Yulei Luo
Prof. Yulei LUO
Deputy Area Head of Economics

3910 3108

KK 733

Ambiguity, Low Risk-Free Rates, and Consumption Inequality

Macroeconomists failed to predict the Great Recession, suggesting that the existing macroeconomic models may have been misspecified. Bearing in mind this potential misspecification or “model uncertainty,” how do agents’ optimal decisions change? Furthermore, how large are the welfare costs of model misspecification? To shed light on these questions, we develop a tractable continuous-time general equilibrium model to show that a fear of model misspecification reduces both the equilibrium interest rate and the relative inequality of consumption to income, making the model’s predictions closer to the data. Our quantitative analysis shows that the welfare costs of model uncertainty are sizable.