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Inequality and Aggregate Demand

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  • Adrien Auclert
  • Matthew Rognlie

Abstract

We explore the transmission mechanism of income inequality to output. In the short run, higher inequality reduces output because marginal propensities to consume are negatively correlated with incomes, but this effect is quantitatively small in the data and in our model. In the long run, the output effects of income inequality are small if inequality is caused by rising dispersion in individual fixed effects, but can be large if it is the manifestation of higher individual income risk. We formalize the connection between partial and general equilibrium effects, and show that the two are closely related under standard assumptions about the behavior of monetary policy. Our economy features a depressed long-run real interest rate, allowing us to quantify the potential contribution of income inequality to secular stagnation.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrien Auclert & Matthew Rognlie, 2018. "Inequality and Aggregate Demand," NBER Working Papers 24280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24280
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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