Akshay Shanker

Akshay Shanker

I am a quantitative economist and currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Energy Change Institute at the Australian National University. My research focuses on:

  • distributional macroeconomics (I use Benjamin Moll's terminology from these notes: instead of thinking about the economy as aggregate values of consumption, investment, employment etc., distributional macro explicitly thinks about the macro economy as a distribution of these variables across people and firms)
  • growth theory
  • energy
  • dynamic optimization theory and recursive methods.

I am also interested in probability theory, statistical inference and prediction markets.

Working papers

Title Description
Optimal saving and work hours in the neoclassical growth model with heterogeneous agents A constrained planner planner accumulates more aggregate capital and reduces hours worked. However, the rich are asked to work more, since they are more productive while the poor work less. On the other hand, the rich also save more — the resulting fall in interest rates and rise in wages achieves a redistribution from rich to poor thorough prices.
Existence of recursive constrained optima in the heterogeneous agent neoclassical growth model A constrained cannot complete insurance markets and thus faces an infinite horizon optimization problem with an infinite dimensional state space. Finite dimensional topological notions do not readily carry over to infinite dimensional spaces and the planner’s problem does not satisfy the standard conditions of dynamic optimization theory. This paper addresses the infinite dimensional non-compactness and shows a planner’s solution still exists.
Energy Intensity, directed technological change and economic growth, with Prof. David Stern Energy intensity declines due to energy augmenting technical change. However, energy intensity declines slower than output grows; this is because energy is more abundant than labour and firms find it more profitable to do labor saving research.

Research in progress

Title Description
Stability of electricity spot markets with intermittent energy and battery storage, with Chandra Krishnamurthy and David Stern This paper examines the dynamics of electricity markets where supply is random (solar and wind) but speculators can buy, store and sell energy