Google Scholars

Working papers

Normative Growth Accounting: The Distorted-Planner Approach, joint with Bart Hobijn and John Fernald. (Draft coming soon)

Scheduled presentation:

Inequality Over the Life-Cycle: U.S. vs Europe

Paper, Slides, Short Video Presentation

Presented at:

Abstract: I document that (i) the mean and dispersion of pre-tax labor earnings grow faster over the life-cycle in the U.S. than in some European countries; (ii) these facts are largely driven by individuals with at least a college degree. I study these differences in labor earnings inequality using a life-cycle model of human capital accumulation and elastic labor supply, which features non-linear taxation and a college choice and complementary investments during college. The model economy accounts for the differential mean earnings growth patterns of individuals with and without a college degree in the United States and the observed within-group inequality over the life cycle. I find that non-linear taxation significantly suppresses pre-tax earnings, reduces college attendance, and investments during college. More generous subsidies and transfers for college exacerbate labor earning inequality. I find that differences in taxation and college subsidies alone account for 94% of the differences in mean earnings, and 80% of the differences in variance of log earnings over the life-cycle across the U.S. and European countries. To fully reconcile the model with data, the role of differences in initial conditions appears key.

World Productivity: 1996-2014, joint with Bart Hobijn and John Fernald. (Revision requested at AEJ: Macroeconomics)

Paper, Slides

Presented at Society for Economic Dynamics 2019.

Abstract: We account for the sources of world productivity growth, using data for more than 36 industries and 40 major economies from 1996 to 2014, explicitly taking into account changes in the misallocation of resources in labor, capital, and product markets. Productivity growth in advanced economies slowed but emerging markets grew more quickly, which kept global productivity growth relatively constant until around 2010. After that, productivity growth in all major regions slowed. Much of the volatility in world productivity growth reflects shifts in the misallocation of labor across countries and industries. Using new data on PPP-based value-added measures by country and industry, we show that about a third of these shifts are due to employment growth in countries, most notably China and India, that benefit from an international cost advantage. Markups are large and rising, and impact the imputed misallocation of capital. However, they have little effect on the country-industry technology contribution to global productivity.

Investment in Skills, Managerial Quality, and Economic Development (Revision requested at Review of Economic Dynamics)

Paper, Slides

Presented at Midwest Macroeconomics Meeting, Spring 2019.

Abstract: I document that for a group of 38 countries ranging from low to high income: (1) the share of skilled managers is higher in richer countries, (2) the relative income of managers to non-managers is lower in richer countries, and (3) the relative income of skilled to unskilled individuals is lower in richer countries. In addition, the share of managers is lower in richer countries while the mean plant size is larger in richer countries. I explore these facts through the lens of a general equilibrium model of investment in skills and occupational choice. Countries differ in productivity level in production and the level of size-dependent distortions. I find that exogenous productivity differences alone can produce the above facts qualitatively, but size-dependent distortions are needed to account for these facts quantitatively and the output elasticity of productivity is 2.6.

Work in progress

Lifetime Earnings Inequality Across U.S. and Europe: Males, Females, and Households.
Subjective Expectations and Earnings Dynamics in the U.S.
Who Benefits From College Subsidies? A Cross-country Analysis.


2016- Teaching Mathematics in Seven Countries, 1st Edition. Meraat Educational Innovations Center, Tehran, Iran. (joint with Moharram Naghizadeh and Masoud HajiSeyedHosseiniFard)

This is a translation of a report by the National Center for Education Statistics, from English to Persian. The report is part of the TIMSS 1999 Video Study and consists of video lectures from 8th-grade mathematics classes recorded in 1999 to study best practices in teaching mathematics. The countries in the study are Australia, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. The statistical analysis in the book provides seven teaching signatures in teaching mathematics, and the videos provide actual practices of different teaching signatures. All the video lectures are subtitled in Persian. This book is used as a textbook in official educational degrees for teaching high school mathematics in universities in Iran.

The original book can be downloaded here for FREE.

2015- 70 Educational Indicators in 20 Countries, 3rd Edition. Meraat Educational Innovations Center, Tehran, Iran. (joint with Moharram Naghizadeh)

This is a collection of educational and national-level statistics. This book is part of the official teacher education in Iran as a resource for comparative teaching practices.