Creator: Guvenen, Fatih, Kuruscu, Burhanettin, and Ozkan, Serdar Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 438 Abstract:
Wage inequality has been significantly higher in the United States than in continental European countries (CEU) since the 1970s. Moreover, this inequality gap has further widened during this period as the US has experienced a large increase in wage inequality, whereas the CEU has seen only modest changes. This paper studies the role of labor income tax policies for understanding these facts. We begin by documenting two new empirical facts that link these inequality differences to tax policies. First, we show that countries with more progressive labor income tax schedules have significantly lower before-tax wage inequality at different points in time. Second, progressivity is also negatively correlated with the rise in wage inequality during this period. We then construct a life cycle model in which individuals decide each period whether to go to school, work, or be unemployed. Individuals can accumulate skills either in school or while working. Wage inequality arises from differences across individuals in their ability to learn new skills as well as from idiosyncratic shocks. Progressive taxation compresses the (after-tax) wage structure, thereby distorting the incentives to accumulate human capital, in turn reducing the cross-sectional dispersion of (before-tax) wages. We find that these policies can account for half of the difference between the US and the CEU in overall wage inequality and 76% of the difference in inequality at the upper end (log 90-50 differential). When this economy experiences skill-biased technological change, progressivity also dampens the rise in wage dispersion over time. The model explains 41% of the difference in the total rise in inequality and 58% of the difference at the upper end.
关键词: Labour income tax, Ben-Porath, Wage inequality, Skillbiased technical change, Progressive taxation, and Human capital 学科: E62 - Fiscal Policy and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Ordonez, Guillermo Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 429 Abstract:
It is well known that movements in lending rates are asymmetric; they rise quickly and sharply, but fall slowly and gradually. Not known is the fact that the asymmetry is stronger the less developed a country’s financial system is. This new fact is here documented and explained in a model with an endogenous flow of information about economic conditions. The stronger asymmetry in less developed countries stems from their greater financial system frictions, such as monitoring and bankruptcy costs, which first magnify jumps of lending rates and then delay their recoveries by restricting the generation of information after the crisis. A quantitative exploration of the model shows the data are consistent with this explanation.
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan, Storesletten, Kjetil, and Violante, Giovanni L. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 420 Abstract:
Macroeconomics is evolving from the study of aggregate dynamics to the study of the dynamics of the entire equilibrium distribution of allocations across individual economic actors. This article reviews the quantitative macroeconomic literature that focuses on household heterogeneity, with a special emphasis on the “standard” incomplete markets model. We organize the vast literature according to three themes that are central to understanding how inequality matters for macroeconomics. First, what are the most important sources of individual risk and cross-sectional heterogeneity? Second, what are individuals’ key channels of insurance? Third, how does idiosyncratic risk interact with aggregate risk?
学科: E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data) and J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
Creator: Hur, Sewon, Kondo, Illenin O., and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 574 Abstract:
This paper argues that the comovement between inflation and economic activity is an important determinant of real interest rates over time and across countries. First, we show that for advanced economies, periods with more procyclical inflation are associated with lower real rates, but only when there is no risk of default on government debt. Second, we present a model of nominal sovereign debt with domestic risk-averse lenders. With procyclical inflation, nominal bonds pay out more in bad times, making them a good hedge against aggregate risk. In the absence of default risk, procyclical inflation yields lower real rates. However, procyclicality implies that the government needs to make larger (real) payments when the economy deteriorates, which could increase default risk and trigger an increase in real rates. The patterns of real rates predicted by the model are quantitatively consistent with those documented in the data.
关键词: Nominal bonds, Inflation risk, Government debt, and Sovereign default 学科: F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems, E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation, G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates, and H63 - National Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 545 Abstract:
Because ﬁrms invest heavily in R&D, software, brands, and other intangible assets—at a rate close to that of tangible assets—changes in measured GDP, which does not include all intangible investments, understate the actual changes in total output. If changes in the labor input are more precisely measured, then it is possible to observe little change in measured total factor productivity (TFP) coincidentally with large changes in hours and investment. This mismeasurement leaves business cycle modelers with large and unexplained labor wedges accounting for most of the ﬂuctuations in aggregate data. To address this issue, I incorporate intangible investments into a multi-sector general equilibrium model and parameterize income and cost shares using data from an updated U.S. input and output table, with intangible investments reassigned from intermediate to ﬁnal uses. I employ maximum likelihood methods and quarterly observations on sectoral gross outputs for the United States over the period 1985–2014 to estimate processes for latent sectoral TFPs—that have common and sector-speciﬁc components. Aggregate hours are not used to estimate TFPs, but the model predicts changes in hours that compare well with the actual hours series and account for roughly two-thirds of its standard deviation. I ﬁnd that sector-speciﬁc shocks and industry linkages play an important role in accounting for ﬂuctuations and comovements in aggregate and industry-level U.S. data, and I ﬁnd that the model’s common component of TFP is not correlated at business cycle frequencies with the standard measures of aggregate TFP used in the macroeconomic literature.
关键词: Intangible investments, Input-output linkages, Total factor productivity, and Business cycles 学科: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, D57 - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium: Input-Output Tables and Analysis, and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Lagos, Ricardo and Rocheteau, Guillaume Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 375 Abstract:
We investigate how trading frictions in asset markets affect portfolio choices, asset prices and efficiency. We generalize the search-theoretic model of financial intermediation of Duffie, Gârleanu and Pedersen (2005) to allow for more general preferences and idiosyncratic shock structure, unrestricted portfolio choices, aggregate uncertainty and entry of dealers. With a fixed measure of dealers, we show that a steady-state equilibrium exists and is unique, and provide a condition on preferences under which a reduction in trading frictions leads to an increase in the price of the asset. We also analyze the effects of trading frictions on bid-ask spreads, trade volume and the volatility of asset prices, and find that the asset allocation is constrained-inefficient unless investors have all the bargaining power in bilateral negotiations with dealers. We show that the dealers’ entry decision introduces a feedback that can give rise to multiple equilibria, and that free-entry equilibria are generically inefficient.
关键词: Execution delay, Liquidity, Search, Asset prices, Trade volume, and Bid-ask spread 学科: G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages, G11 - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions, and G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 369 Abstract:
For the 1990s, the basic neoclassical growth model predicts a depressed economy, when in fact the U.S. economy boomed. We extend the base model by introducing intangible investment and non-neutral technology change with respect to producing intangible investment goods and find that the 1990s are not puzzling in light of this new theory. There is micro and macro evidence motivating our extension, and the theory’s predictions are in conformity with U.S. national accounts and capital gains. We compare accounting measures with corresponding measures for our model economy. We find that standard accounting measures greatly understate the 1990s boom.
关键词: Intangible Investment, Hours, and Productivity 学科: O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence, E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes, and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: Shimer, Robert and Werning, Ivan Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 366 Abstract:
We study the optimal design of unemployment insurance for workers sampling job opportunities over time. We focus on the optimal timing of benefits and the desirability of allowing workers to freely access a riskless asset. When workers have constant absolute risk aversion preferences, it is optimal to use a very simple policy: a constant benefit during unemployment, a constant tax during employment that does not depend on the duration of the spell, and free access to savings using a riskless asset. Away from this benchmark, for constant relative risk aversion preferences, the welfare gains of more elaborate policies are minuscule. Our results highlight two largely distinct roles for policy toward the unemployed: (a) ensuring workers have sufficient liquidity to smooth their consumption; and (b) providing unemployment benefits that serve as insurance against the uncertain duration of unemployment spells.
关键词: Sequential search, Consumption smoothing, Optimal unemployment insurance, and Duration of unemployment benefits 学科: D81 - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty, J65 - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings, and J64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
Creator: Boldrin, Michele, De Nardi, Mariacristina, and Jones, Larry E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 359 Abstract:
The data show that an increase in government provided old-age pensions is strongly correlated with a reduction in fertility. What type of model is consistent with this finding? We explore this question using two models of fertility: one by Barro and Becker (1989), and one inspired by Caldwell (1978, 1982) and developed by Boldrin and Jones (2002). In Barro and Becker’s model parents have children because they perceive their children’s lives as a continuation of their own. In Boldrin and Jones’ framework parents procreate because children care about their parents’ utility, and thus provide them with old-age transfers. The effect of increases in government provided pensions on fertility in the Barro and Becker model is very small, whereas the effect on fertility in the Boldrin and Jones model is sizeable and accounts for between 55 and 65% of the observed Europe-U.S. fertility differences both across countries and across time.
关键词: Financial Markets, Social Security, Fertility, and Intra-family transfers 学科: J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth, O10 - Economic Development: General, E10 - General Aggregative Models: General, and J10 - Demographic Economics: General
Creator: Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro and Lagos, Ricardo Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 358 Abstract:
We develop a model of gross job and worker flows and use it to study how the wages, permanent incomes, and employment status of individual workers evolve over time. Our model helps explain various features of labor markets, such as the amount of worker turnover in excess of job reallocation, the length of job tenures and unemployment duration, and the size and persistence of the changes in income that workers experience due to displacements or job-to-job transitions. We also examine the effects that labor market institutions and public policy have on the gross flows, as well as on the resulting wage distribution and employment in the equilibrium. From a theoretical standpoint, we propose a notion of competitive equilibrium for random matching environments, and study the extent to which it achieves an efficient allocation of resources.
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- and Ruhl, Kim J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 324 Abstract:
We propose a methodology for studying changes in bilateral commodity trade due to goods not exported previously or exported only in small quantities. Using a panel of 1,900 country pairs, we find that increased trade of these “least-traded goods” is an important factor in trade growth. This extensive margin accounts for 10 percent of the growth in trade for NAFTA country pairs, for example, and 26 percent in trade between the United States and Chile, China, and Korea. Looking at country pairs with no major trade policy change or structural change, however, we find little change in the extensive margin.
关键词: International trade, Extensive margin, Trade liberalization, NAFTA , and Structural change 学科: F13 - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations, O14 - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology, F10 - Trade: General, and F44 - International Business Cycles
Creator: Khan, Aubhik and Thomas, Julia Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 306 Abstract:
Recent empirical analysis has found nonlinearities to be important in understanding aggregated investment. Using an equilibrium business cycle model, we search for aggregate nonlinearities arising from the introduction of nonconvex capital adjustment costs. We find that, while such costs lead to nontrivial nonlinearities in aggregate investment demand, equilibrium investment is effectively unchanged. Our finding, based on a model in which aggregate fluctuations arise through exogenous changes in total factor productivity, is robust to the introduction of shocks to the relative price of investment goods.
关键词: Adjustment costs, Lumpy investment, Nonlinearities, and Business cycles 学科: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
Creator: Cole, Harold Linh, 1957-, Ohanian, Lee E., Riascos, Alvaro, and Schmitz, James Andrew Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 351 Abstract:
Latin American countries are the only Western countries that are poor and that aren’t gaining ground on the United States. This paper evaluates why Latin America has not replicated Western economic success. We find that this failure is primarily due to TFP differences. Latin America’s TFP gap is not plausibly accounted for by human capital differences, but rather reflects inefficient production. We argue that competitive barriers are a promising channel for understanding low Latin TFP. We document that Latin America has many more international and domestic competitive barriers than do Western and successful East Asian countries. We also document a number of microeconomic cases in Latin America in which large reductions in competitive barriers increase productivity to Western levels.
关键词: Latin America 学科: N26 - Economic History: Financial Markets and Institutions: Latin America; Caribbean and N20 - Economic History: Financial Markets and Institutions: General, International, or Comparative
Creator: Holmes, Thomas J., McGrattan, Ellen R., and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 486 Abstract:
By the 1970s, quid pro quo policy, which requires multinational firms to transfer technology in return for market access, had become a common practice in many developing countries. While many countries have subsequently liberalized quid pro quo requirements, China continues to follow the policy. In this paper, we incorporate quid pro quo policy into a multicountry dynamic general equilibrium model, using microevidence from Chinese patents to motivate key assumptions about the terms of the technology transfer deals and macroevidence on China’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) to estimate key model parameters. We then use the model to quantify the impact of China’s quid pro quo policy and show that it has had a significant impact on global innovation and welfare.
关键词: Quid Pro Quo, FDI, and China 学科: F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, O34 - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital, O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes, and F23 - Multinational Firms; International Business
Creator: Mitchell, Matt Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 269 Abstract:
Many manufacturing industries, including the computer industry, have seen large increases in productivity growth rates and have experienced a reduction in average establishment size and a decrease in the variance of the sizes of plants. A vintage capital model is introduced where learning increases productivity on any given technology and firms choose when to adopt a new vintage. In the model, a rise in the rate of technological change leads to a decrease in both the mean and variance of the size distribution.
关键词: Productivity Growth, Plant Size, and Technological Change 学科: L60 - Industry Studies: Manufacturing: General, O30 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights: General, and L11 - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
Creator: Kocherlakota, Narayana Rao, 1963- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 274 Abstract:
This paper provides a new rationalization for deposit insurance and systemic disintermediations. I consider an environment in which borrowers face no penalty for failing to repay obligations except the loss of their collateral. I assume that this collateral has aggregate risk. For a subset of the exogenous parameters, I demonstrate that an optimal arrangement features deposit insurance. For a strictly smaller set of parameters, it is optimal in some states of the world to have systemic disintermediation and concomitant falls in real output.
Creator: Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 321 Abstract:
Americans now work 50 percent more than do the Germans, French, and Italians. This was not the case in the early 1970s when the Western Europeans worked more than Americans. In this paper, I examine the role of taxes in accounting for the differences in labor supply across time and across countries, in particular, the effective marginal tax rate on labor income. The population of countries considered is that of the G-7 countries, which are major advanced industrial countries. The surprising finding is that this marginal tax rate accounts for the predominance of the differences at points in time and the large change in relative labor supply over time with the exception of the Italian labor supply in the early 1970s.
关键词: International Labor Supply, International Tax Rates, and Social Security Reform 学科: H20 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and E62 - Fiscal Policy