Expectation and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy

Alexandre Kohlhas (Oxford)

March 21, 2023, 11:30–12:30

BDF, Paris

Room 5 Espace Conference & Online

Séminaire Banque de France


We document systematic differences in macroeconomic expectations across U.S. households and rationalize our findings with a theory of information choice. We embed this theory into an incomplete-markets model with aggregate risk. Our model is quantitatively consistent with the pattern of expectation heterogeneity in the data. Relative to a full-information counterpart, our model implies substantially increased macroeconomic volatility and inequality. We show through the example of a wealth tax that neglecting the information channel leads to erroneous conclusions about the effects of macroeconomic policies. While in the model without information choice a wealth tax reduces wealth inequality, in our framework it reduces information acquired in the economy, leading to increased volatility and higher top-end wealth inequality in equilibrium.


Expectations; heterogeneity; information;

JEL codes

  • D84: Expectations • Speculations
  • E21: Consumption • Saving • Wealth
  • E27: Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
  • E63: Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy • Stabilization • Treasury Policy