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Keywords:Inequality 

Report
Jacks of All Trades and Masters of One: Declining Search Frictions and Unequal Growth

Declining search frictions generate productivity growth by allowing workers to find jobs for which they are better suited. The return of declining search frictions on productivity varies across different types of workers. For workers who are "jacks of all trades" in the sense that their productivity is nearly independent from the distance between their skills and the requirements of their job—declining search frictions lead to minimal productivity growth. For workers who are "masters of one trade" in the sense that their productivity is very sensitive to the gap between their individual ...
Staff Report , Paper 613

Working Paper
The Politics of Flat Taxes

We study the political determination of flat tax systems using a workhorse macroeconomic model of inequality. There is significant variation in preferred tax policy across the wealth and income distribution. The majority voting outcome features (i) zero labor income taxation, (ii) simultaneous use of capital income and consumption taxation, and (iii) essentially zero transfers. This policy is supported by a coalition of low- and middle-wealth households. Zero labor income taxation is supported by households with below average wealth, while the middle-wealth households prefer to keep the ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-42R2

Working Paper
Updating the Racial Wealth Gap

Using newly available data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, this paper updates and extends the literature exploring the racial wealth gap. We examine several hypotheses proposed by previous researchers, including the importance of inherited wealth and other family support and that of trends in local real estate markets, and also extend the literature by exploring the gap across the distribution of wealth and simultaneously considering white, African American and Hispanic households. The findings indicate that observable factors account for all of wealth gap between white and Hispanic ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-76

Discussion Paper
The Capitol Since the Nineteenth Century: Political Polarization and Income Inequality in the United States

Even the most casual observer of American politics knows that today?s Republican and Democratic parties seem to disagree with one another on just about every issue under the sun. Some assume that this divide is merely an inevitable feature of a two-party system, while others reminisce about a golden era of bipartisan cooperation and hold out hope that a spirit of compromise might one day return to Washington. In this post, we present evidence that political polarization?or the trend toward more ideologically distinct and internally homogeneous parties?is not a recent development in the United ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20140623a

Working Paper
Racial Gaps in Labor Market Outcomes in the Last Four Decades and over the Business Cycle

We examine racial disparities in key labor market outcomes for men and women over the past four decades, with a special emphasis on their evolution over the business cycle. Blacks have substantially higher and more cyclical unemployment rates than whites, and observable characteristics can explain very little of this differential, which is importantly driven by a comparatively higher risk of job loss. In contrast, the Hispanic-white unemployment rate gap is comparatively small and is largely explained by lower educational attainment of (mostly foreign-born) Hispanics. Regarding labor force ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-071

Working Paper
Distributional Considerations for Monetary Policy Strategy

We show that makeup strategies, such as average inflation targeting and price-level targeting, can be more effective than a flexible inflation targeting strategy in overcoming the obstacles created by the effective lower bound in a heterogeneous agent New Keynesian (HANK) model. We also show that the macroeconomic stabilization benefits from such alternative strategies can be substantially larger in a HANK environment than in a representative agent New Keynesian model. We argue that gains in employment outcomes from switching to an alternative strategy would generate disproportionate ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-073

Working Paper
Solving the Housing Crisis will Require Fighting Monopolies in Construction

U.S. government concerns about great disparities in housing conditions are at least 100 years old. For the first 50 years of this period, U.S. housing crises were widely considered to stem from the failure of the construction industry to adopt new technology -- in particular, factory production methods. The introduction of these methods in many industries had already greatly narrowed the quality of goods consumed by low- and high-income Americans. It was widely known why the industry failed to adopt these methods: Monopolies in traditional construction blocked and sabotaged them. Very little ...
Working Papers , Paper 773

Working Paper
Macroeconomic Effects of Capital Tax Rate Changes

We study aggregate, distributional and welfare effects of a permanent reduction in the capital tax rate in a quantitative equilibrium model with capital-skill complementarity. Such a tax reform leads to expansionary long-run aggregate effects, but is coupled with an increase in wage and income inequality. Moreover, the expansionary aggregate effects are smaller when distortionary labor or consumption tax rates have to increase to finance the capital tax rate cut, driven by effects on labor supply decisions. An extension to a model with heterogeneous households shows that consumption ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 391

Working Paper
Changes in the Distribution of After-Tax Wealth: Has Income Tax Policy Increased Wealth Inequality?

A substantial share of the wealth of Americans is held in tax-deferred form such as in retirement accounts or as unrealized capital gains. Most data and statistics on assets and wealth is reported on a pre-tax basis, but pre-tax values include an implicit tax liability and may not provide as accurate a measure of the financial position or material well-being of families. In this paper, we describe the distribution of tax-deferred assets in the SCF from 1989 to 2013, provide new estimates of the income tax liabilities implicit in those assets, and present new statistics on the level and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-58

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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Thompson, Jeffrey P. 5 items

Carroll, Daniel R. 4 items

Chakrabarti, Rajashri 4 items

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Dolmas, Jim 3 items

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