Welcome to my research webpage.

I am a PhD candidate at the Institute for international economic studies (IIES) at Stockholm University and an analyst at Kunskapsverket.

I do research on macroeconomics, household finance, and growth. My work aims to enhance the understanding of micro behavior, macro dynamics, and the connection between the two. To this end, I combine quantitative heterogeneous agent models and micro data estimation.

Currently, I study (1) how savings models should be adjusted to account for inaction to pension reforms, (2) to what extent the aggregation of micro-level price and quality adjustments affect measured inflation and output growth, and (3) how structural changes in production networks impact productivity and aggregate growth.


Papers

with Carolina Lindholm and Maria Sandström

Presented at: IIES, National PhD Workshop in Finance at SHoF

How do individual savings respond to pension reform? What are the implications for models of savings behavior? We answer these questions by comparing the behavior observed in detailed administrative data on asset holdings to a life cycle model constructed to quantitatively account for the dynamics of pension benefits and contributions. Exploiting the transition rules across cohorts of a structural reform of the Swedish public pension system, we find that individuals do not respond to the reform: Despite a reduction in future pension income, net wealth and savings rates remain unchanged. The particular setting under study enables an evaluation of competing models of savings behavior. We find that inaction is due to inattention, and not due to inconsistent time preferences in the form of hyperbolic discounting. A model in which 71 percent of individuals are inattentive to the reform can quantitatively account for the lack of response observed in data.

with Timo Boppart, Mikael Carlsson, and Markus Kondziella

Presented at: IIES, EEA Virtual Congress 2020 (Youtube video here), Boston University, SED 2021 Annual Meeting, Hitotsubashi University, Helsinki Graduate School of Economics, Uppsala University

We study the producer price index micro data on total private goods and services production in Sweden to quantify the implications of different methods of price index construction on the aggregate inflation rate. Compared to an arithmetic index, moving to a geometric averaging of items decreases annual goods and services inflation by 0.5 and 0.4 percentage points, respectively. An index based on economic theory and estimated elasticities of substitution decreases the annual inflation rate by 3.9 percentage points for goods and 3.1 percentage points for services. These results pose a challenge for the comparability of inflation rates and real output growth rates across countries as well as a tension between (economic) theory and (statistical) measurement. A practical solution to overcome these issues is to assume a joint log-normal distribution of price growth factors and weights. Under this assumption, the true index is well approximated by only three moments.

with Carolina Lindholm and Maria Sandström

Presented at: IIES, Uppsala University, Sveriges Riksbank, Konjunkturinstitutet

Increases in life expectancy cause challenges for defined benefit pension systems. Sweden is one of few countries having undertaken a structural reform aimed at creating a financially sustainable pension system. Since the pension reform, the household savings rate has increased significantly. We investigate to which extent the pension reform can explain this increase. We construct a life-cycle model of heterogeneous agents to quantify the impact of the reform on household income and savings. The key feature of our framework is the explicit modeling of all pillars of the pension system including public pensions, occupational pensions and the minimum guaranteed pension. We find that the Swedish pension reform implies a major shift of income from retirement to working age and that it can explain half of the observed increase in the private savings rate.


Work in Progress

Structural Change in Production Networks

The use of services as intermediate inputs in production increases over the course of economic development. In the US, the services share of intermediates used in goods production went from about 25 percent in 1947 to 35 percent in 2019. For services production, this share increased from 60 percent to 80 percent. A neoclassical growth model with sector-specific elasticities of substitution between intermediate inputs can quantitatively account for these findings. The sector-specific intermediate input shares and elasticities of substitution between intermediates generate a non-monotonic relationship between relative sectoral prices and productivity. While the relative price of services increases, total factor productivity is greater for services than for goods.

Aggregate Micro Quality Bias

with Timo Boppart, Mikael Carlsson, and Markus Kondziella