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Heterogeneity and Tests of Risk Sharing

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  • Sam Schulhofer-Wohl

Abstract

How well do people share risk? Standard risk-sharing regressions assume that any variation in households’ risk preferences is uncorrelated with variation in the cyclicality of income. I combine administrative and survey data to show that this assumption is questionable: Risk-tolerant workers hold jobs in which earnings carry more aggregate risk. The correlation makes risk-sharing regressions in the previous literature too pessimistic. I derive techniques that eliminate the bias, apply them to U.S. data, and find that the effect of idiosyncratic income shocks on consumption is practically small and statistically difficult to distinguish from zero.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 119 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 925 - 958

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/662720

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2009. "Why is Mobility in India so Low? Social Insurance, Inequality, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 14850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Earnings and Employment Risk," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 241-53, April.
  3. Susan Dynarski & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Can Families Smooth Variable Earnings?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 229-303.
  4. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2007. "Heterogeneity, Risk Sharing and the Welfare Costs of Risk," 2007 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Masao Ogaki & Qiang Zhang, 1998. "Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing," Working Papers 98-02, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 209-244.
  7. Maurizio Mazzocco & Shiv Saini, 2012. "Testing Efficient Risk Sharing with Heterogeneous Risk Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 428-68, February.
  8. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Consumption and Labor Supply with Partial Insurance: An Analytical Framework," NBER Working Papers 15257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L., 2008. "Insurance and opportunities: A welfare analysis of labor market risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 501-525, April.
  10. Pierre Dubois, 2000. "Consumption Insurance with Heterogeneous Preferences. Can Sharecropping Help Complete Markets?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1597, Econometric Society.
  11. Nelson, J.A., 1993. "On Testing for Full Insurance Using Consumer Expenditures Survey Data," Papers 93-02, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  12. Ahn, Seung Chan & Hoon Lee, Young & Schmidt, Peter, 2001. "GMM estimation of linear panel data models with time-varying individual effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 219-255, April.
  13. Kiefer, Nicholas M., 1980. "Estimation of fixed effect models for time series of cross-sections with arbitrary intertemporal covariance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 195-202, October.
  14. Aigner, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Jae Won Lee, 2012. "Aggregate Implications of Heterogeneous Households in a Sticky‐Price Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(1), pages 1-22, 02.
  2. Fatih Guvenen, 2011. "Macroeconomics with hetereogeneity : a practical guide," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 3Q, pages 255-326.
  3. Marco Cozzi, 2013. "Risk Aversion Heterogeneity, Risky Jobs and Wealth Inequality," 2013 Meeting Papers 842, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Daniel Pollmann & Thomas Dohmen & Franz Palm, 2013. "Robust Estimation of Wage Dispersion with Censored Data: An Application to Occupational Earnings Risk and Risk Attitudes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 572, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2012. "The nature of countercyclical income risk," Staff Report 476, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Krislert Samphantharak & Sam Schulhofer‐Wohl & Robert M. Townsend, 2014. "Heterogeneity and risk sharing in village economies," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 1-27, 03.
  7. Gang Sun, 2012. "Complete Markets Strikes Back: Revisiting Risk Sharing Tests under Discount Rate Heterogeneity," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201317, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, revised 26 Feb 2013.
  8. De Weerdt, Joachim & Hirvonen, Kalle, 2013. "Risk sharing and internal migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6429, The World Bank.
  9. repec:fip:fedreq:y:2011:i:3q:p:255-326:n:vol.97no.3 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Stéphane Bonhomme & Elena Manresa, 2012. "Grouped Patterns Of Heterogeneity In Panel Data," Working Papers wp2012_1208, CEMFI.
  11. Yamada, Tomoaki, 2014. "A note on risk sharing against idiosyncratic shocks and geographic mobility in Japan," MPRA Paper 54886, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Jae Won Lee, 2014. "Monetary Policy with Heterogeneous Households and Imperfect Risk-Sharing," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(3), pages 505-522, July.
  13. Luis Catão & Roberto Chang, 2013. "World Food Prices, the Terms of Trade-Real Exchange Rate Nexus, and Monetary Policy," IMF Working Papers 13/114, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Theodoros M. Diasakos, . "Comparative Statics of Asset Prices: the effect of other assets' risk," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201315, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, revised 08 Jan 2014.

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