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Consumption Heterogenity Over the Business Cycle

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  • Giacomo De Giorgi

    ()

  • Luca Gambetti

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Abstract

We study consumption heterogeneity over the business cycle. Using household panel data from 1984 to 2010 in the US we find that the welfare cost of the business cycle is non-negligible, once agents heterogeneity is taken into account, and sums to about 1% of yearly consumption. This is due to the structure of comovements between the different parts of the consumption distribution, in particular the tails are highly volatile and nega- tively related to each other. We also find that business cycle fluctuations originating from exogenous financial shocks only hit the top end of the consumption distribution and therefore reduce consumption inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Giacomo De Giorgi & Luca Gambetti, 2012. "Consumption Heterogenity Over the Business Cycle," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 904.12, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:904.12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Erich Battistin & Mario Padula, 2016. "Survey instruments and the reports of consumption expenditures: evidence from the consumer expenditure surveys," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 179(2), pages 559-581, February.
    2. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Quantitative Macroeconomics with Heterogeneous Households," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 319-354, May.
    3. Forni, Mario & Giannone, Domenico & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2009. "Opening The Black Box: Structural Factor Models With Large Cross Sections," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(05), pages 1319-1347, October.
    4. Enrico Moretti, 2013. "Real Wage Inequality," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 65-103, January.
    5. Erich Battistin & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 2009. "Why Is Consumption More Log Normal than Income? Gibrat's Law Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1140-1154, December.
    6. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    7. Manuela Angelucci & Giacomo de Giorgi & Imran Rasul & Marcos A. Rangel, 2010. "Insurance and Investment within Family Networks," Working Papers id:2649, eSocialSciences.
    8. 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.
    9. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca, 2010. "The dynamic effects of monetary policy: A structural factor model approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 203-216, March.
    10. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giacomo De Giorgi & Luca Gambetti, 2012. "The Effects of Government Spending on the Distribution of Consumption," Working Papers 645, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Andreas Schabert, 2017. "Welfare-Enhancing Distributional Effects of Central Bank Asset Purchases," Working Paper Series in Economics 94, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption; Heterogeneity; Aggregate Shocks; Structural Factor Model; FAVAR.;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables

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