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Price Search, Consumption Inequality, and Expenditure Inequality over the Life Cycle

Bulent Guler (), Yavuz Arslan () and Temel Taskin ()

No 2017-015, CAEPR Working Papers from Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington

Abstract: In this paper, we incorporate price search decision into an otherwise standard life-cycle model withincomplete markets and an endogenous labor supply, differentiating consumption from expenditure. In our model, consumers can allocate part of their time to searching for low prices, and this leads to an endogenous price dispersion. We have three contributions. First, we analytically study the determinants of price search and its relation to consumption and expenditure inequalities in a static model. Second, we study quantitatively the role of price search in a dynamic version of the model. A plausible calibration implies that the life-cycle increase in the cross-sectional variance of log consumption is about 40 percent lower than the increase in the cross-sectional variance of log expenditure. Third, we show that price search provides an additional quantitatively significant partial insurance mechanism against adverse income shocks.

Keywords: Consumption inequality; price search; incomplete markets; life cycle models; partial insurance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D10 D91 E21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2016-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge and nep-mac
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https://caepr.indiana.edu/RePEc/inu/caeprp/CAEPR2017-015.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: PRICE SEARCH, CONSUMPTION INEQUALITY AND EXPENDITURE INEQUALITY OVER THE LIFE ‐CYCLE (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Price search, consumption inequality, and expenditure inequality over the life-cycle (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Price Search, Consumption Inequality, and Expenditure Inequality over the Life Cycle (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Price Search, Consumption Inequality, and Expenditure Inequality over the Life Cycle (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Price search, consumption inequality, and expenditure inequality over the life cycle (2011) Downloads
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