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Consumption Inequality and Discount Rate Heterogeneity

  • Gang Sun

    ()

    (University of St Andrews)

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Although standard incomplete market models can account for the magnitude of the rise in consumption inequality over the life cycle, they generate unrealistically concave age profiles of consumption inequality and unrealistically less wealth inequality. In this paper, I investigate the role of discount rate heterogeneity on consumption inequality in the context of incomplete market life cycle models. The distribution of discount rates is estimated using moments from the wealth distribution. I find that the model with heterogeneous income profiles (HIP) and discount rate heterogeneity can successfully account for the empirical age profile of consumption inequality, both in its magnitude and in its non-concave shape. Generating realistic wealth inequality, this simulated model also highlights the importance of ex ante heterogeneities as main sources of life time inequality.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews in its series Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics with number 201318.

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Handle: RePEc:san:wpecon:1318
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  7. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sun, Gang, 2013. "Complete Markets Strikes Back: Revisiting Risk Sharing Tests under Discount Rate Heterogeneity," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-96, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  9. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1998. "Consumption Inequality and Income Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 603-640.
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  18. Gang Sun, . "Complete Markets Strikes Back: Revisiting Risk Sharing Tests under Discount Rate Heterogeneity," CDMA Working Paper Series 201310, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  19. Sule Alan & Martin Browning, 2003. "Estimating Intertemporal Allocation Parameters using Simulated Residual Estimation," CAM Working Papers 2003-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
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