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Keywords:welfare 

Report
Capital controls: a normative analysis

Countries' concerns about the value of their currency have been studied and documented extensively in the literature. Capital controls can be?and often are?used as a tool to manage exchange rate fluctuations. This paper investigates whether countries can benefit from using such a tool. We develop a welfare-based analysis of whether (or, in fact, how) countries should tax international borrowing. Our results suggest that restricting international capital flows through the use of these taxes can be beneficial for individual countries, although it would limit cross-border pooling of risk. The ...
Staff Reports , Paper 600

Report
Migration, Congestion Externalities, and the Evaluation of Spatial Investments

The direct benefits of infrastructure in developing countries can be large, but if new infrastructure induces in-migration, congestion of other local publicly provided goods may offset the direct benefits. Using the example of rural household electrification in South Africa, we demonstrate the importance of accounting for migration when evaluating welfare gains of spatial programs. We also provide a practical approach to computing welfare gains that does not rely on land prices. We develop a location choice model that incorporates missing land markets and allows for congestion in local land. ...
Staff Report , Paper 506

Working Paper
The Evolution of Comparative Advantage: Measurement and Implications

We estimate productivities at the sector level for 72 countries and 5 decades, and examine how they evolve over time in both developed and developing countries. In both country groups, comparative advantage has become weaker: productivity grew systematically faster in sectors that were initially at greater comparative disadvantage. These changes have had a significant impact on trade volumes and patterns, and a non-negligible welfare impact. In the counterfactual scenario in which each country's comparative advantage remained the same as in the 1960s, and technology in all sectors grew at the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2014-12

Working Paper
Hitting the Elusive Inflation Target

Since the 2001 recession, average core inflation has been below the Federal Reserve?s 2% target. This deflationary bias is a predictable consequence of a low nominal interest rates environment in which the central bank follows a symmetric strategy to stabilize inflation. The deflationary bias increases if macroeconomic uncertainty rises or the natural real interest rate falls. An asymmetric rule according to which the central bank responds less aggressively to above-target inflation corrects the bias and allows inflation to converge to the central bank?s target. We show that adopting this ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-7

Working Paper
Toward a Framework for Time Use, Welfare, and Household Centric Economic Measurement

What is meant by economic progress, and how should it be measured? The conventional answer is growth in real GDP over time or compared across countries, a monetary measure adjusted for the general rate of increase in prices. However, there is increasing interest in developing an alternative understanding of economic progress, particularly in the context of digitalization of the economy and the consequent significant changes Internet use is bringing about in production and household activity. This paper discusses one alternative approach, combining an extended utility framework considering ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-11

Working Paper
Optimal unemployment insurance and cyclical fluctuations

The authors study the design of optimal unemployment insurance in an environment with moral hazard and cyclical fluctuations. The optimal unemployment insurance contract balances the insurance motive to provide consumption for the unemployed with the provision of incentives to search for a job. This balance is affected by aggregate conditions, as recessions are characterized by reductions in job finding rates. We show how benefits should vary with aggregate conditions in an optimal contract. In a special case of the model, the optimal contract can be solved in closed form. We show how this ...
FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper , Paper 2015-2

Working Paper
The redistributional consequences of tax reform under financial integration

I quantify the welfare effects of replacing the US capital income tax with higher labor income taxes under international financial integration using a two-country, heterogeneous-agent incomplete markets model calibrated to represent the US and the rest of the world. Short-run and long-run factor price dynamics are key: after the tax reform, interest rates rise less under financial openness than in autarky. Therefore, wealthy households gain less. Post-tax wages also fall less as a result of the faster capital accumulation, so the poor are hurt less. Hence, the distributional impacts of the ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 188

Working Paper
Goods-Market Frictions and International Trade

We add goods-market frictions to a general equilibrium dynamic model with heterogeneous exporting producers and identical importing retailers. Our tractable framework leads to endogenously unmatched producers, which attenuate welfare responses to foreign shocks but increase the trade elasticity relative to a model without search costs. Search frictions are quantitatively important in our calibration, attenuating welfare responses to tariffs by 40 percent and increasing the trade elasticity by 50 percent. Eliminating search costs raises welfare by 1 percent and increasing them by only a few ...
Working Papers , Paper 201635R2

Working Paper
On the Distributional Effects of International Tariffs

What are the distributional consequences of tariffs? We build a trade model with incomplete asset markets and households that are heterogeneous in their income, wealth, and labor skill. We increase tariffs by 5 percentage points and examine several budget-neutral fiscal policies for redistributing tariff revenue. Without redistribution, tariffs hurt all households, but higher tradables prices disproportionately harm the poor and the ensuing decline in the skill premium disproportionately harms the skilled. With redistribution, lowering the labor income tax leads to lower economic activity but ...
Working Papers , Paper 202018

Working Paper
Financial Development and International Trade

This paper studies the industry-level and aggregate implications of financial development on international trade. I set up a multi-industry general equilibrium model of international trade with input-output linkages and heterogeneous firms subject to financial frictions. Industries differ in capital-intensity, which leads to differences in external finance dependence. The model is parameterized to match key features of firm-level data. Financial development leads to substantial reallocation of international trade shares from labor- to capital-intensive industries, with minor effects at the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-015

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