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The Macroeconomics of Subsistence Points

  • Morten O. Ravn
  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe
  • Martin Uribe

This paper explores the macroeconomic consequences of preferences displaying a subsistence point. It departs from the existing related literature by assuming that subsistence points are specific to each variety of goods rather than to the composite consumption good. We show that this simple feature makes the price elasticity of demand for individual goods procyclical. As a result, markups behave countercyclically in equilibrium. This implication is in line with the available empirical evidence.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11012.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Ravn, Morten, Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe and Martin Uribe. “The Macroeconomics of Subsistence Points.” Macroe-conomic Dynamics 12 (2008): 136-147.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11012
Note: EFG
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  1. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Mart�n Uribe, 2006. "Deep Habits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 195-218.
  2. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2007. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 227-270, 03.
  3. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1999. "The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies," Discussion Papers 1289, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  5. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 3206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Atkeson, A. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Wealth-Varying Intertemporal Elasticities of Substitution Evidence from Panel and Aggregate Data," RCER Working Papers 303, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Steger, Thomas M., 2000. "Economic growth with subsistence consumption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 343-361, August.
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