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Consumption Heterogenity Over the Business Cycle

  • Giacomo De Giorgi

    ()

  • Luca Gambetti

    ()

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.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 904.12.

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Length: 54
Date of creation: 22 Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:904.12
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  1. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca, 2008. "The Dynamic Effects of Monetary Policy: A Structural Factor Model Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7098, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Forni, Mario & Giannone, Domenico & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2007. "Opening the black box: structural factor models with large cross-sections," Working Paper Series 0712, European Central Bank.
  3. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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, 05.
  7. Battistin, Erich & Padula, Mario, 2010. "Survey Instruments and the Reports of Consumption Expenditures: Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys," CEPR Discussion Papers 8051, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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