Income Risk, Consumption Inequality, and
Macroeconomy in Japan

Tomoaki Yamada

March 2009


In this paper, using an OLG model with heterogeneous households, we investigate economic inequality in the recent decades in Japan. We decompose the causes of economic inequality into macroeconomic factors and a demographic factor, and demonstrate that the earning inequality in the model replicates the actual evolution of inequality in Japan. Based on a counterfactual simulation, we demonstrate that time-varying macroeconomic factors play an important role in the evolution of economic inequality. In particular, we show that the low growth rate of total factor productivity in the 1990s in Japan limited the dispersion of economic inequality.

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