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Greg Kaplan is an Economics Professor at the University of Chicago, whose research spans macroeconomics, labor economics and applied microeconomics, with a focus on the distributional consequences of economic policies.
Education and career
Greg Kaplan received a BCom (Hons) from Macquarie University in 2000 before moving to the London School of Economics in 2002 where he got an Msc in Economics. He got a PhD from New York University in 2009. Between 2012 and 2016, Kaplan was Professor and Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Princeton University. He was previously Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania since 2010 and Research Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis between 2009 and 2010.
In a 2014 paper with Gianluca Violante and Justin Weidner, Kaplan shows that a sizable share of households own little liquid wealth despite holding significant illiquid wealth. The authors call such households "wealthy hand-to-mouth". Because the wealthy hand-to-mouth have little liquid wealth they react strongly to transitory income shocks and therefore have high MPCs. Kaplan further shows with Gianluca Violante that models featuring wealthy hand-to-mouth (i.e. with one liquid asset and one illiquid asset) yield aggregate responses to fiscal shocks one order of magnitude higher than standard one-asset models, consistent with empirical evidence.
Heterogeneous Agent New Keynesian models
In 2018, Kaplan together with Benjamin Moll and Gianluca Violante introduce the term HANK (Heterogeneous Agent New Keynesian) model to describe the rising literature incorporating household heterogeneity into New-Keynesian models. They argue that monetary policy operates mostly via general equilibrium effects on the labor market, instead of the standard intertemporal substitution channel. This is due to a sizable share of households exhibiting high MPCs, whose spending behavior reacts strongly to changes in disposable income. As Ricardian equivalence fails in HANK models, the reaction of the fiscal authority to a monetary shock is key to determine the overall macroeconomic response.
Kaplan is an Editor at the Journal of Political Economy, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He is also an Economic Consultant at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In 2015 he received a Sloan Foundation fellowship.
Greg Kaplan in the media