Fang Yang

Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University


Department of Economics

2322 Business Education Complex, Nicholson Extension
Baton Rouge, LA 70803


Office phone: 225-578-3803


Mid-West Macroeconomic Meetings, Spring 2017 to be held at LSU from May 17-19.
Please contact Areendam Chanda or me if you need more details.

Research Interests


Macroeconomics, Public Economics, Wealth Inequality, Saving and Housing, Education



2006 Ph.D. (Economics), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

2004 M.A. (Economics), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

1999 M.A. (Economics), Peking University, China

1996 B.A. (Economics), Peking University, China



CV (pdf)




1.   Consumption Over the Life Cycle: How Different is Housing? Review of Economic Dynamics 12(3): 423-443, 2009. Micro data over the life cycle show different patterns for consumption for housing and non-housing goods: The consumption profile of non-housing goods is hump-shaped, while the consumption profile for housing first increases monotonically and then flattens out. These patterns hold true at each consumption quartile. This paper develops a quantitative, dynamic, general equilibrium model of life-cycle behavior, that generates consumption profiles consistent with the observed data. Borrowing constraints are essential in explaining the accumulation of housing stock early in life, while transaction costs are crucial in generating the slow downsizing of the housing stock later in life.

2.  American Dream or American Obsession? The Economic Benefits and Costs of Homeownership, with Wenli Li, Business Review, Q3, 20-30, 2010

3.  Accounting for Gender Gap in College Attainment, with Suqin Ge, Economic Inquiry, Appendix 51(1), 2013, 478-499.

4.  Social Security Reform with Impure Intergenerational Altruism, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 37 (2013), pp. 52-67.

5.  Consumption and Time Use over the Life Cycle, with Michael Dotsey and Wenli Li , International Economic Review, Vol. 55, No. 3, August 2014 pages 665–692. Appendix.                                                                                      Slides


6.  Bequests and Heterogeneity in Retirement Wealth , with Mariacristina De Nardi, European Economic Review, 2014, pp. 182-196.


7.  Home Production and Social Security Reform, with Michael Dotsey and Wenli Li, European Economic Review, 73, 2015, 131–150.                                                                                                                                                        Slides


8.  Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education, with John B. Jones, The Journal of Labor Economics, 2016, vol. 34, no. 3, 621-662.                                                                                                                        Slides

9.  Wealth Inequality, Family Background, and Estate Taxation, with Mariacristina De Nardi, NBER WP #21047, Journal of Monetary Economics, 77 (2016), 130-145. Online Appendix,                                                                       Slides

10.   Is Relative Risk Aversion Time-varying? Evidence from Households' Portfolio Choice Data, with Xuan Liu and Zongwu Cai, accepted by Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 69(2016), 229–248

11.  Housing Over Time and Over the Life Cycle: A Structural Estimation, with Wenli Li, Haiyong Liu, and Rui Yao, International Economic Review, 57 (4), 2016, 1237–1260. Online Appendix.                                              Slides

12.  Piketty’s Book and Macro Models of Wealth Inequality,” with Mariacristina De Nardi and Giulio Fella. Accepted at “The Global Ramifications of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century,” Heather Boushey, Bradford DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum, Editors. NBER WP #21730. (A short version is published in Chicago Fed Letter, 352, 2016, and in Vox).

This paper generates two main contributions. First, it provides a new theory of wealth inequality that merges two empirically relevant forces generating inequality: bequest motives and inheritance of ability across generations; and an earnings process that allows for more earnings risk for the richest. Second, it uses the resulting calibrated framework to study the effects of changing estate taxation. Increasing the estate tax reduces the wealth concentration in the hands of the richest few and the economic advantage of being born to a rich and super-rich family at the cost of reduced aggregate capital and output. However, all of these effects are quite small. In contrast, increasing estate taxation can generate a significant welfare gain to a newborn under the veil of ignorance, but this comes at a large welfare cost for the super-rich.


Working papers

1. The Aggregate Implications of Gender and Marriage, with Margherita Borella and Mariacristina De Nardi, NBER working paper 22817. Revise and Resubmit.

2.  Financial Intermediation and Capital Reallocation, with Hengjie Ai and Kai Li. Online Appendix. Submitted.

3. Policy Reforms, Housing, and Wealth Inequality

4. How do Households Portfolios Vary with Age?


Work in Progress

5.  Risks and Insurance over the Life Cycle for Singles and Couples”, with Margherita Borella and Mariacristina De Nardi

6. “Social Insurance and Risks and Insurance over the Life Cycle for Singles and Couples”, with Margherita Borella and Mariacristina De Nardi

7.The Consequences of An Aging Chinese Miracle, with Michael Dotsey and Wenli Li

8. Financial Reform and Housing Prices, with Betty C. Daniel

9.  Labor Supply of Married Household: a Gender Specific Analysis, with Suqin Ge

10.  Limited Enforcement, Private Information, and Risk Sharing, with Hengjie Ai


Teaching (at LSU)  

Macroeconomics II (1st year PhD Core Course)

Graduate Advanced Topics in Macroeconomics  (2nd year PhD course)

Intermediate Macroeconomics