Stockholm university

Kurt MitmanAssociate Professor

About me

I am an Associate Professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University.  I received my PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2014, advised by Dirk Krueger (chair), Iourii Manovskii and Greg Kaplan. My research focuses broadly on macroeconomics. I am particularly interested in household finance, housing and labor markets.


For the most up to date information please see my personal site.


Google Scholar Listing (includes non-economics publications) 


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Macroeconomic Effects of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Policies

    2016. Kurt Mitman. The American Economic Review 106 (8), 2219-2255


    I study the implications of two major debt-relief policies in the United States: the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). To do so, I develop a model of housing and default that includes relevant dimensions of credit-market policy and captures rich heterogeneity in household balance sheets. The model also explains the observed cross-state variation in consumer default rates. I find that BAPCPA significantly reduced bankruptcy rates, but increased foreclosure rates when house prices fell. HARP reduced foreclosures by 1 percentage point and provided substantial welfare gains to households with high loan-to-value mortgages.

    Read more about Macroeconomic Effects of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Policies
  • Optimal unemployment insurance in an equilibrium business-cycle model

    2015. Kurt Mitman, Stanislav Rabinovich. Journal of Monetary Economics 71, 99-118


    The optimal cyclical behavior of unemployment insurance is characterized in an equilibrium search model with risk-averse workers. Contrary to the current US policy, the path of optimal unemployment benefits is pro-cyclical - positively correlated with productivity and employment. Furthermore, optimal unemployment benefits react non-monotonically to a productivity shock: in response to a fall in productivity, they rise on impact but then fall significantly below their pre-recession level during the recovery. As compared to the current US unemployment insurance policy, the optimal state-contingent unemployment benefits smooth cyclical fluctuations in unemployment and deliver substantial welfare gains.

    Read more about Optimal unemployment insurance in an equilibrium business-cycle model
  • The impact of unemployment benefit extensions on employment

    2015. Mattias Hagedorn, Iourii Manovski, Kurt Mitman.


    We measure the effect of unemployment benefit duration on employment. We exploit the variation induced by the decision of Congress in December 2013 not to reauthorize the unprecedented benefit extensions introduced during the Great Recession. Federal benefit extensions that ranged from 0 to 47 weeks across U.S. states at the beginning of December 2013 were abruptly cut to zero. To achieve identification we use the fact that this policy change was exogenous to cross-sectional differences across U.S. states and we exploit a policy discontinuity at state borders. We find that a 1% drop in benefit duration leads to a statistically significant increase of employment by 0.0161 log points. In levels, 1.8 million additional jobs were created in 2014 due to the benefit cut. Almost 1 million of these jobs were filled by workers from out of the labor force who would not have participated in the labor market had benefit extensions been reauthorized.

    Read more about The impact of unemployment benefit extensions on employment

Show all publications by Kurt Mitman at Stockholm University