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When does heterogeneity matter?

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  • Yi Wen
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Abstract

How do movements in the distribution of income affect the macroeconomy? Krusell and Smith (1998) analyzed this question in a neoclassical growth model, and their results show that the representative-agent assumption provides a good approximation for aggregate behaviors of heterogeneous agents. This paper extends their analysis to a cash-in-advance model with heterogeneous money demand. It is shown that movements in the distribution of monetary income can have significant impact on the macroeconomy. For example, the dynamic responses of aggregate output to monetary shocks behave very differently from those of a representative agent; the welfare costs of moderate inflation are much higher than previously thought, up to 20% of consumption when the inequality of cash distribution is sufficiently large. This is in sharp contrast to the findings of Cooley and Hansen (1989) and Lucas (2000) based on representative-agent models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2009-024.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2009-024

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Keywords: Liquidity (Economics) ; Money theory;

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  1. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 1999. "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 245-272, January.
  2. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1984. "Money and Interest in Cash-In-Advance Economy," Discussion Papers 628, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Chris Edmond, 2003. "On the Sluggish Response of Prices to Money in an Inventory-Theoretic Model of Money Demand," NBER Working Papers 10016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Julia K. Thomas, . "Is Lumpy Investment Relevant for the Business Cycle?," GSIA Working Papers 1998-E250, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. Svensson, Lars E O, 1985. "Money and Asset Prices in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 919-44, October.
  7. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Inflation and Welfare in the Steady State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 561-77, June.
  8. F. Clementi & M. Gallegati, 2005. "Pareto's Law of Income Distribution: Evidence for Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States," Papers physics/0504217, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2006.
  9. Krusell, P & Smith Jr, A-A, 1995. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomic," RCER Working Papers 399, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  10. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "An Exploration in the Theory of Exchange-Rate Regimes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 865-90, October.
  11. Hodrick, Robert J & Kocherlakota, Narayana R & Lucas, Deborah, 1991. "The Variability of Velocity in Cash-in-Advance Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 358-84, April.
  12. Grossman, Sanford & Weiss, Laurence, 1983. "A Transactions-Based Model of the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 871-80, December.
  13. Makoto Nirei & Wataru Souma, 2007. "A Two Factor Model Of Income Distribution Dynamics," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(3), pages 440-459, 09.
  14. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  15. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-20, April.
  16. Aubhik Khan & Julia Thomas, 2007. "Inflation and interest rates with endogenous market segmentation," Working Papers 07-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  17. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
  18. Ireland, Peter N, 1996. "The Role of Countercyclical Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 704-23, August.
  19. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 8290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1988. "The Inflation Tax In A Real Business Cycle Model," Papers 88-05, Rochester, Business - General.
  21. Jonathan Chiu, 2007. "Endogenously Segmented Asset Market in an Inventory Theoretic Model of Money Demand," Working Papers 07-46, Bank of Canada.
  22. Chatterjee, S. & Corbae, D., 1990. "Endogenous Market Participation and the General Equelibrium Value of Money," Working Papers 90-30a, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  23. Attanasio, Orazio & Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 1998. "The Demand for Money, Financial Innovation and the Welfare Cost of Inflation: An Analysis with Households' Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 1927, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Dotsey, Michael & Ireland, Peter, 1996. "The welfare cost of inflation in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-47, February.
  25. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1982. "A Monetary Equilibrium Model with Transactions Costs," NBER Working Papers 0978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The welfare cost of inflation under imperfect insurance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 79-91, January.
  27. Carlos E. da Costa & Iván Werning, 2008. "On the Optimality of the Friedman Rule with Heterogeneous Agents and Nonlinear Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 82-112, 02.
  28. 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.
  29. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-83, December.
  30. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Salas, Sergio, 2013. "Credit frictions and unexpected credit crunches," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 161-181.

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