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When does heterogeneity matter?

  • Yi Wen
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How do movements in the distribution of income affect the macroeconomy? Krusell and Smith (1998) analyzed this question in a neoclassical growth model, and their results show that the representative-agent assumption provides a good approximation for aggregate behaviors of heterogeneous agents. This paper extends their analysis to a cash-in-advance model with heterogeneous money demand. It is shown that movements in the distribution of monetary income can have significant impact on the macroeconomy. For example, the dynamic responses of aggregate output to monetary shocks behave very differently from those of a representative agent; the welfare costs of moderate inflation are much higher than previously thought, up to 20% of consumption when the inequality of cash distribution is sufficiently large. This is in sharp contrast to the findings of Cooley and Hansen (1989) and Lucas (2000) based on representative-agent models.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2009-024.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2009-024
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  2. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1985. "Money and Interest in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," NBER Working Papers 1618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  7. Attanasio, Orazio & Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 1998. "The Demand for Money, Financial Innovation and the Welfare Cost of Inflation: An Analysis with Households' Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 1927, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  14. Robert J. Hodrick & Narayana Kocherlakota & Deborah Lucas, 1989. "The Variability of Velocity in Cash-In-Advance Models," NBER Working Papers 2891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Inflation and Welfare in the Steady State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 561-77, June.
  19. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-83, December.
  20. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Chris Edmond, 2003. "On the Sluggish Response of Prices to Money in an Inventory-Theoretic Model of Money Demand," NBER Working Papers 10016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Michael Dotsey & Peter N. Ireland, 1994. "The welfare cost of inflation in general equilibrium," Working Paper 94-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
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  23. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  24. Chiu, Jonathan, 2014. "Endogenously Segmented Asset Market In An Inventory-Theoretic Model Of Money Demand," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(02), pages 438-472, March.
  25. Carlos E. da Costa & Iván Werning, 2008. "On the Optimality of the Friedman Rule with Heterogeneous Agents and Nonlinear Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 82-112, 02.
  26. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-20, April.
  27. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  28. Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The welfare cost of inflation under imperfect insurance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 79-91, January.
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  30. Makoto Nirei & Wataru Souma, 2007. "A Two Factor Model Of Income Distribution Dynamics," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(3), pages 440-459, 09.
  31. Grossman, Sanford & Weiss, Laurence, 1983. "A Transactions-Based Model of the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 871-80, December.
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