José-Víctor Ríos-Rull

José-Víctor Ríos-Rull
University of Minnesota Twin Cities | UMN

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97
Publications
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6,671
Citations

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
We pose technology shocks where the innovation is biased towards more recently installed plants. On one extreme the shock is like a neutral technological shock, while on the other end it resembles investment specific technological shocks. We embed these shocks in a model with putty-clay technology and estimate it requiring that the model replicates...
Article
We revise some of the main ways in which the study of aggregate performance of an economy overlaps with the study of inequality.
Article
We pose good markets frictions on top of an otherwise standard two-country international real business cycle (IRBC) model. Shopping for goods takes effort, which prevents perfect matching between customers and producers. An increase in search effort implies increased measured productivity. Demand shocks increase expenditures and search effort simul...
Article
We explore the effects of financial shocks in heterogeneous agent economies with aggregate savings and with frictions in some consumption markets, where demand contributes to productivity. Households of various wealth and earnings levels search for goods at different intensities and pay different prices in differently crowded markets. Increases in...
Article
We develop a new methodology to compute di fferences in the expected longevity of individuals who are in different socioeconomic groups at age 50. We deal with the two main problems associated with the standard use of life expectancy: that people's socioeconomic characteristics evolve over the life cycle and that there is a time trend that reduces...
Article
We provide new evidence on the the cyclical behavior of household size in the United States from 1979 to 2010. During economic downturns, people live in larger households. This is mostly, but not entirely, driven by young people moving into or delaying departure from the parental home. We assess the importance of these cyclical movements for aggreg...
Article
This article is largely a description of inequality of earnings, income, and wealth in the United States in 2007 as measured by the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). We look at inequality in relation to various characteristics such as age, education, employment status, marital status, and whether households are late payers or include bankruptcy fi...
Article
Between the mid 1970's and the beginning of the 2000's the share of single females grew dramatically in the U.S. (from 21% to 32%). So did the share of single mothers (from 10% to 14%). At the same time relative wages within and between sexes underwent huge changes. In this paper we measure the contribution that changes in relative wages had in acc...
Article
Full-text available
Between 1970 and 1990, the share of elderly widows living alone grew by 23.2% in the United States, whereas those living with their children decreased by a similar amount. We pose a variety of models for determining the living arrangements in which living together increases consumption because of economies of scale and may also provide utility dire...
Article
Global financial imbalances can result from financial integration when countries differ in financial markets development. Countries with more advanced financial markets accumulate foreign liabilities in a gradual, long-lasting process. Differences in financial development also affect the composition of foreign portfolios: countries with negative ne...
Article
In this paper we study how a benevolent government that cannot commit to future policy should trade off the costs and benefits of public expenditure. We characterize and solve for Markov-perfect equilibria of the dynamic game between successive governments. The characterization consists of an inter-temporal first-order condition (a “generalized Eul...
Article
According to the “Saving Glut hypothesis”, global imbalances are caused by inefficiently high level of precautionary savings in financially underdeveloped regions, where agents have limited opportunity to diversify idiosyncratic risk. This paper generalizes the approach by modeling idiosyncratic risk in entrepreneurial activities, which can be only...
Article
We present a theory of unsecured consumer debt that does not rely on utility costs of default or on enforcement mechanisms that arise in repeated-interaction settings. The theory is based on private information about a person's type and on a person's incentive to signal his type to entities other than creditors. Specifically, debtors signal their l...
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Large and persistent global financial imbalances need not be the harbinger of a world financial crash. Instead, we show that these imbalances can be the outcome of financial integration when countries differ in financial markets deepness. In particular, countries with more advanced financial markets accumulate foreign liabilities in a gradual, long...
Article
We study, theoretically and quantitatively, the general equilibrium of an economy in which households smooth consumption by means of both a riskless asset and unsecured loans with the option to default. The default option resembles a bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Competitive financial intermediaries offer a menu of...
Article
We revisit the issue of the usefulness of Social Security when there are frictions that prevent the existence of a fluid market for annuities. We model households as families and not as individual agents which provides a rationale for the existence of life insurance. Moreover, our structure also allows us to incorporate altruism towards dependents,...
Article
Necessary conditions for equilibrium are that beliefs about the behavior of other agents are rational and individuals maximize. We argue that in stationary OLG environments this implies that any future generation in the same situation as the initial generation must do as well as the initial generation did in that situation. We conclude that the exi...
Article
We investigate the welfare properties of the one-sector neoclassic growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks. We focus on the constrained efficiency notion of the general equilibrium literature, and we demonstrate constrained inefficiency for our model. We provide a characterization of constrained efficiency that uses the first-order condi...
Article
The United States relies for its government revenues more on the taxation of capital relative to the taxation of labor than countries in continental Europe do. In this paper we ask what can account for this. Our approach is to look at Markov perfect equilibria of a two-country growth model where both governments use labor, capital and corporate tax...
Article
This paper argues that an important reason why Russia's performance and China's performance under capitalism have differed dramatically is that different arrangements governing the determination of prices and work practices evolved during the transition process. In Russia, the arrangement, which conferred monopoly rights to industry groups leftover...
Article
The United States relies for its government revenues more on the taxation of capital relative to the taxation of labor than countries in continental Europe do. In this paper we ask what can account for this. Our approach is to look at Markov perfect equilibria of a two-country growth model where both governments use labor, capital and corporate tax...
Article
In this paper, we study the optimal choice of public expenditures when there is no way of committing to future policy and "reputational" mechanisms are not operative. This amounts to confining our attention to Markov equilibria. The environment is a neoclassical growth model where consumers derive utility from a public good. This environment gives...
Article
In this paper, we use data of life insurance holdings by age, sex, and marital status to infer how individuals value consumption in different demographic stages. Essentially, we use revealed preference to estimate equivalence scales and altruism simultaneously in the context of a fully specified model with agents facing U.S. demographic features an...
Article
This paper studies the implications of taxing overtime work to reduce the workweek. We study the roles played by team work, commuting costs and idiosyncratic output risk in determining the choice of the workweek. To obtain reliable estimates, we calibrate the model to the substitutability between overtime and employment using business cycle informa...
Article
In this paper we show the quantitative importance of the process that determines changes in family composition to determine the main macroeconomic magnitudes. We do so by modelling family type as a stochastic process that affects households in a way similar to shocks to earnings. Agents respond to these process by optimally choosing savings. We sho...
Article
We show that a theory of earnings and wealth inequality based on the optimal choices of ex-ante identical households who face uninsured idiosyncratic shocks to their endowments of efficiency labor units accounts for the U.S. earnings and wealth inequality almost exactly. Relative to previous work, we make three major changes to the way in which thi...
Article
Full-text available
We study the role of habit formation in shaping the amount of precautionary savings and the wealth distribution in heterogeneous agents model economies with idiosyncratic uncertainty. We adjust preferences to equate the Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution in all model economies. We find that habit formation brings a hefty increase in precautio...
Article
This article studies the properties of optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model when the government cannot commit itself beyond the next period's capital income tax rate. We find that the results contrast markedly with those under full commitment. First, capital income tax rates are very high (65% on average versus close to zero on averag...
Article
Political and economic transitions of non-market economies often go hand in hand. We propose an economic theory of this transition process, which highlights how the success of such a transition depends upon the policies chosen in the new democratic environment. In this paper, economic success is characterized by the continual adoption of new techno...
Article
Up to the late 1970's the Sex College Attainment Ratio (SCAR), or ratio of college attainment between men and women, was about 1.6. Assortative mating within education groups in marriages is strong enough in the United States to prevent accounting for the SCAR feature based on males' higher earnings. We document the puzzling nature of the SCAR, and...
Article
In this article I review the current state of our knowledge of what factors account for labor income and wealth inequality among households. In particular, I stress that shocks to labor incomes suffice to generate observable differences between the wealth of the households. (Copyright: Fundación Empresa Pública)
Article
Även den välvilligaste politiker frestas ständigt att bryta mot givna löften och utfästelser. Det har ekonomer känt till sedan Kydland & Prescott [1977], och alla andra har väl känt till det sedan urminnes tider. I denna artikel tar författarna en ny titt på det så kallade tidskonsistensproblemet i ekonomisk politik. Till skillnad från många tidiga...
Article
The United States taxes capital more than countries in continental Europe do. In this paper, we ask what can account for this. Our approach is to look at Markov perfect equilibria of a two–country growth model where both governments use labor, capital and corporate taxes to finance exogenously given streams of public expendi-ture under period-by-pe...
Article
José-Víctor Ríos-Rull is Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. His main interests lie in distributional issues in macroeconomics, public economics and demographic economics.
Article
In this paper I explore the quantitative implications for savings of population aging. In doing so, I pay particular attention to some features that have been partially over-looked in the literature. These features include the details of the population aging process, the initial conditions with respect to assets holdings, and the relation between a...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we study the role of habit formation in shaping the wealth distribution in an otherwise standard heterogeneous agents model economy with idiosyncratic uncertainty. We compare the inplications for precautionary savings and for wealth concentration between economies that only differ in the role played by habit formation. Once preference...
Article
In this paper we study the effects of certain types of public compulsory insurance arrangements for aggregate shocks on private allocations in environments with limited commitment. We show that this type of insurance can improve the wellbeing of private situations, but it can also deteriorate it. We also describe how different characteristics of th...
Article
A necessary feature for equilibrium is that beliefs about the behavior of other agents are rational. We argue that in stationary OLG environments this implies that any future generation in the same situation as the initial generation must do as well as the initial generation did in that situation. We conclude that the existing equilibrium concepts...
Article
We study a dynamic version of Meltzer and Richard's median-voter model of the size of government. Taxes are proportional to total income, and they are redistributed as equal lump-sum transfers. Voting takes place periodically over time, and each consumer votes for the tax rate that maximizes his equilibrium utility. We calibrate the model to U.S. d...
Article
We document the business cycle behavior of the US income distribution and explore the extent to which unemployment spells and cyclically-moving factor shares account for this behavior by analyzing four heterogeneous household extensions of the neoclassical growth model. We conclude (i) that partitioning the population into five types subject to typ...
Article
This papaer quantifies the steady-state aggregate, distributinal and mobility effects of switching the U.S. to a proportional income tax system. As a perriquisite to the analysi, we propose a theory of earnings and wealth inequality capable of accounting quantitatively for the key aggregate and inequality facts of the U. S. economy. This theory is...
Article
We propose a notion of dynamic politico-economic equilibrium which builds on two key assumptions: policies are determined sequentially, and agents are fully rational in their roles as both consumers and voters. We examine a simple model of endogenous growth and infinitely-lived agents, where taxes on income are endogenous and where growth criticall...
Article
This article describes the current state of economic theory intended to explain the unequal distribution of wealth among U.S. households. The models reviewed are heterogeneous agent versions of standard neoclassical growth models with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks to earnings. The models endogenously generate differences in asset holdings as a r...
Article
This article describes some facts about financial inequality in the United States that a good theory of inequality must be able to explain. These include the facts that labor earnings, income, and wealth are all unequally distributed among U.S. households, but the distributions are significantly different. Wealth is much more concentrated than the...
Article
This paper essentially puts together procedures that are used in the computation of equilibria in models with a very large number of heterogeneous agents. It is not a complete description of all procedures used in the literature. It describes procedures that deal with infinitely lived agent versions of the growth model with and without aggregate un...
Article
Between the sixties and the late eighties the percentages of low-saving single-parent households and people living alone have grown dramatically at the expense of high-saving married households, while the household saving rate has declined equally dramatically. A preliminary analysis of population composition and savings by household type seems to...
Article
The notion of skilled-biased technological change is often held responsible for the recent behavior of the U.S. skill premium, or the ratio between the wages of skilled and unskilled labor. This paper develops a framework for understanding this notion in terms of observable variables and uses the framework to evaluate the fraction of the skill prem...
Article
Do the implications for business cycle issues change when we switch from studying infinitely-lived, representative-agent models to more sophisticated demographic structures with finitely lived agents? This article addresses that question by using a large, overlapping-generations model that is calibrated to U.S. demographic properties, microeconomic...
Article
We use political-equilibrium theory and the neoclassical growth model to compare consumption and income tax systems. If government outlays are used for redistribution through transfers, then steady-state equilibria in societies that use income taxes are not necessarily worse in welfare terms, and may even be better. Income taxes are attractive prec...
Article
We study a positive theory of stagnation and growth aimed at understanding the large variations in growth outcomes across actual economies. The theory points to the fundamental role played by vested interests in determining policies which are key to the growth process: some agents seek to prevent the adoption of new technologies. We develop a model...
Article
In standard models of the balance of payments, crises occur when investors begin to doubt the credibility of the government's commitment to its exchange rate policy. In this paper, we develop an alternative model in which balance of payments crises occur even if the credibility of government fiscal, monetary, and exchange rate policies is never in...
Article
In the U.S., during the 1948-86 period, an approximation to the Gini Index based on the quintiles and on the top 5% of the income distribution yielded a value of 0.351. Further, during this same period, the income share earned by the first quintile was procyclical and 7% more volatile than aggregate yearly output. In this paper we quantify the role...
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This paper quantitatively compares allocations in calibrated large overlapping generations growth models that only differ in their market structures for insuring against aggregate risk. The findings are that the equilibrium behavior of aggregate variables is very similar across all market structures. There are only minor differences: the ratio of t...
Article
Over time, productivity and education have increased, while hours worked have not. Cross-sectionally, higher-wage individuals have more schooling, more hours worked in the market, fewer hours worked at home, and a lower variance of market hours. Over the life cycle, older individuals have higher wages, more hours worked both in the market and at ho...
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This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection a...
Article
Arrow-Debreu competitive equilibrium analysis is extended to environments with information sets differing in space as well as in time and with people moving between locations. Equilibrium is shown to exist and to be optimal, and the equilibrium price system is characterized. Such environments include many of those studies in the sectoral reallocati...
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Full-text available
In this paper we investigate the welfare properties of the one sector neoclassic growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks where prices are endogenous. In particular, we ask what would a planner that faces the same identical frictions as individual agents do. Our findings, contrary to some conventional wisdom, are that the answer depends o...
Article
Full-text available
With the standard neoclassical model and an assumption of sequential voting on tax rates, we derive predictions for actual tax outcomes as a function of, on the one hand, the distribution of wealth and, on the other, specific elements of fiscal and political constitutions in the economy. More precisely, we study how the frequency of elections and t...

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