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Risk Sharing Within The United States: What Do Financial Markets And Fiscal Federalism Accomplish?

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  • Stefano G. Athanasoulis
  • Eric van Wincoop

Abstract

We measure income uncertainty at the level of U.S. states, and the extent to which it has been reduced through risksharing, using a method recently developed by Athanasoulis and van Wincoop (2000). Risk is measured as the standard deviation of state-specific income growth uncertainty, measured by using the error term of a regression of income growth on variables in the information set. Risk sharing is measured by the extent to which this standard deviation has been reduced through financial markets and federal fiscal policy. The advantage of this measure over the existing risk sharing literature is that the interpretation does not depend on many auxiliary assumptions. Our findings on the extent of risk sharing are insensitive to the only assumption we need to make, the variables that are in the information set. We find that the standard deviation of state-specific income growth uncertainty is reduced by less than half through financial markets and federal fiscal policy. We show that the extent of risk sharing would be much higher if agents held better diversified portfolios across the states. © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 83 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 688-698

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:83:y:2001:i:4:p:688-698

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Cited by:
  1. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R., 2002. "Research in emerging markets finance: looking to the future," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 429-448, December.
  2. Ho, Chun-Yu & Ho, Wai-Yip Alex & Li, Dan, 2010. "Consumption Fluctuations and Welfare: Evidence from China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1315-1327, September.
  3. Hepp, Ralf & von Hagen, Jürgen, 2009. "Fiscal Federalism in Germany: Stabilization and Redistribution Before and After Unification," CEPR Discussion Papers 7246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R. & Lundblad, Christian, 2006. "Growth volatility and financial liberalization," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 370-403, April.
  5. Michel A. Robe & Stephane Pallage, 2004. "The States vs. the states: On the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles in the U.S," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 164, Econometric Society.
  6. Furstenberg, George M. von, 2006. "Consumption smoothing across states and time: International insurance versus foreign loans," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-23, January.
  7. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011081 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Davide Furceri & Aleksandra Zdzienicka, 2013. "The Euro Area Crisis," IMF Working Papers 13/198, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R., 2003. "Emerging markets finance," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 3-56, February.
  10. George M. Korniotis & Alok Kumar, 2008. "Do behavioral biases adversely affect the macro-economy?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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