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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2018||The Household Fallacy|
with Roger Farmer: w24393
We refer to the idea that government must 'tighten its belt' as a necessary policy response to higher indebtedness as the household fallacy. We provide a reason to be skeptical of this claim that holds even if the economy always operates at full employment and all markets clear. Our argument rests on the fact that, in an overlapping-generations (OLG) model, changes in government debt cause changes in the real interest rate that redistribute the burden of repayment across generations. We do not rely on the assumption that the equilibrium is dynamically inefficient, and our argument holds in a version of the OLG model where the real interest rate is always positive.
|March 2016||The Theory of Unconventional Monetary Policy|
with Roger Farmer: w22135
This paper is about the effectiveness of qualitative easing, a form of unconventional monetary policy that changes the risk composition of the central bank balance sheet with the goal of stabilizing economic activity. We construct a general equilibrium model where agents have rational expectations and there is a complete set of financial securities, but where some agents are unable to participate in financial markets. We show that a change in the risk composition of the central bank's balance sheet will change equilibrium asset prices and we prove that, in our model, a policy in which the central bank stabilizes non-fundamental fluctuations in the stock market is Pareto improving and self-financing.