Faculty & Research

David E. Altig

Adjunct Professor of Economics

Phone :
1-404-498-8824
Address :
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

David Altig studies monetary and fiscal policy issues. Examples of Altig's papers include “Firm Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities, and the Business Cycle,” written with L. Christiano, M. Eichenbaum, and J. Linde, which is forthcoming in the Review of Economic Dynamics, "Simulating U.S. Tax Reform," written with A. Auerbach, L. Kotlikoff, K. Smetters, and J. Walliser, which appeared in the American Economic Review; and "Marginal Tax Rates and Income Inequality in a Life-Cycle Model" written with with C. Carlstrom, which was published in TAmerican Economic Review.

Altig is currently the Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and previously served as the Vice President and Associate Director of Research in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Prior to joining the Chicago Booth faculty as an adjunct professor, Altig was an assistant professor in the department of business economics and public policy at Indiana University He has lectured at institutions across the country, including Brown University, Duke University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Iowa as well as the Chinese Executive MBA Program sponsored by the University of Minnesota and Lignan College of Sun Yat-Sen University.

Altig earned a bachelor's degree of business administration in economics from the University of Iowa in 1980. He received a master's degree in 1982 and a PhD in 1987 in economics from Brown University.

 

2016 - 2017 Course Schedule

Number Name Quarter
33840 Macroeconomics 2016 (Fall)

With L. Christiano, M. Eichenbaum, and J. Linde, “Firm Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities, and the Business Cycle,” Review of Economic Dynamics (forthcoming).

With A. Auerbach, L. Kotlikoff, K. Smetters, and J. Walliser, "Simulating US Tax Reform," American Economic Review (2001).

With Charles T. Carlstrom, "Marginal Tax Rates and Income Inequality in a Life-Cycle Model," American Economic Review (1999).

With C. T. Carlstrom and K. J. Lansing, "Computable General Equilibrium Models and Monetary Policy Advice," Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking (1995).

With Steven J. Davis, "The Timing of Intergenerational Transfers, Tax Policy, and Aggregate Savings," American Economic Review (1992).

For a listing of research publications please visit ’s university library listing page.

New: Social Security Privatization: A Simple Proposal
Date Posted: Jan  17, 2015
This paper proposes a Social Security reform for the United States that gradually, but ultimately fully, privatizes the system. This proposal follows the “no-harm, no-foul” principle in that it preserves the benefits of older generations and yet promises the same or higher retirement benefits for the young. As such it is both economically and politically feasible.The paper demonstrates that the transition to a privatized system can be financed without any additional taxation, including additional payroll taxation. Our approach is likely to improve U.S. national saving and work incentives compared to the current system. It also has advantages over other privatization proposals that recommend or may require additional taxation to finance the transition. The paper points out, however, that there is only a limited window of opportunity for implementing such a reform of the U.S. Social Security system.

New: Marginal Tax Rates and Income Inequality in a Life-Cycle Model
Date Posted: Jan  17, 2015
In this paper, we perform computational counterfactual experiments to examine the quantitative impact of marginal tax rates on the distribution of income. Our methodology builds on previous simulation models developed by Auerbach and Kotlikoff and Fullerton and Rogers, and uses an algorithm that allows us to examine marginal tax rate structures in their literal form. We find that distortions associated with particular marginal tax rate structures have sizable effects on income inequality in a reasonably quantified life-cycle setting: In our baseline experiments, the change in steady-state income inequality under 1989 U.S. income tax rates vis-à-vis 1984 rates is about half as large as the change actually seen in the data over those two years, when measured in terms of a monetary metric derived from Gini coefficients.

New: An Interview with Neil Wallace
Date Posted: Dec  18, 2013
A few years ago we sat down with Neil Wallace and had two lengthy, free-ranging conversations about his career and, generally speaking, his views on economics. What follows is a distillation of these conversations.

New: Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle
Date Posted: Mar  11, 2010
This paper formulates and estimates a three-shock US business cycle model. The estimated model accounts for a substantial fraction of the cyclical variation in output and is consistent with the observed inertia in inflation. This is true even though firms in the model reoptimize prices on average once every 1.8 quarters. The key feature of our model underlying this result is that capital is firm-specific. If we adopt the standard assumption that capital is homogeneous and traded in ...

REVISION: Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle
Date Posted: Oct  30, 2007
Macroeconomic and microeconomic data paint conflicting pictures of price behavior. Macroeconomic data suggest that inflation is inertial. Microeconomic data indicate that firms change prices frequently. We formulate and estimate a model which resolves this apparent micro - macro conflict. Our model is consistent with post-war U.S. evidence on inflation inertia even though firms re-optimize prices on average once every 1.5 quarters. The key feature of our model is that capital is firm-specific ...

New: The Timing of Intergenerational Transfers, Tax Policy, and Aggregate Savings
Date Posted: Aug  08, 2007
No abstract is available for this paper.

Simulating U.S. Tax Reform
Date Posted: Jun  10, 2007
This paper uses a new large-scale dynamic simulation model to compare the equity, efficiency, and macroeconomic effects of five alternative to the current U.S. federal income tax. These reforms are a proportional income tax, a proportional consumption tax, a flat tax, a flat tax with transition relief, and a progressive variant of the flat tax called the `X tax.` The model incorporates intragenerational heterogeneity and kinked budget constraints. It predicts major macroeconomic gains ...

New: Borrowing Constraints and Two-Sided Altruism With an Application to Social Security
Date Posted: Dec  28, 2006
No abstract is available for this paper.

Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle
Date Posted: May  11, 2005
Macroeconomic and microeconomic data paint conflicting pictures of price behavior. Macroeconomic data suggest that inflation is inertial. Microeconomic data indicate that firms change prices frequently. We formulate and estimate a model that resolves this apparent micro/macro conflict. Our model is consistent with post-war US evidence on inflation inertia even though firms re-optimize prices on average once every 1.5 quarters. The key feature of our model is that capital is firm-specific and ...

Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle
Date Posted: May  11, 2005
Macroeconomic and microeconomic data paint conflicting pictures of price behavior. Macroeconomic data suggest that inflation is inertial. Microeconomic data indicate that firms change prices frequently. We formulate and estimate a model which resolves this apparent micro - macro conflict. Our model is consistent with post-war U.S. evidence on inflation inertia even though firms re-optimize prices on average once every 1.5 quarters. The key feature of our model is that capital is firm-specific ...