NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Andrea Repetto

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Working Papers

August 2007Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle
with David Laibson, Jeremy Tobacman: w13314
Intertemporal preferences are difficult to measure. We estimate time preferences using a structural buffer stock consumption model and the Method of Simulated Moments. The model includes stochastic labor income, liquidity constraints, child and adult dependents, liquid and illiquid assets, revolving credit, retirement, and discount functions that allow short-run and long-run discount rates to differ. Data on retirement wealth accumulation, credit card borrowing, and consumption-income comovement identify the model. Our benchmark estimates imply a 40% short-term annualized discount rate and a 4.3% long-term annualized discount rate. Almost all specifications reject the restriction to a constant discount rate. Our quantitative results are sensitive to assumptions about the return on illiquid...
June 2004Slow Recoveries
with Raphael Bergoeing, Norman Loayzaw: w10584
Economies respond differently to aggregate shocks that reduce output. While some countries rapidly recover their pre-crisis trend, others stagnate. Recent studies provide empirical support for a link between aggregate growth and plant dynamics through its effect on productivity: the entry and exit of firms and the reallocation of resources from less to more efficient firms explain a relevant part of transitional productivity dynamics. In this paper we use a stochastic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous firms to study the effect on aggregate short-run growth of policies that distort the process of birth, growth and death of firms, as well as the reallocation of resources across economic units. Our findings show that indeed policies that alter plant dynamics can explain slow recove...
September 2000A Debt Puzzle
with David Laibson, Jeremy Tobacman: w7879
Over 60% of US households with credit cards are currently borrowing -- i.e., paying interest -- on those cards. We attempt to reconcile the high rate of credit card borrowing with observed levels of life cycle wealth accumulation. We simulate a lifecycle model with five properties that create demand for credit card borrowing. First, the calibrated labor income path slopes upward early in life. Second, income has transitory shocks. Third, consumers invest actively in an illiquid asset, which is sufficiently illiquid that it can not be used to smooth transitory income shocks. Fourth, consumers may declare bankruptcy, reducing the effective cost of credit card borrowing. Fifth, households have relatively more dependents early in the life-cycle. Our calibrated model predicts that 20% of...

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