Department of Economics
University of Minnesota
1925 Fourth Street South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2018||Sweat Equity in U.S. Private Business|
with Ellen R. McGrattan: w24520
In this paper, we first provide evidence that existing measures of business incomes and valuations based on widely-used surveys such as the Survey of Consumer Finances are mismeasured. We then develop a theory disciplined by U.S. national accounts and business census data to measure net incomes and private business sweat equity—which is the value of time to build customer bases, client lists, and other intangible assets. We estimate an aggregate sweat equity value of 0.65 times GDP, with little cross-sectional dispersion in valuations when compared to business net incomes and large cross-sectional dispersion in rates of return. Our estimate of sweat equity is close to the estimate of marketable fixed assets used in production by private businesses, implying a high ratio of intangible to to...
|May 2016||Identifying Ambiguity Shocks in Business Cycle Models Using Survey Data|
with Jaroslav Borovička, Paul Ho: w22225
We develop a framework to analyze economies with agents facing time-varying concerns for model misspecification. These concerns lead agents to interpret economic outcomes and make decisions through the lens of a pessimistically biased 'worst-case' model. We combine survey data and implied theoretical restrictions on the relative magnitudes and comovement of forecast biases across macroeconomic variables to identify ambiguity shocks as exogenous fluctuations in the worst-case model. Our solution method delivers tractable linear approximations that preserve the effects of time-varying ambiguity concerns and permit estimation using standard Bayesian techniques. Applying our framework to an estimated New-Keynesian business cycle model with frictional labor markets, we find that ambiguity shock...
|September 2013||Taxes, Debts, and Redistributions with Aggregate Shocks|
with David Evans, Mikhail Golosov, Thomas J. Sargent: w19470
A planner sets a lump sum transfer and a linear tax on labor income in an economy with incomplete markets, heterogeneous agents, and aggregate shocks. The planner's concerns about redistribution impart a welfare cost to fluctuating transfers. The distribution of net asset holdings across agents affects optimal allocations, transfers, and tax rates, but the level of government debt does not. Two forces shape long-run outcomes: the planner's desire to minimize the welfare costs of fluctuating transfers, which calls for a negative correlation between the distribution of net assets and agents' skills; and the planner's desire to use fluctuations in the real interest rate to adjust for missing state-contingent securities. In a model parameterized to match stylized facts about US booms and reces...