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First Quarter 2015, 
Vol. 97, No. 1
Posted 2015-03-20

The Welfare Cost of Business Cycles with Heterogeneous Trading Technologies

The author investigates the welfare cost of business cycles in an economy where households have heterogeneous trading technologies. In an economy with aggregate risk, the different portfolio choices induced by heterogeneous trading technologies lead to a larger consumption inequality in equilibrium, while this source of inequality vanishes in an economy without business cycles. Put simply, the heterogeneity in trading technologies amplifies the effect of aggregate output fluctuation on consumption inequality. The welfare cost of business cycles is, therefore, larger in such an economy. In the benchmark economy with a reasonably low risk aversion rate, the business cycle cost is 6.49 percent per-period consumption for an average household when the model is calibrated to match the risk premium.