Welcome to my website!

I am a third-year PhD student at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, specializing in macroeconomics and finance. Below is a list of my current research projects and the most recent version of my CV can be accessed here.

Research

Household Indebtedness and Fiscal Stimulus. Working Paper. Extended Abstract.
Abstract: We build a model of house portfolio selection where agents make separate saving and debt decisions. Savings are costless to accumulate but require a fixed transaction cost to deplete, while debt holdings are freely adjustable but subject to an exogenous borrowing limit. As a consequence, agents primarily accumulate assets as precautionary savings and use debt to smooth consumption in light of temporary income shocks. Using a tax rebate module from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation, we document significant heterogeneity in household usage of stimulus payments across the joint distribution of assets and debt. Consistent with the literature, the most common use of stimulus funds is to repay debt, followed by increasing savings and finally to increase consumption. In contrast to models where households make only a “net worth” decision, our model can help explain the joint dynamics of choosing consumption, savings, and debt, providing a more realistic laboratory for fiscal policy experiments.

Managerial Recalibration: How Well Do CFOs Learn? with John R. Graham, Campbell R. Harvey, John Payne, and Zahi Ben-David. Working Paper.
Abstract: Using 14,800 forecasts of one-year S&P 500 returns made by Chief Financial Officers over a 12-year period, we track the individual executives that provide multiple forecasts to evaluate how they adapt and recalibrate their forecasts in response to return realizations. We focus on the confidence intervals that each CFO provides in their forecast. A simple model of Bayesian learning suggests that confidence intervals should be impacted by return realizations. We find that the confidence intervals significantly widen when realizations fall outside CFOs’ ex ante confidence ranges and narrow when realizations fall within their ex ante intervals. While these results are consistent with CFOs learning, we find that CFOs are still badly miscalibrated.

The Information Effect of Monetary Policy. Working Paper.
Abstract: A large empirical literature documents that central bank monetary policy changes signal information about future economic fundamentals to the private sector. The canonical Gali (2008) model is modified to analyze this mechanism and understand the information effect of monetary policy. We assume the central bank observes a private signal of future economic fundamentals and uses the filtered information in its Taylor rule. As a result, the nominal interest rate serves an additional function as a noisy signal of future economic fundamentals and there is an information effect of monetary policy. We find that a contractionary monetary policy induces an expansionary information effect, but for reasonable calibrations, the net effect is contractionary.

Monetary Policy Implementation in a Negative Rate Environment with Jonathan Witmer. Bank of Canada Staff Working Paper 2017-25. Accepted at Journal of Money, Credit & Banking.
Abstract: Monetary policy implementation could, in theory, be constrained by deeply negative rates since overnight market participants may have an incentive to invest in cash rather than lend to other participants. To understand the functioning of overnight markets in such an environment, we add the option to exchange central bank reserves for cash to the standard workhorse model of monetary policy implementation (Poole 1968). Importantly, we show that monetary policy is not constrained when just the deposit rate is below the yield on cash. However, it could be constrained when the target overnight rate is below the yield on cash. At this point, the overnight rate equals the yield on cash instead of the target rate. Modifications to the implementation framework, such as a tiered remuneration of central bank deposits contingent on cash withdrawals, can work to restore the implementation of monetary policy such that the overnight rate equals the target rate.