Job Market Paper
This paper studies the trade-offs associated with income redistribution in an overlapping generations model in which savings rates increase with permanent income. By transferring resources from high savers to low savers, redistribution lowers aggregate savings, and depresses investment. I derive sufficient conditions under which this non-homothetic savings behavior generates a welfare trade-off between permanent income redistribution and capital accumulation in the short and long run. I quantify the size of this trade-off in two ways. First, I derive a sufficient statistic formula for the impact of this channel on welfare, and estimate the formula using U.S. household panel data. When redistribution is done with a labor income tax, the welfare costs associated with my channel are around 1/3 the size of those associated with labor supply distortions. Second, I solve a quantitative overlapping generations model with un-insurable idiosyncratic earnings risk and non-homothetic savings behavior calibrated to the U.S. in 2019. In this setting, I find that around 1/5 of the trade-off between permanent income redistribution and average consumption can be attributed to my channel.
February 2023. Revise and Resubmit at Journal of Political Economy: Macro
Studies the effect of capital-task complementarity on the transmission of monetary policy to consumption. This paper examines how heterogeneity in worker substitutability with capital affects the labor income channel of monetary policy. Empirically, I show that workers performing routine tasks see smaller labor income gains than other workers following a monetary expansion and have higher marginal propensities to consume (MPC). I show that this relationship dampens the role that the labor market plays in monetary policy transmission. I embed capital-task complementarity in a medium-scale HANK model calibrated to match the respective capital-labor elasticities and labor shares of routine and non-routine workers. This worker heterogeneity reduces the size of the labor income channel 25 percent.
Derives sufficient conditions for a redistributive role for monetary policy with complete markets We study optimal monetary policy in a dynamic, general equilibrium economy with heterogeneous agents. All heterogeneity is ex-ante: workers differ in type-specific, state- contingent labor productivity, yet markets are complete. The fiscal authority has access to a uniform, state-contingent lump-sum tax (or transfer), but linear taxes are restricted to be non-state contingent. We derive sufficient conditions under which implementing flexible- price allocations is optimal. We show that such allocations are not optimal when the relative labor income distribution varies with the business cycle; in such cases, optimal monetary policy implements a state-contingent mark-up that co-moves positively with a sufficient statistic for labor income inequality.