Catching with the Keynesians
This paper examines the role for tax policies in productivity-shock driven economies with "catching-up-with-the-Joneses" utility functions. The optimal tax policy is shown to affect the economy counter-cyclically via procyclical taxes, i.e., "cooling down" the economy with higher taxes when it is "overheating" in booms and "stimulating" the economy with lower taxes in recessions to keep consumption up. Thus, models with catching-up-with-the-Joneses utility functions call for traditional Keynesian demand management policies. Parameter values from Campbell and Cochrane (1995) are also ...
The big problem of small change
Western Europe was plagued with currency shortages from the 14th century, at which a 'standard formula' had been devised to cure the problem. We use a cash-in-advance model of commodity money to define a currency shortage, show that they could develop and persist under commodity money regime, and analyze the role played by each ingredient in the standard formula. A companion paper documents the evolution of monetary theory, monetary experiments and minting technology over the course of six hundred years.
North-South terms of trade: an empirical investigation
My empirical analysis a reveals a strong link between the terms of trade of industrial and developing countries. I show that the terms of trade developing countries are essentially the relative prices of commodity exports and manufactured imports. Similarly, I find that terms of trade fluctuations of industrial countries are heavily influenced by movements in the relative price of manufactured exports and commodity imports. This means that improvements in the terms of trade of developing countries imply a worsening in the terms of trade of developing industrial countries, and vice versa. One ...
The effect of state fiscal reform on population heterogeneity
This paper tests whether state fiscal policy alters neighborhood income homogeneity. One implication of the Tiebout model is that within-community homogeneity declines as a result of an exogenous decrease in the ability of jurisdictions to set local tax and expenditure levels. The Property tax revolt and the school finance equalization reform of the 1970s and 1980s offer a test of the role of state fiscal reform on aggregate population sorting behavior. The results show that fiscal reform, especially tax and expenditure limitation laws and property tax reform, results in a small but ...
Technical change, diffusion, and productivity