Trade Liberalization versus Protectionism: Dynamic Welfare Asymmetries
We investigate whether the losses from an increase in trade costs (protectionism) are equal to the gains from a symmetric decrease in trade costs (liberalization). We incorporate dynamics through capital accumulation into a standard Armington trade model and show that the welfare changes are asymmetric: Losses from protectionism are smaller than the gains from liberalization. In contrast, standard static trade models imply that the losses equal the gains. The intuition for asymmetry in our model is that, following protectionism, the economy can coast off of previously accumulated capital ...
A Capital Compromise
How war debts, states' rights, and a dinner table bargain created Washington, D.C.
Remarks at the New Jersey Bankers Association Regional Meeting
Remarks at the New Jersey Bankers Association Regional Meeting, Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Can Intangible Capital Explain Cyclical Movements in the Labor Wedge?
Intangible capital is an important factor of production in modern economies that is generally neglected in business cycle analyses. We demonstrate that intangible capital can have a substantial impact on business cycle dynamics, especially if the intangible is complementary with production capacity. We focus on customer capital: the capital embodied in the relationships a firm has with its customers. Introducing customer capital into a standard real business cycle model generates a volatile and countercyclical labor wedge, due to a mismeasured marginal product of labor. We also provide new ...
A Discussion of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century: By How Much Is r Greater than g?
Thomas Piketty’s 2014 book Capital in the Twenty-First Century may have been a greater sensation upon publication than Karl Marx’s nineteenth-century Das Kapital. It made the New York Times bestseller list, generated myriad reviews and responses from economists at top institutions, and was the subject of a standing-room-only session at the recent American Economic Association annual meeting. In Capital, Piketty argues that wealth inequality is set to rise from its relatively low levels in the 1950s through the 1970s to the very high levels it once occupied at the dawn of the Industrial ...
Assessing financial stability: the Capital and Loss Assessment under Stress Scenarios (CLASS) model
The CLASS model is a top-down capital stress testing framework that uses public data, simple econometric models, and auxiliary assumptions to project the effect of macroeconomic scenarios on U.S. banking firms. Through the lens of the model, we find that the total banking system capital shortfall under stressful macroeconomic conditions began to rise four years before the financial crisis, peaking in the fourth quarter of 2008. The capital gap has since fallen sharply, and is now significantly below pre-crisis levels. In the cross section, banking firms estimated to be most sensitive to ...
Too-Big-To-Fail: A Problem Too Big to Ignore
Remarks by Charles L. Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago European Economics and Financial Center London, England
Capital goods trade and economic development
Almost 80 percent of capital goods production in the world is concentrated in 10 countries. Poor countries import most of their capital goods. We argue that international trade in capital goods has quantitatively important effects on economic development through two channels: (i) capital formation and (ii) aggregate TFP. We embed a multi country, multi sector Ricardian model of trade into a neoclassical growth model. Barriers to trade result in a misallocation of factors both within and across countries. We calibrate the model to bilateral trade flows, prices, and income per worker. Our model ...
Banking System Vulnerability: 2023 Update
The bank failures that occurred in March 2023 highlighted how unrealized losses on securities can make banks vulnerable to a sudden loss of funding. This risk, which materialized following the rapid rise in interest rates that began in early 2022, underscores the importance of monitoring the vulnerabilities of the banking system. In this post, as in previous years, we provide an update of four analytical models aimed at capturing different aspects of vulnerability of the U.S. banking system, with data through the second quarter of 2023. In addition, we discuss changes made to the methodology ...
Capital Management and Wealth Inequality
Wealthier individuals have stronger incentives to seek higher returns. We investigate theoretically the effect this has on long-run wealth inequality. Incorporating capital management into a standard Ramsey-Cass-Koopmans model generates substantial long-run inequality: the majority of the population works and holds no capital, while a small minority holds a large amount of capital and manages it full-time. Counterintuitively, financial innovations or policies that reduce return differentials increase long-run wealth inequality. Egalitarian steady states may exist, but are inefficient and ...