Callum J. Jones

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: International Monetary Fund

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2020Optimal Mitigation Policies in a Pandemic: Social Distancing and Working from Home
with Thomas Philippon, Venky Venkateswaran: w26984
We study the response of an economy to an unexpected epidemic. Households mitigate the spread of the disease by reducing consumption, reducing hours worked, and working from home. Working from home is subject to learning-by-doing and the capacity of the health care system is limited. A social planner worries about two externalities, an infection externality and a healthcare congestion externality. Private agents’ mitigation incentives are weak and biased. We show that private safety incentives can even decline at the onset of the epidemic. The planner, on the other hand, implements front-loaded mitigation policies and encourages working from home immediately. In our calibration, assuming a CFR of 1% and an initial infection rate of 0.1%, private mitigation reduces the cumulative death rate...
February 2019Entry Costs and the Macroeconomy
with Germán Gutiérrez, Thomas Philippon: w25609
We propose a model to identify the causes of rising profits and concentration, and declining entry and investment in the US economy. Our approach combines a rich structural DSGE model with cross-sectional identification from firm and industry data. Using asset prices, our model estimates the realized and anticipated shocks that drive the endogeneity of entry and concentration and recovers shocks to entry costs. We validate our approach by showing that the model-implied entry shocks correlate with independently constructed measures of entry regulation and M&A activities. We conclude that entry costs have risen and that the ensuing decline in competition has depressed consumption by five to ten percent.
April 2011Household Leverage and the Recession
with Virgiliu Midrigan, Thomas Philippon: w16965
We evaluate and partially challenge the ‘household leverage’ view of the Great Recession. In the data, employment and consumption declined more in states where household debt declined more. We study a model where liquidity constraints amplify the response of consumption and employment to changes in debt. We estimate the model with Bayesian methods combining state and aggregate data. Changes in household credit limits explain 40% of the differential rise and fall of employment across states, but a small fraction of the aggregate employment decline in 2008-2010. Nevertheless, since household deleveraging was gradual, credit shocks greatly slowed the recovery.

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