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Household heterogeneity and real exchange rates

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  • Narayana R. Kocherlakota
  • Luigi Pistaferri

Abstract

Typical incomplete markets models in international economics make two assumptions. First, households are not able to fully insure themselves against country-specific shocks. Second, there is a representative household within each country, so that households are fully insured against idiosyncratic shocks. We assume instead that cross-household risk-sharing is limited within countries, but cross-country risk-sharing is complete. We consider two types of limited risk-sharing: domestically incomplete markets (DI) and private information-Pareto optimal (PIPO) risk-sharing. We show that the models imply distinct restrictions between the cross-sectional distributions of consumption and real exchange rates. We evaluate these restrictions using household-level consumption data from the United States and the United Kingdom. We show that the PIPO restriction fits the data well when households have a coefficient of relative risk aversion of around 5. The analogous restrictions implied by the representative agent model and the DI model are rejected at conventional levels of significance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 372.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:372

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Keywords: Markets;

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  1. Michael W. Brandt & John H. Cochrane & Pedro Santa-Clara, 2001. "International Risk Sharing is Better Than You Think (or Exchange Rates are Much Too Smooth)," NBER Working Papers 8404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Gianluca Benigno & Christoph Thoenissen, 2004. " Consumption and Real Exchange Rates with Incomplete Markets and Non-traded Goods," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0405, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis, revised Dec 2006.
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  11. Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Luigi Pistaferri, 2007. "Asset Pricing Implications of Pareto Optimality with Private Information," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000701, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. David K. Backus & Gregor W. Smith, 1993. "Consumption and Real Exchange Rates in Dynamic Economies with Non-Traded Goods," Working Papers 1252, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  13. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1995. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1121-57, December.
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