Kurt Mitman, Dirk Krueger, Fabrizio Perri, 30 August 2016

Previous research found that income and wealth inequality had little impact on the aggregate dynamics of consumption, investment and output. This reinforced the idea that we can study downturns in the economy using representative agents. This column argues that household inequality affects both the depth of a recession and the welfare losses of those affected by it. Therefore we should explicitly measure and model household heterogeneity when we consider the impact of business cycle fluctuations and the welfare consequences of economic crises.

Alan KIrman, 14 November 2009

How will economic theory emerge from the global crisis? This column says that representative agent models and the efficient markets hypothesis are assumptions that have persisted too long in the face of empirical evidence. It argues that economic theory is due for an overhaul but fears that economists will resist such change.

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