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Can a Representative-Agent Model Represent a Heterogeneous-Agent Economy

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  • Sungbae An
  • Yongsung Chang
  • Sun-Bin Kim

Abstract

Accounting for observed fluctuations in aggregate employment, consumption, and real wage using the optimality conditions of a representative household requires preferences that are incompatible with economic priors. In order to reconcile theory with data, we construct a model with heterogeneous agents whose decisions are difficult to aggregate because of incomplete capital markets and the indivisible nature of labor supply. If we were to explain the model-generated aggregate time series using decisions of a stand-in household, such a household must have a nonconcave or unstable utility as is often found with the aggregate US data. (JEL E13, E24)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 29-54

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:29-54

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.1.2.29
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References

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  1. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2007. "Heterogeneity and Aggregation: Implications for Labor-Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1939-1956, December.
  2. Robert E. Hall, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 5933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Blundell,Richard & Newey,Whitney K. & Persson,Torsten (ed.), 2006. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521692083, October.
  4. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2003. "From individual to aggregate labor supply : a quantitative analysis based on a heterogeneous agent macroeconomy," Working Paper 03-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  5. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen McGrattan, 2004. "Business Cycle Accounting," NBER Working Papers 10351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Blundell,Richard & Newey,Whitney K. & Persson,Torsten (ed.), 2006. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521871525, October.
  7. Dunn, Kenneth B. & Singleton, Kenneth J., 1986. "Modeling the term structure of interest rates under non-separable utility and durability of goods," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 27-55, September.
  8. Ghysels, Eric & Hall, Alastair, 1990. "Are consumption-based intertemporal capital asset pricing models structural?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 121-139.
  9. Scheinkman, Jose A & Weiss, Laurence, 1986. "Borrowing Constraints and Aggregate Economic Activity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 23-45, January.
  10. Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S176-S215, June.
  11. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  12. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  14. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  16. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  17. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Heterogeneity is crucial for business cycle models
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-01-27 10:22:00
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Cited by:
  1. Michael P. Keane & Richard Rogerson, 2011. "Reconciling Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Structural Perspective," NBER Working Papers 17430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Individual and Aggregate Labor Supply With Coordinated Working Times," NBER Working Papers 16636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Chang, Yongsung & Schorfheide, Frank, 2010. "Labor-Market Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and the Lucas Critique," CEPR Discussion Papers 8039, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jorge Alonso-Ortiz & Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Taxes, transfers, and employment in an incomplete markets model," CQER Working Paper 2010-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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