Martin Beraja

Department of Economics
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142
Tel: 617/258-6022

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: EFG , ME
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2020Data-intensive Innovation and the State: Evidence from AI Firms in China
with David Y. Yang, Noam Yuchtman: w27723
Data-intensive technologies, like AI, are increasingly widespread. We argue that the direction of innovation and growth in data-intensive economies may be crucially shaped by the state because: (i) the state is a key collector of data and (ii) data is sharable across uses within firms, potentially generating economies of scope. We study a prototypical setting: facial recognition AI in China. Collecting comprehensive data on firms and government procurement contracts, we find evidence of economies of scope arising from government data: firms awarded contracts providing access to more government data produce both more government and commercial software. We then build a directed technical change model to study the implications of government data access for the direction of innovation, growth,...
January 2020Technological Transitions with Skill Heterogeneity Across Generations
with Rodrigo Adão, Nitya Pandalai-Nayar: w26625
We study how inequality, skills, and economic activity adjust over time to technological innovations. We develop a theory of technological transitions where economies adjust through two margins: (i) within-generation reallocation of workers with heterogeneous skills, and (ii) cross-generation changes in the skill distribution driven by entering generations investing in skills. We then characterize the equilibrium dynamics, showing that they resemble those of a q-theory of skill investment where q is lifetime inequality. Technological transitions are slower and more unequal whenever innovations are biased towards economic activities intensive in skills which differ more from those used in the rest of the economy—i.e., technology-skill specificity is higher. This is because the first margin ...
March 2017Regional Heterogeneity and Monetary Policy
with Andreas Fuster, Erik Hurst, Joseph Vavra: w23270
We argue that the time-varying regional distribution of housing equity influences the aggregate consequences of monetary policy through its effects on mortgage refinancing. Using detailed loan-level data, we show that regional differences in housing equity affect refinancing and spending responses to interest rate cuts but that these effects vary over time with changes in the regional distribution of house price growth. We then build a heterogeneous household model of refinancing with both mortgage borrowers and lenders and use it to explore the aggregate implications for monetary policy arising from our regional evidence. We find that the 2008 equity distribution made spending in depressed regions less responsive to interest rate cuts, thus dampening aggregate stimulus and increasing regi...
February 2016The Aggregate Implications of Regional Business Cycles
with Erik Hurst, Juan Ospina: w21956
Making inferences about aggregate business cycles from regional variation alone is diffcult because of economic channels and shocks that differ between regional and aggregate economies. However, we argue that regional business cycles contain valuable information that can help discipline models of aggregate fluctuations. We begin by documenting a strong relationship across US states between local employment and wage growth during the Great Recession. This relationship is much weaker in US aggregates. Then, we present a methodology that combines such regional and aggregate data in order to estimate a medium-scale New Keynesian DSGE model. We find that aggregate demand shocks were important drivers of aggregate employment during the Great Recession, but the wage stickiness necessary for them...

Published: Martin Beraja & Erik Hurst & Juan Ospina, 2019. "The Aggregate Implications of Regional Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(6), pages 1789-1833, November. citation courtesy of

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