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Unemployment, Aggregate Demand, and the Distribution of Liquidity


  • Russell Wong

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)

  • Guillaume Rocheteau

    (University of California, Irvine)

  • Zachary Bethune

    (University of Virginia)


We develop a New-Monetarist model of unemployment in which distributional considerations matter. Households who lack commitment are subject to both employment and expenditure risk. They self-insure by accumulating real balances and, possibly, claims on firms profits. The distribution of liquidity is endogenous and responds to idiosyncratic risks and monetary policy. Despite the ex-post heterogeneity our model can be solved in closed form in a variety of cases. We show the existence of an aggregate demand channel according to which the distribution of workers across employment states, and their incomes in those states, affects the distribution of liquid wealth and firms' profits. An increase in unemployment benefits or wages has a positive effect on aggregate demand and can lead to higher employment. Moreover, an increase in productivity has a multiplier effect on firms' revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Wong & Guillaume Rocheteau & Zachary Bethune, 2017. "Unemployment, Aggregate Demand, and the Distribution of Liquidity," 2017 Meeting Papers 760, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:760

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 175-202, January.
    2. Aleksander Berentsen & Guido Menzio & Randall Wright, 2011. "Inflation and Unemployment in the Long Run," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 371-398, February.
    3. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 507-569.
    4. Bewley, Truman, 1983. "A Difficulty with the Optimum Quantity of Money," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1485-1504, September.
    5. Marinescu, Ioana, 2017. "The general equilibrium impacts of unemployment insurance: Evidence from a large online job board," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 14-29.
    6. repec:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:152-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
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