The implication of subsistence consumption for economic welfare

Qian Li, Myungkyu Shim, Yongheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using a subsistence consumption-augmented real business cycle model, we show that, for any given exogenous growth rates or parameter values, high initial subsistence levels increase the welfare cost of business cycles. This happens because subsistence consumption increases consumption volatility. Our finding suggests that eliminating economic fluctuations can be more beneficial to less-developed economies in which subsistence consumption is a high fraction of aggregate consumption. However, fast-growing economies exhibit a lower discrepancy of welfare costs between rich and poor countries, a result that also highlights the importance of growth-enhancing policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalEconomics Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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