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Monetary policy in a non-representative agent economy: A survey

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Abstract

It is well-known that central bank policies affect not only macroeconomic aggregates, but also their distribution across economic agents. Similarly, a number of papers demonstrated that heterogeneity of agents may matter for the transmission of monetary policy on macro variables. Despite this, the mainstream monetary economics literature has so far been dominated by dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models with representative agents. This article aims to tilt this imbalance towards heterogeneous agents setups by surveying the main positive and normative findings of this line of the literature, and suggesting areas in which these models could be implemented. In particular, we review studies that analyze the heterogeneity of (i) households’ income, (ii) households’ preferences, (iii) consumers’ age, (iv) expectations, and (v) firms’ productivity and financial position. We highlight the results on issues that, by construction, cannot be investigated in a representative agent framework and discuss important papers modifying the findings from the representative agent literature.

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Paper provided by National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute in its series National Bank of Poland Working Papers with number 95.

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Length: 53
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbp:nbpmis:95

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Keywords: Heterogeneous Agents; Monetary Policy;

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  1. Bruce D. Smith, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Banking Crises, and the Friedman Rule," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 128-134, May.
  2. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2008. "Heterogeneous Risk Preferences and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 761-780, October.
  3. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
  4. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
  5. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-98, May.
  6. Julia K. Thomas, . "Is Lumpy Investment Relevant for the Business Cycle?," GSIA Working Papers 1998-E250, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  7. Phillippe Weil, 1997. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1833, David K. Levine.
  8. Sveen, Tommy & Weinke, Lutz, 2007. "Lumpy investment, sticky prices, and the monetary transmission mechanism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 23-36, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Villarreal, Francisco G., 2014. "Monetary Policy and Inequality in Mexico," MPRA Paper 57074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Paul Levine, 2012. "Policy focus: Monetary policy in an uncertain world: probability models and the design of robust monetary rules," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 70-88, April.

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