Publications

2016
Mankiw NG. The Tradeoff between Nuance and Clarity. Eastern Economic Journal. 2016;42 :169-170.PDF icon tradeoff_between_nuance_and_clarity.pdf
Mankiw NG. CEA Reflection. Box from Economic Report of the President, February 2016, Chapter 7. 2016.PDF icon cea_reflection.pdf
2015
Mankiw NG. Yes, r > g. So What?. American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings. 2015;105 (5) :43-47.PDF icon yes_r_g_so_what.pdf
2013
Mankiw NG. Defending the One Percent. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2013;27 (3) :21-34.PDF icon defending_the_one_percent.pdf
2011
Mankiw NG, Reis R. Imperfect Information and Aggregate Supply. Handbook of Monetary Economics. 2011.PDF icon PDF
Mankiw NG, Weinzierl M. An Exploration of Optimal Stabilization Policy. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. 2011; Spring : 209-272.Abstract

This paper examines the optimal response of monetary and fi…scal policy to a decline in aggregate demand. The theoretical framework is a two-period general equilibrium model in which prices are sticky in the short run and flexible in the long run. Policy is evaluated by how well it raises the welfare of the representative household. While the model has Keynesian features, its policy prescriptions di¤er signi…cantly from textbook Keynesian analysis. Moreover, the model suggests that the commonly used "bang for the buck" calculations are potentially misleading guides for the welfare e¤ects of alternative …fiscal policies.

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Principles of Economics, 5th edition
Mankiw NG. Principles of Economics, 5th edition. South-Western Cengage Learning; 2011. WebsiteImage icon 4th EditionImage icon 2nd EditionImage icon 3rd Edition
2010
Mankiw NG. Spreading the Wealth Around: Reflections Inspired by Joe the Plumber. Eastern Economic Journal. 2010;36 :285-298.Abstract

This essay discusses the policy debate concerning optimal taxation and the distribution of income. It begins with a brief overview of trends in income inequality, the leading hypothesis to explain these trends, and the distribution of the tax burden. It then considers the normative question of how the tax system should be designed. The conventional utilitarian framework is found to be wanting, as it leads to prescriptions that conflict with many individuals’ moral intuitions. The essay then explores an alternative normative framework, dubbed the Just Deserts Theory, according to which an individual’s compensation should reflect his or her social contribution.

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Mankiw NG, Weinzierl M. The Optimal Taxation of Height: A Case Study in Utilitarian Income Redistribution. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. 2010;2 (1) :155-176.Abstract

Should the income tax system include a tax credit for short taxpayers and a tax surcharge for tall ones? This paper shows that the standard Utilitarian framework for tax policy analysis answers this question in the a¢ rmative. Moreover, based on the empirical distribution of height and wages, the optimal height tax is substantial: a tall person earning $50,000 should pay about $4,500 more in taxes than a short person earning the same income. This result has two possible interpretations. One interpretation is that individual attributes correlated with wages, such as height, should be considered more widely for determining tax liabilities. Alternatively, if policies such as a tax on height are rejected, then the standard Utilitarian framework must in some way fail to capture our intuitive notions of distributive justice.

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Macroeconomics, 7th Edition
Mankiw NG. Macroeconomics, 7th Edition. Worth Publishers; 2010. WebsiteImage icon 4th EditionImage icon 5th EditionImage icon 6th Edition
2009
Mankiw NG, Weinzierl M, Yagan D. Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2009;23 (4) :147-174.PDF icon PDF
Mankiw NG. Smart Taxes: An Open Invitation to Join the Pigou Club. Eastern Economic Journal. 2009;35 :12-23.Abstract

Many economists favor higher taxes on energy-related products such as gasoline, while the general public is more skeptical. This essay discusses various aspects of this policy debate. It focuses, in particular, on the use of these taxes to correct for various externalities—an idea advocated long ago by British economist Arthur Pigou.

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2007
Mankiw NG, Ball L. Intergenerational Risk Sharing in the Spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with Applications to Social Security Design. Journal of Political Economy. 2007;115 (4) :523-547.Abstract

This paper examines the optimal allocation of risk in an overlapping-generations economy. It compares the allocation of risk the economy reaches naturally to the allocation that would be reached if generations behind a Rawlsian "veil of ignorance" could share risk with one another through complete Arrow-Debreu contingent-claims markets. The paper then examines how the government might implement optimal intergenerational risk sharing with a social security system. One conclusion is that the system must either hold equity claims to capital or negatively index benefits to equity returns.

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Mankiw NG, Reis R. Sticky Information in General Equilibrium. Journal of the European Economic Association. 2007;5 (2-3) :603-613.Abstract

This paper develops and analyzes a general-equilibrium model with sticky information. The only rigidity in goods, labor, and financial markets is that agents are inattentive, sporadically updating their information sets, when setting prices, wages, and consumption. After presenting the ingredients of such a model, the paper develops an algorithm to solve this class of models and uses it to study the model’s dynamic properties. It then estimates the parameters of the model using U.S. data on five key macroeconomic time series. It finds that information stickiness is present in all markets, and is especially pronounced for consumers and workers. Variance decompositions show that monetary policy and aggregate demand shocks account for most of the variance of inflation, output, and hours.

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2006
Mankiw NG. The Macroeconomist as Scientist and Engineer. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2006;20 (4) :29-46.PDF icon PDF
Mankiw NG, Swagel PL. The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing. Journal of Monetary Economics. 2006;53 (5) :1027-1056.PDF icon PDF
Mankiw NG, Reis R. Pervasive Stickiness. American Economic Review. 2006;96 (2) :164-169.PDF icon PDFPDF icon Appendix
Mankiw NG, Weinzierl M. Dynamic Scoring: A Back-of-the-Envelope Guide. Journal of Public Economics. 2006;90 (8-9) :1415-1433.Abstract

This paper uses the neoclassical growth model to examine the extent to which a tax cut pays for itself through higher economic growth. The model yields simple expressions for the steady-state feedback effect of a tax cut. The feedback is surprisingly large: for standard parameter values, half of a capital tax cut is self-…nancing. The paper considers various generalizations of the basic model, including elastic labor supply, general production technologies, departures from in…nite horizons, and non-neoclassical production settings. It also examines how the steady-state results are modi…ed when one considers the transition path to the steady state.

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2005
Mankiw NG, Swagel PL. Antidumping: The Third Rail of Trade Policy. Foreign Affairs. 2005;July/August.PDF icon PDF
Mankiw NG. A Letter to Ben Bernanke, in Alan Greenspan’s Legacy: An Early Look. American Economic Assocation ; 2005.PDF icon PDF

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