Gadi Barlevy, Senior Economist and Economic Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago: Asset Price Booms and Macroeconomic Policy: a Risk-Shifting Approach

Time: 2020-09-27 09:14 Print

Topic: Asset Price Booms and Macroeconomic Policy: a Risk-Shifting Approach

Speaker: Gadi Barlevy, Senior Economist and Economic Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Date: September 30, 2020 (Wednesday)

Time: 10:00-11:30

Location: 4-101

Language: English


This paper uses a risk-shifting model to analyze policy responses to asset price booms. We show risk shifting leads to inefficient asset and credit booms in which asset prices can exceed fundamentals. However, the inefficiencies associated with risk shifting arise independently of whether the asset is a bubble. Given evidence of risk-shifting, policymakers may not need to determine if assets are bubbles to justify intervention. We then show that some of the main candidate interventions against asset booms have ambiguous welfare implications: Tighter monetary policy can mitigate some inefficiencies but at a cost, while leverage restrictions may raise asset prices and lead to more excessive leverage rather than less. Policy responses are more effective when they disproportionately discourage riskier investments.

About the speaker:

Gadi Barlevy is a senior economist and research advisor in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. As a member of the microeconomics team, Barlevy conducts research on labor economics, as well as on economic fluctuations, economic growth, financial economics and information economics. He is a research fellow at IZA Research Institute and serves as an associate editor at the Journal of Economic Theory. He previously served as co-editor and associate editor at Theoretical Economics, co-editor at the Review of Economic Dynamics, and as associate editor at the European Economic Review.

His research has appeared in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, the Review of Economic Dynamics, the European Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Theory, the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Journal of Applied Probability.

Prior to joining the Chicago Fed in August 2003, Barlevy was an assistant professor of economics at Northwestern University. He also was a visiting professor of economics at Tel Aviv University, the Kellogg School of Management and the University of Wisconsin School of Business.

Barlevy received a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.