NBER Working Papers and Publications by Rong Hai

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Working Papers and Chapters and Reporter Articles

December 2016Inequality in Human Capital and Endogenous Credit Constraints
with James J. Heckman: w22999
This paper investigates the determinants of inequality in human capital with an emphasis on the role of the credit constraints. We develop and estimate a model in which individuals face uninsured human capital risks and invest in education, acquire work experience, accumulate assets and smooth consumption. Agents can borrow from the private lending market and from government student loan programs. The private market credit limit is explicitly derived by extending the natural borrowing limit of Aiyagari (1994) to incorporate endogenous labor supply, human capital accumulation, psychic costs of working, and age. We quantify the effects of cognitive ability, noncognitive ability, parental education, and parental wealth on educational attainment, wages, and consumption. We conduct counterfactu...

Published: James Heckman & Rong Hai, 2017. "Inequality in Human Capital and Endogenous Credit Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, April. citation courtesy of

August 2013On the Welfare Cost of Consumption Fluctuations in the Presence of Memorable Goods
with Dirk Krueger, Andrew Postlewaite: w19386
We propose a new classification of consumption goods into nondurable goods, durable goods and a new class which we call "memorable" goods. A good is memorable if a consumer can draw current utility from its past consumption experience through memory. We propose a novel consumption-savings model in which a consumer has a well-defined preference ordering over both nondurable goods and memorable goods. Memorable goods consumption differs from nondurable goods consumption in that current memorable goods consumption may also impact future utility through the accumulation process of the stock of memory. In our model, households optimally choose a lumpy profile of memorable goods consumption even in a frictionless world. Using Consumer Expenditure Survey data, we then document levels and volatili...

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