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When Inequality Matters for Macro and Macro Matters for Inequality

Author

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  • SeHyoun Ahn
  • Greg Kaplan
  • Benjamin Moll
  • Thomas Winberry
  • Christian Wolf

Abstract

We develop an efficient and easy-to-use computational method for solving a wide class of general equilibrium heterogeneous agent models with aggregate shocks, together with an open source suite of codes that implement our algorithms in an easy-to-use toolbox. Our method extends standard linearization techniques and is designed to work in cases when inequality matters for the dynamics of macroeconomic aggregates. We present two applications that analyze a two-asset incomplete markets model parameterized to match the distribution of income, wealth, and marginal propensities to consume. First, we show that our model is consistent with two key features of aggregate consumption dynamics that are difficult to match with representative agent models: (i) the sensitivity of aggregate consumption to predictable changes in aggregate income and (ii) the relative smoothness of aggregate consumption. Second, we extend the model to feature capital-skill complementarity and show how factor-specific productivity shocks shape dynamics of income and consumption inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • SeHyoun Ahn & Greg Kaplan & Benjamin Moll & Thomas Winberry & Christian Wolf, 2017. "When Inequality Matters for Macro and Macro Matters for Inequality," NBER Working Papers 23494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23494
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    Cited by:

    1. Ralph Luetticke, 2018. "Transmission of Monetary Policy with Heterogeneity in Household Portfolios," Discussion Papers 1819, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    2. Boppart, Timo & Krusell, Per & Mitman, Kurt, 2018. "Exploiting MIT shocks in heterogeneous-agent economies: the impulse response as a numerical derivative," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 68-92.
    3. Christian Bayer & Ralph Luetticke, 2019. "Shocks, Frictions, and Inequality in US Business Cycles," 2019 Meeting Papers 256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Klaus Adam & Henning Weber, 2019. "Optimal Trend Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(2), pages 702-737, February.
    5. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Samuel Hurtado & Galo Nuno, 2019. "Financial Frictions and the Wealth Distribution," PIER Working Paper Archive 19-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    6. Bayer, Christian & Rendall, Alan D. & Wälde, Klaus, 2019. "The invariant distribution of wealth and employment status in a small open economy with precautionary savings," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 17-37.
    7. Reiter, Michael, 2018. "Comments on “Exploiting MIT shocks in heterogeneous-agent economies: The impulse response as a numerical derivative” by T. Boppart, P. Krusell and K. Mitman," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 93-99.
    8. Anmol Bhandari & David Evans & Mikhail Golosov & Thomas J. Sargent, 2018. "Inequality, Business Cycles, and Monetary-Fiscal Policy," Working Papers 18-26, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    9. Moritz Drechsel-Grau & Fabian Greimel, 2018. "Falling Behind: Has Rising Inequality Fueled the American Debt Boom?," 2018 Meeting Papers 1032, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Ma, Qingyin & Stachurski, John & Toda, Alexis Akira, 2020. "The income fluctuation problem and the evolution of wealth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    11. KITAO Sagiri & YAMADA Tomoaki, 2019. "Dimensions of Inequality in Japan: Distributions of Earnings, Income and Wealth between 1984 and 2014," Discussion papers 19034, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Drechsel-Grau, Moritz & Greimel, Fabian, 2018. "Falling Behind: Has Rising Inequality Fueled the American Debt Boom?," Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181585, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Heinrichs, Katrin, 2019. "Income Distribution and Shock Transmission," Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203649, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Takeki Sunakawa, 2020. "Applying the Explicit Aggregation Algorithm to Heterogeneous Macro Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 55(3), pages 845-874, March.
    15. Kuhelika De & Ryan A. Compton & Daniel C. Giedeman & Gary A. Hoover, 2019. "Macroeconomic Shocks and Racial Labour Market Differences in the U.S," CESifo Working Paper Series 8004, CESifo.
    16. Michael Reiter, 2019. "Solving Heterogeneous Agent Models with Non-convex Optimization Problems: Linearization and Beyond %," 2019 Meeting Papers 1048, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Christian Bayer & Benjamin Born & Ralph Luetticke, 2020. "The Liquidity Channel of Fiscal Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 8374, CESifo.
    18. Adam, Klaus & Weber, Henning, 2017. "Optimal Trend Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12160, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Tsuboi, Mizuki, 2019. "Consumption, welfare, and stochastic population dynamics when technology shocks are (Un)tied," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 74-85.
    20. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920, August.

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    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • C0 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General
    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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