow for multiple steady states, if the model features multiple steady states under financial autarchy. If the excess demand for the ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 867

Working Paper
Approximately Right?: Global v. Local Methods for Open-Economy Models with Incomplete Markets

Global and local methods are widely used in international macroeconomics to analyze incomplete-markets models. We study solutions for an endowment economy, an RBC model and a Sudden Stops model with an occasionally binding credit constraint. First-order, second-order, risky steady state and DynareOBC solutions are compared v. fixed-point-iteration global solutions in the time and frequency domains. The solutions differ in key respects, including measures of precautionary savings, cyclical moments, impulse response functions, financial premia and macro responses to credit constraints, and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-006

Working Paper
Idiosyncratic Investment Risk and Business Cycles

I show that, due to imperfect risk sharing, aggregate shocks to uncertainty about idiosyncratic return on investment generate economic contractions with elevated risk premia and a decrease in the risk-free rate. I present a tractable real business cycle model in which firms experience idiosyncratic shocks, to which managers are at least partially exposed; the distribution of these shocks is time-varying and stochastic. I show that the path for aggregate quantities, the price of physical capital, and the equity premium are the same as in a model without idiosyncratic risk, but with ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-05

Working Paper
Optimal Public Debt with Life Cycle Motives

Public debt can be optimal in standard incomplete market models with infinitely lived agents, since the associated capital crowd-out induces a higher interest rate. The higher interest rate encourages individuals to save and, hence, better self-insure against idiosyncratic labor earnings risk. Even though individual savings behavior is a crucial determinant of the optimality of public debt, this class of economies abstracts from empirically observed life cycle savings patterns. Thus, this paper studies how incorporating a life cycle affects optimal public debt. We find that while the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-028

Working Paper
A tale of two commitments: equilibrium default and temptation

I construct the life-cycle model with equilibrium default and preferences featuring temptation and self-control. The model provides quantitatively similar answers to positive questions such as the causes of the observed rise in debt and bankruptcies and macroeconomic implications of the 2005 bankruptcy reform, as the standard model without temptation. However, the temptation model provides contrasting welfare implications, because of overborrowing when the borrowing constraint is relaxed. Specifically, the 2005 bankruptcy reform has an overall negative welfare effect, according to the ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-1

Working Paper
Credit, bankruptcy, and aggregate fluctuations

We ask two questions related to how access to credit affects the nature of business cycles. First, does the standard theory of unsecured credit account for the high volatility and procyclicality of credit and the high volatility and countercyclicality of bankruptcy filings found in U.S. data? Yes, it does, but only if we explicitly model recessions as displaying countercyclical earnings risk (i.e., rather than having all households fare slightly worse than normal during recessions, we ensure that more households than normal fare very poorly). Second, does access to credit smooth aggregate ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-31

Working Paper
Assessing bankruptcy reform in a model with temptation and equilibrium default

A life-cycle model with equilibrium default in which consumers with and without temptation coexist is constructed to evaluate the 2005 bankruptcy law reform and other counterfactual reforms. The calibrated model indicates that the 2005 bankruptcy reform achieves its goal of reducing the number of bankruptcy filings, as seen in the data, but at the cost of loss in social welfare. The creditor-friendly reform provides borrowers with a stronger commitment to repay and thus yields lower default premia and better consumption smoothing. However, those who borrow and default due to temptation or ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-12


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