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Computing Dynamic Heterogeneous-Agent Economies: Tracking the Distribution

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  • Grey Gordon

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

Theoretical formulations of dynamic heterogeneous-agent economiestypically include a distribution as an aggregate state variable. This paperintroduces a method for computing equilibrium of these models by including a distribution directly as a state variable if it is finite-dimensional or a fine approximation of it if infinite-dimensional. The method accurately computes equilibrium in an extreme calibration of Huffman's (1987) overlapping-generations economy where quasi-aggregation, the accurate forecasting of prices using a small state space, fails to obtain. The method also accurately solves for equilibrium in a version of Krusell and Smith's (1998) economy wherein quasi-aggregation obtains but households face occasionally binding constraints. The method is demonstrated to be not only accurate but also feasible with equilibria for both economies being computed in under ten minutes in Matlab. Feasibility is achieved by using Smolyak's (1963) sparse-grid interpolation algorithm to limit the necessary number of gridpoints by many orders of magnitude relative to linear interpolation. Accuracy is achieved by using Smolyak's algorithm, which relies on smoothness, only for representing the distribution and not for other state variables such as individual asset holdings.

Suggested Citation

  • Grey Gordon, 2011. "Computing Dynamic Heterogeneous-Agent Economies: Tracking the Distribution," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-018, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:11-018
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Den Haan, Wouter J. & Rendahl, Pontus, 2010. "Solving the incomplete markets model with aggregate uncertainty using explicit aggregation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 69-78, January.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Computing Dynamic Heterogeneous-Agent Economies: Tracking the Distribution
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2011-07-22 18:21:27

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    Cited by:

    1. Judd, Kenneth L. & Maliar, Lilia & Maliar, Serguei & Valero, Rafael, 2014. "Smolyak method for solving dynamic economic models: Lagrange interpolation, anisotropic grid and adaptive domain," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 92-123.
    2. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Gordon, Grey & Guerrón-Quintana, Pablo & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan F., 2015. "Nonlinear adventures at the zero lower bound," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 182-204.
    3. repec:eee:macchp:v2-527 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Fernández-Villaverde, J. & Rubio-Ramírez, J.F. & Schorfheide, F., 2016. "Solution and Estimation Methods for DSGE Models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Numerical Solutions; Heterogeneous Agents; Projection Methods;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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