NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Julian Kozlowski

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
1421 Dr Martin Luther King Dr
St Louis, MO 63106

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020Scarring Body and Mind: The Long-Term Belief-Scarring Effects of COVID-19
with Laura Veldkamp, Venky Venkateswaran: w27439
The largest economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic could arise from changes in behavior long after the immediate health crisis is resolved. A potential source of such a long-lived change is scarring of beliefs, a persistent change in the perceived probability of an extreme, negative shock in the future. We show how to quantify the extent of such belief changes and determine their impact on future economic outcomes. We find that the long-run costs for the U.S. economy from this channel is many times higher than the estimates of the short-run losses in output. This suggests that, even if a vaccine cures everyone in a year, the Covid-19 crisis will leave its mark on the US economy for many years to come.
May 2018The Tail That Keeps the Riskless Rate Low
with Laura Veldkamp, Venky Venkateswaran
in NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2018, volume 33, Martin Eichenbaum and Jonathan A. Parker, editors
Riskless interest rates fell in the wake of the financial crisis and have remained low. We explore a simple explanation: This recession was perceived as an extremely unlikely event before 2007. Observing such an episode led all agents to re-assess macro risk, in particular, the probability of tail events. Since changes in beliefs endure long after the event itself has passed, perceived tail risk remains high, generates a demand for riskless, liquid assets, and continues to depress the riskless rate. We embed this mechanism in a simple production economy with liquidity constraints and use observable macro data, along with standard econometric tools, to discipline beliefs about the distribution of aggregate shocks. When agents observe an extreme, adverse realization, they re-estimate the dis...
February 2018The Tail that Keeps the Riskless Rate Low
with Laura Veldkamp, Venky Venkateswaran: w24362
Riskless interest rates fell in the wake of the financial crisis and have remained low. We explore a simple explanation: This recession was perceived as an extremely unlikely event before 2007. Observing such an episode led all agents to re-assess macro risk, in particular, the probability of tail events. Since changes in beliefs endure long after the event itself has passed, perceived tail risk remains high, generates a demand for riskless, liquid assets, and continues to depress the riskless rate. We embed this mechanism in a simple production economy with liquidity constraints and use observable macro data, along with standard econometric tools, to discipline beliefs about the distribution of aggregate shocks. When agents observe an extreme, adverse realization, they re-estimate the dis...
November 2015The Tail that Wags the Economy: Beliefs and Persistent Stagnation
with Laura Veldkamp, Venky Venkateswaran: w21719
The Great Recession was a deep downturn with long-lasting effects on credit, employment and output. While narratives about its causes abound, the persistence of GDP below pre-crisis trends remains puzzling. We propose a simple persistence mechanism that can be quantfied and combined with existing models. Our key premise is that agents don't know the true distribution of shocks, but use data to estimate it non-parametrically. Then, transitory events, especially extreme ones, generate persistent changes in beliefs and macro outcomes. Embedding this mechanism in a neoclassical model, we find that it endogenously generates persistent drops in economic activity after tail events.
 
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