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Quantitative Macroeconomics with Heterogeneous Households

  • Jonathan Heathcote
  • Kjetil Storesletten
  • Giovanni L. Violante

Macroeconomics is evolving from the study of aggregate dynamics to the study of the dynamics of the entire equilibrium distribution of allocations across individual economic actors. This article reviews the quantitative macroeconomic literature that focuses on household heterogeneity, with a special emphasis on the "standard" incomplete markets model. We organize the vast literature according to three themes that are central to understanding how inequality matters for macroeconomics. First, what are the most important sources of individual risk and cross-sectional heterogeneity? Second, what are individuals' key channels of insurance? Third, how does idiosyncratic risk interact with aggregate risk?

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14768.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Publication status: published as Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Quantitative Macroeconomics with Heterogeneous Households," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 319-354, 05.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14768
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