This paper introduces a new long-run dataset based on archival data from historical waves of the Survey of Consumer Finances. The household-level data allow us to study the joint distributions of household income and wealth since 1949. We expose the central importance of portfolio composition and asset prices for wealth dynamics in postwar America. Asset […]

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with Benjamin Born, Gernot Müller, Moritz Schularick and Petr Sedlacek. This paper introduces a data-driven, transparent and unbiased method to calculate the economic costs of the Brexit vote in June 2016. We let a matching algorithm determine a combination of comparison economies that best resembles the growth path of the UK economy before the Brexit […]

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with Moritz Kuhn and Ulrike Steins. This paper studies the distribution of U.S. household income and wealth over the past seven decades. We introduce a newly compiled household-level dataset based on archival data from historical waves of the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). Complementing recent work on top income and wealth shares, the long-run survey […]

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with Òscar Jordà, Björn Richter and Alan M. Taylor. Higher capital ratios are unlikely to prevent a financial crisis. This is empirically true both for the entire history of advanced economies between 1870 and 2013 and for the post-WW2 period, and holds both within and between countries. We reach this startling conclusion using newly collected […]

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The effects of quasi-random monetary experiments

with Òscar Jordà and Alan M. Taylor. The trilemma of international finance entails that fluctuations in interest rates—for countries with fixed exchange rates that allow unfettered cross-border capital flows—are mostly due to international arbitrage. Consequently, we can locate a valid source of exogenous variation to identify monetary policy effects with instrumental variable methods. Paired with […]

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Government debt: causes, effects and limits

with Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich, Lars P. Feld, Werner Heun, Gerhard Illing, Gebhard Kirchgässner, Jürgen Kocka, Wolfgang Streeck, Uwe Wagschal, Stefanie Walter, Carl Christian von Weizsäcker. The Coordinating Committee of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina approved the establishment and funding of an interdisciplinary working group on government debt in the fall of 2011. The subject has […]

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with Oscar Jordà and Alan M. Taylor — NBER Macroeconomics Annual, Vol. 31. In advanced economies, a century-long near-stable ratio of credit to GDP gave way to rapid financialization and surging leverage in the last forty years. This “financial hockey stick” coincides with shifts in foundational macroeconomic relationships beyond the widely-noted return of macroeconomic fragility […]

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