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Intergenerational Redistribution in the Great Recession

  • Glover, Andrew
  • Heathcote, Jonathan
  • Krueger, Dirk
  • Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor

In this paper we construct a stochastic overlapping-generations general equilibrium model in which households are subject to aggregate shocks that a ffect both wages and asset prices. We use a calibrated version of the model to quantify how the welfare costs of severe recessions are distributed across di ffrrent household age groups. The model predicts that younger cohorts fare better than older cohorts when the equilibrium decline in asset prices is large relative to the decline in wages, as observed in the data. Asset price declines hurt the old, who rely on asset sales to finance consumption, but benefit the young, who purchase assets at depressed prices. In our preferred calibration, asset prices decline more than twice as much as wages, consistent with the experience of the US economy in the Great Recession. A model recession is approximately welfare-neutral for households in the 20-29 age group, but translates into a large welfare loss of around 10% of lifetime consumption for households aged 70 and over.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8329.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8329
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  1. Felix Kubler & Johannes Brumm, 2013. "Applying Negishi's method to stochastic models with overlapping generations," 2013 Meeting Papers 1352, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Jose Ursua & Jon Steinsson & Emi Nakamura & Robert Barro, 2008. "Crises and Recoveries in an Empirical Model of Consumption Disasters," 2008 Meeting Papers 1089, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Yaz Terajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Cesaire Meh, 2008. "Aggregate and Welfare Effects of Redistribution of Wealth Under Inflation and Price-Level Targeting," 2008 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Miyazaki, Kenji & Saito, Makoto & Yamada, Tomoaki, 2010. "On The Intergenerational Sharing Of Cohort-Specific Shocks On Permanent Income," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(01), pages 93-118, February.
  5. Doepke, Matthias & Schneider, Martin, 2006. "Inflation as a Redistribution Shock: Effects on Aggregates and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 5939, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Labadie, Pamela, 1986. "Comparative Dynamics and Risk Premia in an Overlapping Generations Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 139-52, January.
  7. Karl Schmedders & Felix Kubler, 2012. "Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice, the Wealth Distribution and Asset Prices," 2012 Meeting Papers 536, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Barro, Robert, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 3208215, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Krueger, Dirk & Kubler, Felix, 2004. "Computing equilibrium in OLG models with stochastic production," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1411-1436, April.
  10. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, . "Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations," GSIA Working Papers 226, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  11. John Y. Campbell & Yves Nosbusch, 2007. "Intergenerational Risksharing and Equilibrium Asset Prices," FMG Discussion Papers dp589, Financial Markets Group.
  12. Attanasio, Orazio & Kitao, Sagiri & Violante, Giovanni L., 2007. "Global demographic trends and social security reform," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 144-198, January.
  13. Kamila Sommer & William Peterman, 2013. "How Well Did Social Security Mitigate the Effects of the Great Recession?," 2013 Meeting Papers 1150, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Matthias Doepke & Martin Schneider, 2006. "Inflation and the Redistribution of Nominal Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1069-1097, December.
  15. Huffman, Gregory W, 1987. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Asset Prices and Transaction Volume," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 138-59, February.
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