Carnegie Mellon University
Tepper School of Business
5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2016||Political Economy of Sovereign Debt: A Theory of Cycles of Populism and Austerity|
with Alessandro Dovis, Mikhail Golosov: w21948
We study optimal fiscal and redistributive policies in an open economy without commitment. Due to its redistributive motives, the government’s incentive to default on its external debt is affected by inequality. We show that in equilibrium the economy endogenously fluctuates between two regimes. In the first regime, the government borrows from abroad, spends generously on transfers and keeps the inequality low. In the second regime, it implements austerity-like policies by cutting transfers, reducing foreign debt and increasing the inequality. The equilibrium dynamics resembles the populist cycles documented in many developing countries.
|December 2015||Screening and Adverse Selection in Frictional Markets|
with Benjamin Lester, Venky Venkateswaran, Ariel Zetlin-Jones: w21833
We incorporate a search-theoretic model of imperfect competition into an otherwise standard model of asymmetric information with unrestricted contracts. We develop a methodology that allows for a sharp analytical characterization of the unique equilibrium, and then use this characterization to explore the interaction between adverse selection, screening, and imperfect competition. We show how the structure of equilibrium contracts—and hence the relationship between an agent’s type, the quantity he trades, and the corresponding price—is jointly determined by the severity of adverse selection and the concentration of market power. This suggests that quantifying the effects of adverse selection requires controlling for the market structure. We also show that increasing competition and reducin...
|June 2010||Adverse Selection, Reputation and Sudden Collapses in Secondary Loan Markets|
with V.V. Chari, Ariel Zetlin-Jones: w16080
Banks and financial intermediaries that originate loans often sell some of these loans or securitize them in secondary loan markets and hold on to others. New issuances in such secondary markets collapse abruptly on occasion, typically when collateral values used to secure the underlying loans fall. These collapses are viewed by policymakers as signs that the market is not functioning efficiently. In this paper, we develop a dynamic adverse selection model in which small reductions in collateral values can generate abrupt inefficient collapses in new issuances in the secondary loan market. In our model, reductions in collateral values worsen the adverse selection problem and induce some potential sellers to hold on to their loans. Reputational incentives induce a large fraction of potentia...
|June 2009||Risk Sharing, Inequality and Fertility|
with Roozbeh Hosseini, Larry E. Jones: w15111
We use an extended Barro-Becker model of endogenous fertility, in which parents are heterogeneous in their labor productivity, to study the efficient degree of consumption inequality in the long run. In our environment a utilitarian planner allows for consumption inequality even when labor productivity is public information. We show that adding private information does not alter this result. We also show that the informationally constrained optimal insurance contract has a resetting property - whenever a family line experiences the highest shock, the continuation utility of each child is reset to a (high) level that is independent of history. This implies that there is a non-trivial, stationary distribution over continuation utilities and there is no mass at misery. The novelty of our appr...