Dmitri K. Koustas

Department of Economics
530 Evans Hall #3880
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
Tel: 9788536693

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2017Consumption Inequality and the Frequency of Purchases
with Olivier Coibion, Yuriy Gorodnichenko: w23357
We document a decline in the frequency of shopping trips in the U.S. since 1980 and consider its implications for the measurement of consumption inequality. A decline in shopping frequency as households stock up on storable goods (i.e. inventory behavior) will lead to a rise in expenditure inequality when the latter is measured at high frequency, even when underlying consumption inequality is unchanged. We find that most of the recently documented rise in expenditure inequality in the U.S. since the 1980s can be accounted for by this phenomenon. Using detailed micro data on spending which we link to data on club/warehouse store openings, we directly attribute much of the reduced frequency of shopping trips to the rise in club/warehouse stores.
December 2016The Response of Consumer Spending to Changes in Gasoline Prices
with Michael Gelman, Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Shachar Kariv, Matthew D. Shapiro, Dan Silverman, Steven Tadelis: w22969
This paper estimates how overall consumer spending responds to changes in gasoline prices. It uses the differential impact across consumers of the sudden, large drop in gasoline prices in 2014 for identification. This estimation strategy is implemented using comprehensive, daily transaction-level data for a large panel of individuals. The estimated marginal propensity to consume (MPC) is approximately one, a higher estimate than estimates found in less comprehensive or well-measured data. This estimate takes into account the elasticity of demand for gasoline and potential slow adjustment to changes in prices. The high MPC implies that changes in gasoline prices have large aggregate effects.
October 2013Amerisclerosis? The Puzzle of Rising U.S. Unemployment Persistence
with Olivier Coibion, Yuriy Gorodnichenko: w19600
The persistence of U.S. unemployment has risen with each of the last three recessions, raising the specter that future U.S. recessions might look more like the Eurosclerosis experience of the 1980s than traditional V-shaped recoveries of the past. In this paper, we revisit possible explanations for this rising persistence. First, we argue that financial shocks do not systematically lead to more persistent unemployment than monetary policy shocks, so these cannot explain the rising persistence of unemployment. Second, monetary and fiscal policies can account for only part of the evolving unemployment persistence. Therefore, we turn to a third class of explanations: propagation mechanisms. We focus on factors consistent with four other cyclical patterns which have evolved since the early 198...

Published: Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Dmitri Koustas, 2013. "Amerisclerosis? The Puzzle of Rising U.S. Unemployment Persistence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(2 (Fall)), pages 193-260. citation courtesy of

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