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Income Dispersion and Counter-Cyclical Markups

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  • Chris Edmond
  • Laura Veldkamp

Abstract

Recent advances in measuring cyclical changes in the income distribution raise new questions: How might these distributional changes affect the business cycle itself? We show how counter-cyclical income dispersion can generate counter-cyclical markups in the goods market, without any preference shocks or price-setting frictions. In recessions, heterogeneous labor productivity shocks raise income dispersion, lower the price elasticity of demand, and increase imperfectly competitive firms' optimal markups. The calibrated model explains not only many cyclical features of markups, but also cyclical, long-run and cross-state patterns of standard business cycle aggregates.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14452.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Publication status: published as Edmond, Chris & Veldkamp, Laura, 2009. "Income dispersion and counter-cyclical markups," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 791-804, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14452

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Cited by:
  1. Balázs Égert & Douglas Sutherland, 2012. "The nature of financial and real business cycles: The great moderation and banking sector pro cyclicality," EconomiX Working Papers 2012-15, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  2. Thomas Y. MATHA & Olivier PIERRARD, 2009. "Search in the Product Market and the Real Business Cycle," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2009019, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimüller, 2011. "Exclusive Goods and Formal-Sector Employment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 242-72, January.
  4. Antonella Tutino & Anton Cheremukhin, 2012. "Asymmetric Firm Dynamics under Rational Inattention," 2012 Meeting Papers 161, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise If the Government Buys More Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 183-249.
  6. Kegiang Hou & Alok Johri, 2013. "Intangible Capital and the Excess Volatility of Aggregate Profits," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-04, McMaster University.
  7. Robert E. Hall, 2012. "The Cyclical Response of Advertising Refutes Counter-Cyclical Profit Margins in Favor of Product-Market Frictions," NBER Working Papers 18370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Keqiang Hou & Alok Johri, 2009. "Intangible Capital, Corporate Earnings and the Business Cycle," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-17, McMaster University.
  9. Marco Cornia & Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2010. "Consumer Heterogeneity and Markups over the Business Cycle: Evidence from the Airline Industry," BEA Working Papers 0056, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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