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Consumption Externalities, Heterogeneous Agents and Cycles

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  • Riham Barbar

    ()
    (EPEE, University of Evry Val d'Essonne)

  • Jean-Paul Barinci

    ()
    (EPEE, University of Evry Val d'Essonne)

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    Abstract

    This paper studies the e¤ect of consumption externalities in a Ramsey model with heterogeneous agents and borrowing constraints. We consider two types of agents who di¤er in their initial wealth and discount factors. Further, we leave open the possibility of increase in consumption of one agent producing a positive (Keeping-Up with the Joneses) or a negative (Running-Away from the Joneses) effet over the marginal utility from own consumption of the other agent. We show that, at a steady-state equi- librium, inequality arises across agents which in turn implies that, agents have different consumption levels. Moreover, we show that, whenever the preferences display Keeping-Up with the Joneses feature, low elasticity of production factors substitution is no longer needed for the emergence of flip cycles and instability. Instead, only the external effects in consump- tion that plays a crucial role and promotes instability and the appearence of these endogeneous cycles.

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    File URL: http://epee.univ-evry.fr/RePEc/2009/09-02.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne in its series Documents de recherche with number 09-02.

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    Length: 16 pages
    Date of creation: 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:eve:wpaper:09-02

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    Related research

    Keywords: Consumption externalities; borrowing constraints; hetero- geneous agents; saddle-path stability; endogeneous cycles;

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    References

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    1. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballé, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2008. "Can consumption spillovers be a source of equilibrium indeterminacy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 2883-2902, September.
    2. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Stephen Turnovsky, 2008. "Consumption externalities: a representative consumer model when agents are heterogeneous," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 439-467, December.
    3. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-31, November.
    4. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
    5. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    6. GRANDMONT, Jean-Michel & PINTUS, Patrick & de VILDER, Robin, 1997. "Capital-labor substitution and competitive nonlinear endogenous business cycles," CORE Discussion Papers 1997087, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Becker, Robert A & Foias, Ciprian, 1994. "The Local Bifurcation of Ramsey Equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(5), pages 719-44, August.
    8. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
    9. Becker, Robert A. & Foias, Ciprian, 1987. "A characterization of Ramsey equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 173-184, February.
    10. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
    11. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    12. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
    13. Becker, Robert A, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-82, September.
    14. Chen, Been-Lon & Hsu, Mei, 2007. "Admiration is a source of indeterminacy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 96-103, April.
    15. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
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