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Estimation of Heterogeneous Agent Models: A Likelihood Approach

Author

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  • Juan Carlos Parra-Alvarez
  • Olaf Posch
  • Mu-Chun Wang

Abstract

We study the statistical properties of heterogeneous agent models. Using a Bewley-Hugget-Aiyagari model we compute the density function of wealth and income and use it for likelihood inference. We study the finite sample properties of the maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) using Monte Carlo experiments on artificial cross-sections of wealth and income. We propose to use the Kullback-Leibler divergence to investigate identification problems that may affect inference. Our results suggest that the unrestricted MLE leads to considerable biases of some parameters. Calibrating weakly identified parameters allows to pin down the other unidentified parameter without compromising the estimation of the remaining parameters. We illustrate our approach by estimating the model for the U.S. economy using wealth and income data from the Survey of Consumer Finances.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Parra-Alvarez & Olaf Posch & Mu-Chun Wang, 2017. "Estimation of Heterogeneous Agent Models: A Likelihood Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 6717, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6717
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Mi Luo & Simon Mongey, 2019. "Assets and Job Choice: Student Debt, Wages and Amenities," NBER Working Papers 25801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Juan Carlos Parra-Alvarez & Olaf Posch & Mu-Chun Wang, 2017. "Estimation of Heterogeneous Agent Models: A Likelihood Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 6717, CESifo.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yves Achdou & Jiequn Han & Jean-Michel Lasry & Pierre-Louis Lions & Benjamin Moll, 2017. "Income and Wealth Distribution in Macroeconomics: A Continuous-Time Approach," NBER Working Papers 23732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Juan Carlos Parra-Alvarez & Olaf Posch & Mu-Chun Wang, 2017. "Estimation of Heterogeneous Agent Models: A Likelihood Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 6717, CESifo.
    3. Hoang Khieu & Klaus Wälde, 2019. "Capital Income Risk and the Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 7970, CESifo.
    4. Glawion, Rene & Puche, Marc & Haller, Frédéric, 2020. "A General Equilibrium Model of Earnings, Income, and Wealth," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224580, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Khieu, Hoang & Wälde, Klaus, 2018. "Capital Income Risk and the Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution," IZA Discussion Papers 11840, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Fischer, Thomas, 2019. "Determinants of Wealth Inequality and Mobility in General Equilibrium," Working Papers 2019:22, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    7. Lukasz Balbusy & Pawel Dziewulskiz & Kevin Reffett & Lukasz Wozny, 2020. "Markov distributional equilibrium dynamics in games with complementarities and no aggregate risk," Working Paper Series 1320, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    heterogeneous agent models; continuous-time; Fokker-Planck equations; Kullback-Leibler divergence; maximum likelihood;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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