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The Importance Of The Number Of Different Agents In A Heterogeneous Asset-Pricing Model

  • Wouter J. Denhaan

    (UCSD)

In this paper, I compare a two-agent asset-pricing model with the corresponding model with a continuum of agents. In a two-agent economy, interest rates respond to idiosyncratic income shocks because each agent represents half of the population. These interest rate effects facilitate consumption smoothing. An agent in a two-agent economy, however, can never lend more than the other agent is allowed to borrow, which prevents him from building a buffer stock of assets. For most parameter values, the first effect is more important. For some parameter values, the interest rate effects in the two-agent economy are so strong that a relaxation of the borrowing constraint reduces an agent's utility.In contrast to these differences, I find that for most parameter values there are no large differences in average interest rates across the two types of economies. In addition, I analyze the business cycle behavior of interest rates in an incomplete markets economy with a continuum of agents. The dynamic response of interest rates to aggregate shocks is a lot more complicated than the response in a complete markets economy and the magnitude of the response is bigger.

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 with number 349.

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Date of creation: 05 Jul 2000
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf0:349
Contact details of provider: Postal: CEF 2000, Departament d'Economia i Empresa, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Ramon Trias Fargas, 25,27, 08005, Barcelona, Spain
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  18. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
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  23. Den Haan, Wouter J, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Aggregate Uncertainty, and the Short-Term Interest Rate," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(4), pages 399-411, October.
  24. Zhang, Harold H., 2000. "Explaining bond returns in heterogeneous agent models: The importance of higher-order moments," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1381-1404, September.
  25. Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Life-Cycle Economies and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 465-89, July.
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