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Journal Article
New England AFDC caseloads remain high despite the recovery

Fiscal Facts , Issue Win , Pages 1-2, 8

Journal Article

Medicaid has become Massachusetts preeminent budget buster. The largest single program in the budget, it will most likely be the most important source of spending increases between FY 1991 and FY 1995. But Massachusetts is not alone. Medicaid is producing budgetary headaches all across the country. This article explains why the Medicaid program has become a substantial burden for Massachusetts and other state governments and why that burden is likely to increase. It examines why Massachusetts Medicaid expenditures are above average and outlines some policy choices. ; One option involves ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Jan , Pages 27-50

Journal Article
The devolution tortoise and the centralization hare

There has been much talk in recent years of devolving powers and functions from the federal government to the states. Some observers even proclaim a devolution revolution, the result of which will be a more efficient and effective federal government and more robust and responsive states. The generally recognized objectives of devolution include (1) more efficient provision and production of public services; (2) better alignment of the costs and benefits of government for a diverse citizenry; (3) better fits between public goods and their spatial characteristics; (4) increased competition, ...
New England Economic Review , Issue May , Pages 13-40

Discussion Paper
The Supplemental Security Income Program and welfare reform

Over the past 20 years, the Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI), which provides federally funded income support for disabled individuals, has become one of the most important means-tested cash aid programs in the United States. However, little research has examined the determinants of growth in SSI caseloads across states and over time. In this paper I use state panel data, exploiting variation both across states and over time, to determine what factors determine SSI disabled caseloads. I examine the relative importance of a number of factors, including economic conditions, health ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 12-3

Journal Article
Who's on welfare?

Regional Review , Issue Sum , Pages 18-23

Portfolio autarky: a welfare analysis

Portfolio autarky obtains when residents of every country are prohibited from owning real assets located in other countries. Such a regime and a laissez-faire regime, both characterized by free trade in goods, are studied in a model whose resource and technology assumptions are those of the standard two-country, two- (nonreproducible) factor, two- (nonstorable) good model. But to ensure a market for assets (land), the model is peopled by overlapping generations; each two-period lived individual supplies one unit of labor only in the first period of his life. Unique equilibria are described ...
Staff Report , Paper 9

Working Paper
Managing Macroeconomic Fluctuations with Flexible Exchange Rate Targeting

We show that a monetary policy rule that uses the exchange rate to stabilize the economy outperforms a Taylor rule in managing macroeconomics fluctuations and in achieving higher welfare. The differences between the rules are driven by: (i) the path of the nominal exchange rate and interest rate under each rule, and (ii) time variation in the risk premium, which leads to deviations from uncovered interest parity. These differences are larger in very open economies, more exposed to foreign shocks, and in which domestic and foreign goods are highly substitutable.
Working Papers , Paper 2017-28

Discussion Paper
The social discount rate

In welfare theory it is standard to pick the consumption stream that maximizes the welfare of the representative agent. We argue against this position, and show that a benevolent social planner will generally place a greater weight on future consumption than does the representative agent.
Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics , Paper 137

Working Paper
Terrorism, Trade and Welfare: Some Paradoxes and a Policy Conundrum

We present a standard trade model and show that terrorism can be trade inducing, starting from autarky. In addition, terrorism can be shown to be welfare augmenting for a group of nations. Finally, we present some qualitative conditions that identify when a nation?s trade volume may rise (or fall) in response to a greater incidence of terrorism. Our trade and welfare results point to potential difficulties in international coordination of counterterrorism policy because of terrorism?s differential impact across nations.
Working Papers , Paper 2016-2

Working Paper
Liquidity and welfare

This paper develops an analytically tractable Bewley model of money featuring capital and financial intermediation. It is shown that when money is a vital form of liquidity to meet uncertain consumption needs, the welfare costs of inflation can be extremely large. With log utility and parameter values that best match both the aggregate money demand curve suggested by Lucas (2000) and the variance of household consumption, agents in our model are willing to reduce consumption by 7% ~ 10% (or more) to avoid 10% annual inflation. In other words, raising the U.S. inflation target from 2% to 3% ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-037



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