Fang Yang

Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University


Department of Economics

2317 Business Education Complex, Nicholson Extension
Baton Rouge, LA 70803



Research Interests


         Macroeconomics, Public Finance, Labor Economics, Wealth Inequality, Savings, and Housing




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)




·     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.

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

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

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

·    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. Online Appendix.                                                                                 Slides


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


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


·    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

·    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

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

·   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

·   Piketty’s Book and Macro Models of Wealth Inequality, with Mariacristina De Nardi and Giulio Fella. Chicago Fed Letter, 352, 2016.

·   The Aggregate Implications of Gender and Marriage, with Margherita Borella and Mariacristina De Nardi, NBER working paper 22817.  The Journal of the Economics of Ageing. Volume 11, May 2018, Pages 6-26                                    SlidesThis 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.

·   Macro Models of Wealth Inequality, with Mariacristina De Nardi and Giulio Fella, in “After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality,” Heather Boushey, Bradford DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum, Editors, Harvard University Press. 2017. NBER WP #21730.

·   The Lost Ones: the Opportunities and Outcomes of Non-College Educated Americans Born in the 1960s”, with Margherita Borella and Mariacristina De Nardi, NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2019, volume 34, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

·    Financial Intermediation and Capital Reallocation, with Hengjie Ai and Kai Li. Conditional accepted at Journal of Financial Economics.


Working papers

·       Are Marriage-Related Taxes and Social Security Benefits Holding Back Female Labor Supply?

               with Margherita Borella and Mariacristina De Nardi, NBER working paper #26097

[Abstract]: In the U.S., both taxes and old age Social Security benefits depend on one's marital status and tend to discourage the labor supply of the secondary earner.  We study the effects of eliminating these marriage-related provisions on the labor supply and savings of two different cohorts. To do so, we estimate a rich life-cycle model of couples and singles using the Method of Simulated Moments (MSM) on the 1945 and 1955 birth-year cohorts. Our model matches well the life cycle profiles of labor market participation, hours, and savings for married and single people and generates plausible elasticities of labor supply. We find that these marriage-related provisions reduce the participation of married women over their life cycle, the participation of married men after age 55, and the savings of couples. These effects are large for both the 1945 and 1955 cohorts, even though the latter had much higher labor market participation of married women to start with.

·   Demographic Aging, Industrial Policy, and Chinese Economic Growth”, with Michael Dotsey and Wenli Li, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 19-21

[Abstract]: We examine the role of demographics and changing industrial policies in accounting for the rapid rise in household savings and in per capita output growth in China since the mid-1970s. The demographic changes come from reductions in the fertility rate and increases in the life expectancy, while the industrial policies take many forms. These policies cause important structural changes; first benefiting private labor-intensive firms by incentivizing them to increase their share of employment, and later on benefiting capital-intensive firms resulting in an increasing share of capital devoted to heavy industries. We conduct our analysis in a general equilibrium economy that also features endogenous human capital investment. We calibrate the model to match key economic variables of the Chinese economy and show that demographic changes and industrial policies both contributed to increases in savings and output growth but with differing intensities and at different horizons. We further demonstrate the importance of endogenous human capital investment in accounting for the economic growth in China.

·   Policy Reforms, Housing, and Wealth Inequality

·   How do Households Portfolios Vary with Age?


Work in Progress

·  Consumption and Hours between U.S. and France, with Lei Fang

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

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

·   Limited Enforcement, Private Information, and Risk Sharing, with Hengjie Ai


Other Contributions and Writings

·       For effective policy, economic models must include women, with Margherita Borella, Mariacristina De Nardi, and Sharada Dharmasankar, the Hill, 07/12/17

·     Piketty’s Book and Macro Models of Wealth Inequality, with Mariacristina De Nardi and Giulio Fella. 2016. In Voxeu

·    The Lost Ones: the Opportunities and Outcomes of Non-College Educated Americans Born in the 1960s”, with Margherita Borella, Mariacristina De Nardi, and Douglas Clement, In Voxeu



Selected Press Coverage of Research

The Rent Isn't Too Damn High: Why it's good news that more Americans are renting rather than buying homes.

Macroeconomists Can't Keep Ignoring Race and Gender, July 27, 2017


Teaching (at LSU)  

Macroeconomics II (1st year PhD Core Course)

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

Intermediate Macroeconomics

Money, Banking, and Macroeconomic Activity


Co-organizer of Mid-West Macroeconomic Meetings held at LSU May 17-19, 2017.
















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