Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University
Department of Economics
2322 Business Education Complex, Nicholson
Office phone: 225-578-3803
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
1. Consumption Over the Life Cycle: How Different is Housing? Review of Economic Dynamics 12(3): 423-443, 2009.
2. American Dream or American Obsession? The Economic Benefits and Costs of Homeownership, with Wenli Li, Business Review, Q3, 20-30, 2010
4. Social Security Reform with Impure Intergenerational Altruism, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 37 (2013), pp. 52-67.
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. Chicago Fed Letter, 352, 2016
13. 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 Slides
14. 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.
[Abstract]: To understand the link between financial intermediation activities and the real economy, we build a general equilibrium model in which agency frictions in the financial sector affect the efficiency of capital reallocation across firms and generate aggregate economic fluctuations. We develop a recursive policy iteration approach to fully characterize the nonlinear equilibrium dynamics and the o_-steady-state crisis behavior. In our model, adverse shocks to agency frictions exacerbate capital misallocation and manifest themselves as variations in total factor productivity at the aggregate level. Our model endogenously generates countercyclical volatility in aggregate time-series and countercyclical dispersion of marginal product of capital and asset returns in the cross-section.
16. The effects of marriage-related taxes and Social Security benefits, with Margherita Borella and Mariacristina De Nardi, NBER working paper #23972
[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.
17. “The Lost Ones: the Opportunities and Outcomes of Non-College Educated Americans Born in the 1960s”, with Margherita Borella and Mariacristina De Nardi, NBER Working Paper No. 25661
[Abstract]: White, non-college-educated Americans born in the 1960s face shorter life expectancies, higher medical expenses, and lower wages per unit of human capital compared with those born in the 1940s, and men's wages declined more than women's. After documenting these changes, we use a life-cycle model of couples and singles to evaluate their effects. The drop in wages depressed the labor supply of men and increased that of women, especially in married couples. Their shorter life expectancy reduced their retirement savings but the increase in out-of-pocket medical expenses increased them by more. Welfare losses, measured a one-time asset compensation are 12.5%, 8%, and 7.2% of the present discounted value of earnings for single men, couples, and single women, respectively. Lower wages explain 47-58% of these losses, shorter life expectancies 25-34%, and higher medical expenses account for the rest.
18. “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.
Work in Progress
21. Consumption and Hours between U.S. and France, with Lei Fang
22. Financial Reform and Housing Prices, with Betty C. Daniel
23. Labor Supply of Married Household: a Gender Specific Analysis, with Suqin Ge
24. Limited Enforcement, Private Information, and Risk Sharing, with Hengjie Ai
Selected Media Post
For effective policy, economic models must include women, with Margherita Borella, Mariacristina De Nardi, and Sharada Dharmasankar, 07/12/17
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. May 31, 2011
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)
Money, Banking, and Macroeconomic Activity
of Mid-West Macroeconomic Meetings held at LSU May 17-19,