Epidemics in the New Keynesian Model
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
This paper documents the behavior of key macro aggregates in the wake of the Covid epidemic. We show that a unique feature of the Covid recession is that the peak-to-trough decline is roughly the same for consumption, investment, and output. In contrast to the 2008 recession, there was only a short-lived rise in financial stress that quickly subsided. Finally, there was mild deflation between the peak and the trough of the Covid recession. We argue that a New Keynesian model that explicitly incorporates epidemic dynamics captures these qualitative features of the Covid recession. A key feature of the model is that Covid acts like a negative shock to the demand for consumption and the supply of labor.
The Cleansing Effect of Banking Crises
We assess the cleansing effects of the 2008–2009 financial crisis. U.S. regions with higher levels of supervisory forbearance on distressed banks see less restructuring in the real sector: fewer establishments, firms, and jobs are lost when more distressed banks remain in business. In these regions, the banking sector has been less healthy for several years after the crisis. Regions with less forbearance experience higher productivity growth after the crisis with more firm entries, job creation, and employment, wages, patents, and output growth. Forbearance is greater for state-chartered banks and in regions with weaker banking competition and more independent banks.
Inequality in Life and Death
IMF Economic Review,
We argue that the COVID epidemic disproportionately affected the economic well-being and health of poor people. To disentangle the forces that generated this outcome, we construct a model that is consistent with the heterogeneous impact of the COVID recession on low- and high-income people. According to our model, two-thirds of the inequality in COVID deaths reflect preexisting inequality in comorbidity rates and access to quality health care. The remaining third stems from the fact that low-income people work in occupations where the risk of infection is high. Our model also implies that the rise in income inequality generated by the COVID epidemic reflects the nature of the goods that low-income people produce. Finally, we assess the health-income trade-offs associated with fiscal transfers to the poor and mandatory containment policies.
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