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Impulse-Based Computation of Policy Counterfactuals
We propose an efficient procedure to solve for policy counterfactuals in linear models with occasionally binding constraints. The procedure does not require knowledge of the structural or reduced-form equations of the model, its state variables, or its shock processes. Forecasts of the variables entering the policy problem, and impulse response functions of these variables to anticipated policy shocks under an arbitrary policy, constitute sufficient information to construct valid counterfactuals. We show how to compute solutions for instrument rules and optimal discretionary and commitment ...
Occupational hazards and social disability insurance
Using retrospective data, we introduce evidence that occupational exposure significantly affects disability risk. Incorporating this into a general equilibrium model, social disability insurance (SDI) affects welfare through (i) the classic, risk-sharing channel and (ii) a new channel of occupational reallocation. Both channels can increase welfare, but at the optimal SDI they are at odds. Welfare gains from additional risk-sharing are reduced by overly incentivizing workers to choose risky occupations. In a calibration, optimal SDI increases welfare by 2.6% relative to actuarially fair ...