IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Macroeconomics with hetereogeneity : a practical guide

  • Fatih Guvenen

This article reviews macroeconomic models with heterogeneous households. A key question for the relevance of these models concerns the degree to which markets are complete. This is because the existence of complete markets imposes restrictions on (i) how much heterogeneity matters for aggregate phenomena and (ii) the types of cross-sectional distributions that can be obtained. The degree of market incompleteness, in turn, depends on two factors: (i) the richness of insurance opportunities provided by the economic environment and (ii) the nature and magnitude of idiosyncratic risks to be insured. First, I review a broad collection of empirical evidence—from econometric tests of "full insurance," to quantitative and empirical analyses of the permanent income ("self-insurance") model that examine how it fits the facts about life-cycle allocations, to studies that try to directly measure where economies place between these two benchmarks ("partial insurance"). The empirical evidence I survey reveals significant uncertainty in the profession regarding the magnitudes of idiosyncratic risks, as well as whether or not these risks have increased since the 1970s. An important difficulty stems from the fact that inequality often arises from a mixture of idiosyncratic risk and fixed (or predictable) heterogeneity, making the two challenging to disentangle. Second, I discuss applications of incomplete markets models to trends in wealth, consumption, and earnings inequality both over the life cycle and over time, where this challenge is evident. Third, I discuss "approximate" aggregation—the finding that some incomplete markets models generate aggregate implications very similar to representative-agent models. What approximate aggregation does and does not imply is illustrated through several examples. Finally, I discuss some computational issues relevant for solving and calibrating such models and I provide a simple yet fully parallelizable global optimization algorithm that can be used to calibrate heterogeneous agent models.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/economic_quarterly/2011/q3/pdf/guvenen.pdf
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/economic_quarterly/2011/q3/guvenen.cfm
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its journal Economic Quarterly.

Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): 3Q ()
Pages: 255-326

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2011:i:3q:p:255-326:n:v.97no.3
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.richmondfed.org/

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/ Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Michael Baker & Gary Solon, 2003. "Earnings Dynamics and Inequality among Canadian Men, 1976-1992: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Records," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 267-288, April.
  2. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  3. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
  4. Javier Alvarez & Martin Browning & Mette Ejrnæs, 2001. "Modelling Income Processes with lots of heterogeneity," CAM Working Papers 2002-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  5. Karen Kopecky & Richard Suen, 2010. "Finite State Markov-chain Approximations to Highly Persistent Processes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(3), pages 701-714, July.
  6. Gallipoli, Giovanni & Turner, Laura, 2009. "Household Responses to Individual Shocks: Disability and Labour Supply," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-32, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Jun 2009.
  7. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2011. "Heterogeneity and Tests of Risk Sharing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(5), pages 925 - 958.
  8. Damba Lkhagvasuren & Ragchaasuren Galindev, 2008. "Discretization of Highly-Persistent Correlated AR(1) Shocks," Working Papers 08012, Concordia University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
  9. Telmer, Chris I, 1993. " Asset-Pricing Puzzles and Incomplete Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1803-32, December.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1997. "Algorithms for solving dynamic models with occasionally binding constraints," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Yeung Lewis Chan & Leonid Kogan, 2002. "Catching Up with the Joneses: Heterogeneous Preferences and the Dynamics of Asset Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1255-1285, December.
  12. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  13. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
  14. Laitner, John, 1992. "Random earnings differences, lifetime liquidity constraints, and altruistic intergenerational transfers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 135-170, December.
  15. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  16. Carroll, Christopher D, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55, February.
  17. Den Haan, Wouter, 2008. "Assessing the Accuracy of the Aggregate Law of Motion in Models with Heterogeneous Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 6971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Rubinstein, Mark, 1974. "An aggregation theorem for securities markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 225-244, September.
  20. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2006. "Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20066, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  21. Gustavsson, Magnus & Österholm, Pär, 2010. "Does the Labor-Income Process Contain a Unit Root? Evidence from Individual-Specific Time Series," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2010:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  22. Atif R. Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "House Prices, Home Equity-Based Borrowing, and the U.S. Household Leverage Crisis," NBER Working Papers 15283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Clarida, Richard H, 1990. "International Lending and Borrowing in a Stochastic, Stationary Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 543-58, August.
  24. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2006. "Establishment size dynamics in the aggregate economy," Staff Report 382, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  25. Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2004. "On the distribution and dynamics of health care costs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 705-721.
  26. Fatih Guvenen, 2006. "Learning your earning: are labor income shocks really very persistent?," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 145, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  27. Steven J. Haider, 2000. "Earnings Instability and Earnings Inequality of Males in the United States: 1967-1991," Working Papers 00-15, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  28. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  29. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2004. "Precautionary Savings or Working Longer Hours?," 2004 Meeting Papers 350, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  31. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Serdar Ozkan, 2009. "Taxation of Human Capital and Wage Inequality: A Cross-Country Analysis," NBER Working Papers 15526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih, 2008. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," IZA Discussion Papers 3313, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  33. Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-75, April.
  34. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, 02.
  35. Constantinides, George M, 1982. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers and without Demand Aggregation," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 253-67, April.
  36. Athreya, Kartik B., 2002. "Welfare implications of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1999," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1567-1595, November.
  37. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  38. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  39. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Equity Premium and the Concentration of Aggregate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 1788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 2000. "Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices: The Importance of Entrepreneurial Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1163-1198, 06.
  41. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-56, October.
  42. Hayashi, Fumio & Altonji, Joseph & Kotlikoff, Laurence, 1996. "Risk-Sharing between and within Families," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 261-94, March.
  43. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 1993. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 4249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. Den Haan, Wouter J. & Rendahl, Pontus, 2010. "Solving the incomplete markets model with aggregate uncertainty using explicit aggregation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 69-78, January.
  45. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Eyigungor, Burcu, 2015. "A quantitative analysis of the u.s. housing and mortgage markets and the foreclosure crisis," Working Papers 15-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  46. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explorations with a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings with Heterogeneous Agents," NBER Working Papers 6384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  48. Robert E. Hall & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1980. "The Sensitivity of Consumption to Transitory Income: Estimates from Panel Data on Households," NBER Working Papers 0505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Alejandro Badel & Mark Huggett, 2010. "Interpreting life-cycle inequality patterns as an efficient allocation: mission impossible?," Working Papers 2010-046, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  50. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
  51. Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-62, December.
  52. Sabelhaus, John & Song, Jae, 2010. "The great moderation in micro labor earnings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 391-403, May.
  53. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  55. Nelson, Julie A, 1994. "On Testing for Full Insurance Using Consumer Expenditure Survey Data: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 384-94, April.
  56. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  57. Jacob M. Short & Andy Glover, 2011. "Bankruptcy, Incorporation and the Nature of Entrepreneurial Risk," 2011 Meeting Papers 836, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  58. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
  59. Townsend, R.M., 1991. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  60. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2010. "Earnings Inequality and Mobility in the United States: Evidence from Social Security Data since 1937," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 91-128, February.
  61. Serdar Ozkan, 2011. "Income Differences and Health Care Expenditures over the Life Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 478, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  62. Gottschalk, Peter & Moffitt, Robert, 1999. "Changes in Job Instability and Insecurity Using Monthly Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S91-126, October.
  63. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "Do Stockholders Share Risk More Effectively than Nonstockholders?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 275-288, May.
  64. Hause, John C, 1980. "The Fine Structure of Earnings and the On-the-Job Training Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 1013-29, May.
  65. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2012. "Taxation and Household Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1113-1149.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2011:i:3q:p:255-326:n:v.97no.3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (William Perkins)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.