Hi! My name is Brad Speigner and I'm currently doing a PhD in Economics at the University of Edinburgh. 

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My general research area is quantitative business cycle dynamics. Most of my focus has been on unemployment dynamics in general equilibrium, with an emphasis on issues related to fiscal, monetary and labour market policy. 

Below is a list of my original research papers. Click on the links to download in PDF format. (If the links to my awesome research are not active, please don't panic. It just means that I'm working on some changes. Shoot me an email instead.)

1. Monetary Policy and Job Creation
 in a New Keynesian Model.


Recent research has indicated that New Keynesian models with frictional unemployment tend to encounter difficulty in generating a rise in job creation in response to expansionary monetary policy, rendering the model inconsistent with the downward sloping Beveridge curve that appears in the data. Matching frictions in the labour market congest the job creation process so that firms tend to skew adjustment to shocks towards the job destruction margin. In recognition of the assertion put forth but unpursued by Cooley and Quadrini (1999) that fluctuations in the size of the labour force may ease labour market congestion and therefore amplify cyclical job creation, in this paper we extend a New Keynesian model with unemployment to feature an endogenous labour market participation decision. A baseline model with a standard degree of risk aversion tends to exhibit countercyclical labour force participation, which is inconsistent with the data. In order to address this issue, we propose the notion of labour market participation as a social consideration, which we demonstrate to be capable of generating procyclical participation incentives. We then find that plausible fluctuations in the size of the labour force do not exert a quantitatively significant effect on job creation. It is then argued that, by altering the dynamics of aggregate demand, time-inseparability in the utility function can significantly improve the ability of expansionary monetary policy to increase job creation, allowing the model to generate a downward sloping Beveridge curve conditional on monetary shocks. However, time-inseparability comes at the cost of inducing a counterfactually upward sloping Beveridge curve conditional on productivity shocks.

2. Structural Tax Reform and the Cyclical Behaviour of the Labour Market.


In this paper, we quantitatively examine the consequences of structural tax reform in a real business cycle model with frictional unemployment and distortionary tax rates which are increasing in individual taxable labour income. The cyclical aspects of tax reform that are addressed in this paper are distinct from the stationary state distributional issues that have garnered most of the attention in the existing literature on structural tax reform. Calibrating the model to U.S. data, we find that a reduction in the progressivity of the tax system is associated with a significant increase in the volatility of hours per worker whereas the impact on unemployment volatility is quantitatively small. The welfare cost of the business cycle increases after tax reform, but remains quantitatively negligible. We also assess the implications that the structure of the tax system has for the ability of expansionary government spending to stimulate economic activity. It is demonstrated that a less progressive tax policy increases the ability of expansionary fiscal policy to stimulate output due to a larger response in hours, but this comes at the cost of a smaller unemployment multiplier. In particular, tax reform causes a compositional shift in labour market adjustment in response to aggregate demand shocks, with relatively more adjustment occurring in the intensive margin and less adjustment in the extensive margin the flatter the tax schedule is.

3. Equilibrium Matching and Age Discrimination Policy.

Federal legislation prohibiting the discrimination of workers on the basis of age has been in place in the United States since the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Yet empirical studies which aim to estimate the employment effects of such legislation have yielded inconclusive results. In this paper we approach the issue from a different perspective by deriving quantitative predictions of equilibrium unemployment theory to investigate how age anti-discrimination legislation impacts macroeconomic performance. The main conclusion is that an equilibrium matching model of the life cycle predicts a moderately positive effect on the employment rate of workers very close to retirement, but the overall impact of age discrimination policy on the life cycle pattern of employment is quantitatively small. This occurs because in a frictional matching equilibrium, the incentive to discriminate is offset by labour market congestion, preventing the demand for older workers from falling excessively even when it is possible to discriminate on the basis of age. Welfare issues are also addressed. It is demonstrated that while age discrimination policy results in an age-dependent inefficiency in the participation decision of agents, the size of the externality is quantitatively negligible.

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