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Intergenerational Redistribution in the Great Recession

  • Jose-Victor Rios Rull

    (Minnesota)

  • Jonathan Heathcote

    (Minneapolis FED)

  • Dirk Krueger

    (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

  • Andy Glover

    (Minnesota)

We construct stochastic overlapping-generations general equilibrium models in which households are subject to aggregate shocks that affect both wages and asset prices. We use a calibrated version of the model to quantify how the welfare costs of severe recessions are distributed across different age groups. The model predicts that younger cohorts fare better than older cohorts when the equilibrium decline in asset prices is large relative to the decline in wages. Asset price declines hurt the old, who rely on asset sales to finance consumption, but benefit the young, who purchase assets at depressed prices. In our preferred calibration, asset prices decline more than twice as much as wages, consistently with the experience of the US economy in the Great Recession. A model recession is approximately welfare-neutral for households in the 20-29 age group, but translates into a large welfare loss of around 10 percent of lifetime consumption for households aged 70 and over.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 141.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:141
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. Nosbusch, Yves & Campbell, John, 2007. "Intergenerational Risksharing and Equilibrium Asset Prices," Scholarly Articles 3196340, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson & Robert Barro & José Ursúa, 2013. "Crises and Recoveries in an Empirical Model of Consumption Disasters," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 35-74, July.
  3. Doepke, Matthias & Schneider, Martin, 2006. "Inflation as a Redistribution Shock: Effects on Aggregates and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 5939, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Yaz Terajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Cesaire Meh, 2008. "Aggregate and Welfare Effects of Redistribution of Wealth Under Inflation and Price-Level Targeting," 2008 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Attanasio, Orazio & Kitao, Sagiri & Violante, Giovanni L., 2007. "Global demographic trends and social security reform," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 144-198, January.
  6. Barro, Robert, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 3208215, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Huffman, Gregory W, 1987. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Asset Prices and Transaction Volume," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 138-59, February.
  8. Labadie, Pamela, 1986. "Comparative Dynamics and Risk Premia in an Overlapping Generations Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 139-52, January.
  9. Felix KUBLER & Karl SCHMEDDERS, 2010. "Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice, the Wealth Distribution and Asset Prices," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 10-21, Swiss Finance Institute.
  10. Kamila Sommer & William Peterman, 2013. "How Well Did Social Security Mitigate the Effects of the Great Recession?," 2013 Meeting Papers 1150, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Felix Kubler & Johannes Brumm, 2013. "Applying Negishi's method to stochastic models with overlapping generations," 2013 Meeting Papers 1352, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations," Seminar Papers 703, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  13. Krueger, Dirk & Kubler, Felix, 2004. "Computing equilibrium in OLG models with stochastic production," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1411-1436, April.
  14. Miyazaki, Kenji & Saito, Makoto & Yamada, Tomoaki, 2010. "On The Intergenerational Sharing Of Cohort-Specific Shocks On Permanent Income," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(01), pages 93-118, February.
  15. Matthias Doepke & Martin Schneider, 2006. "Inflation and the Redistribution of Nominal Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1069-1097, December.
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