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

On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles

  • Per Krusell
  • Anthony A. Smith, Jr.

Calibrated versions of existing representative-agent models have in common that the welfare costs of business cycles are extremely small. We investigate the welfare effects of eliminating business cycles in a model with substantial consumer heterogeneity. The heterogeneity is due to uninsurable idiosyncratic employment and preference risk. The model is calibrated to match the distribution of wealth in U.S. data; in particular, there is a large group of consumers with no, or negative, wealth. We also consider the distinction between short- and long-term unemployment, the latter of which may go up significantly during recessions. We investigate the welfare effects for each type of agent in this economy of a once-and-for-all elimination of any aggregate risk. From an initial situation typical of an economy with cyclical aggregate productivity and employment movements, we eliminate the cyclical movements by replacing these variables with their conditional means. Along the transition path, we then record the consumption outcomes across the population and are thus able to make precise welfare-based assessments of how much different agents win, or lose, in present discounted value terms. We find that the welfare gains from eliminating cycles are very small for almost all agents, and only sizeable for a very small group of poor agents.

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://fasttone.tepper.cmu.edu/tony/cost5.ps
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 500 Can't connect to fasttone.tepper.cmu.edu:80. If this is indeed the case, please notify (Steve Spear)


Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 243.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:243
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Web page: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/

Order Information: Web: http://student-3k.tepper.cmu.edu/gsiadoc/GSIA_WP.asp

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. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Idiosyncratic Risk and Overlapping Generations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 519-548, October.
  2. Krusell, Per & Smith, Anthony Jr., 1996. "Rules of thumb in macroeconomic equilibrium A quantitative analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 527-558, April.
  3. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Evaluating Risky Consumption Paths: The Role of Intertemporal Substitutability," NBER Technical Working Papers 0120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 187-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1986. "The equity premium and the concentration of aggregate shocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-219, September.
  8. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  9. Harold L. Cole & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1997. "A microfoundation for incomplete security markets," Working Papers 577, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  11. Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Cochrane, John H, 1989. "The Sensitivity of Tests of the Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption to Near-Rational Alternatives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 319-37, June.
  14. Jim Dolmas, 1998. "Risk Preferences and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 646-676, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Quantitative Macroeconomics and Real Business Cycles (QM&RBC)

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:243. 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: (Steve Spear)

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.