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On Money and Consumption
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Price Level Determination When Tax Payments Are Required in Money. We formalize the idea that the price level can be determined by a requirement that taxes be paid in money. We show that if households have to pay a money tax of a fixed real value and the money supply is constant, there is a unique stationary price level, and a continuum of non-stationary deflationary equilibria. The non-stationary equilibria can be excluded if we introduce an arbitrarily lax borrowing constraint. Thus, in the basic model, tax requirements can uniquely determine the price level. When money has liquidity value, tax requirements can exclude self-fulfilling hyperinflations.

The New Keynesian Transmission Mechanism: A Heterogeneous-Agent Perspective. We argue that a two-agent version of the standard New Keynesian model - where a "worker'' receives only labor income and a "capitalist'' only profit income - offers insights about how income inequality affects the monetary transmission mechanism. Under rigid prices, monetary policy has no effect on output as workers choose not to change their hours worked in response to wage movements. In the corresponding representative-agent model, in contrast, hours do rise after a monetary policy loosening due to a wealth effect on labor supply: profits fall, thus reducing the representative worker's income. If wages are rigid too, however, the monetary transmission mechanism is active and resembles that in the corresponding representative-agent model.

Consumption Dynamics under Time-varying Unemployment Risk. We argue that adjustment frictions for durable goods generate a powerful amplification channel from fluctuations in unemployment risk to aggregate consumption demand. First, we use survey data to document that durable expenditures react strongly to increased unemployment risk, while the effect on nondurable expenditures is indistinguishable from zero. Second, we propose and calibrate a buffer-stock savings model that includes adjustment frictions for durable goods. Although not targeted in the calibration, we find that the model reproduces the semi-elasticities of expenditures to unemployment risk estimated in the data. Using the model, we find that the inclusion of adjustment frictions raises the aggregate demand response of durable goods to fluctuations in perceived unemployment risk by approximately 200 percent. Moreover, upon experiencing an adverse risk shock, the responsiveness of aggregate demand for durable goods to the interest rate and transitory income shocks is dampened.

Consumption Dynamics under Time-varying Unemployment Risk: Evidence from Time Series Data. We investigate the relationship between consumption expenditures and unemployment risk using aggregate time series data for the US and ten EU countries. As a proxy for perceived unemployment risk, we use data on households' subjective expectations over the future unemployment rate. First, we employ a single-equation framework to test whether subjective unemployment expectations predict aggregate consumption growth when controlling for predicted aggregate income growth. Second, we exploit the timing of the survey interviews in relation to the publication of official statistics to isolate exogenous innovations to unemployment expectations in a small-scale vector autoregression. For the US, both methods suggest that there is a large effect of unemployment risk on aggregate consumption. For the ten EU countries, the evidence is mixed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Economics, Stockholm University , 2017. , p. 191
Series
Monograph series / Institute for International Economic Studies, University of Stockholm, ISSN 0346-6892 ; 93
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142164ISBN: 978-91-7649-780-7 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7649-781-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142164DiVA, id: diva2:1091531
Public defence
2017-06-16, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-22 Created: 2017-04-26 Last updated: 2017-05-15Bibliographically approved

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On Money and Consumption(7503 kB)102 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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