Department of Economics
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Stanford University
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2019||Macroeconomic Effects of Debt Relief: Consumer Bankruptcy Protections in the Great Recession|
with Will S. Dobbie, Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham: w25685
This paper argues that the debt forgiveness provided by the U.S. consumer bankruptcy system helped stabilize employment levels during the Great Recession. We document that over this period, states with more generous bankruptcy exemptions had significantly smaller declines in non-tradable employment and larger increases in unsecured debt write-downs compared to states with less generous exemptions. We interpret these reduced form estimates as the relative effect of debt relief across states, and develop a general equilibrium model to recover the aggregate employment effect. The model yields three key results. First, substantial nominal rigidities are required to rationalize our reduced form estimates. Second, with monetary policy at the zero lower bound, traded good demand spillovers across...
|September 2018||The Intertemporal Keynesian Cross|
with Matthew Rognlie, Ludwig Straub: w25020
We demonstrate the importance of intertemporal marginal propensities to consume (iMPCs) in disciplining general equilibrium models with heterogeneous agents and nominal rigidities. In a benchmark case, the dynamic response of output to a change in the path of government spending or taxes is given by an equation involving iMPCs, which we call the intertemporal Keynesian cross. Fiscal multipliers depend only on the interaction between iMPCs and public deficits. We provide empirical estimates of iMPCs and argue that they are inconsistent with representative-agent, two-agent and one-asset heterogeneous-agent models, but can be matched by models with two assets. Quantitatively, models that match empirical iMPCs predict deficit-financed fiscal multipliers that are larger than one, even if moneta...
|February 2018||Inequality and Aggregate Demand|
with Matthew Rognlie: w24280
We explore the transmission mechanism of income inequality to output. In the short run, higher inequality reduces output because marginal propensities to consume are negatively correlated with incomes, but this effect is quantitatively small in the data and in our model. In the long run, the output effects of income inequality are small if inequality is caused by rising dispersion in individual fixed effects, but can be large if it is the manifestation of higher individual income risk. We formalize the connection between partial and general equilibrium effects, and show that the two are closely related under standard assumptions about the behavior of monetary policy. Our economy features a depressed long-run real interest rate, allowing us to quantify the potential contribution of income i...
|May 2017||Monetary Policy and the Redistribution Channel|
This paper evaluates the role of redistribution in the transmission mechanism of monetary policy to consumption. Three channels affect aggregate spending when winners and losers have different marginal propensities to consume: an earnings heterogeneity channel from unequal income gains, a Fisher channel from unexpected inflation, and an interest rate exposure channel from real interest rate changes. Sufficient statistics from Italian and U.S. data suggest that all three channels are likely to amplify the effects of monetary policy. A standard incomplete markets model can deliver the empirical magnitudes if assets have plausibly high durations but a counterfactual degree of inflation indexation.