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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 where 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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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 462.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:462

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  1. Dubois, P., 2001. "Consumption insurance with heterogeneous preferences. Can sharecropping help complete markets ?," Economics Working Paper Archive (Toulouse) 25, French Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA), Economics Laboratory in Toulouse (ESR Toulouse).
  2. 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.
  3. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2007. "Insurance and Opportunities: A Welfare Analysis of Labor Market Risk," NBER Working Papers 13673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Nelson, J.A., 1993. "On Testing for Full Insurance Using Consumer Expenditures Survey Data," Papers 93-02, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  7. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Consumption and labor supply with partial insurance: an analytical framework," Staff Report 432, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Ogaki, Masao & Zhang, Qiang, 2001. "Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 515-26, March.
  9. 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.
  10. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2007. "Heterogeneity, Risk Sharing and the Welfare Costs of Risk," 2007 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Jae Won Lee, 2011. "Aggregate Implications of Heterogeneous Households in a Sticky-Price Model," Departmental Working Papers 201132, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. De Weerdt, Joachim & Hirvonen, Kalle, 2013. "Risk sharing and internal migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6429, The World Bank.
  4. Yamada, Tomoaki, 2014. "A note on risk sharing against idiosyncratic shocks and geographic mobility in Japan," MPRA Paper 54886, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2014. "The Nature of Countercyclical Income Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 621 - 660.
  6. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Krislert Samphantharak & Sam Schulhofer-Wohl & Robert Townsend, 2013. "Heterogeneity and risk sharking in village economies," Staff Report 483, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Stéphane Bonhomme & Elena Manresa, 2012. "Grouped Patterns Of Heterogeneity In Panel Data," Working Papers wp2012_1208, CEMFI.
  8. Marco Cozzi, 2012. "Risk Aversion Heterogeneity, Risky Jobs and Wealth Inequality," Working Papers 1286, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. repec:fip:fedreq:y:2011:i:3q:p:255-326:n:vol.97no.3 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. 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.
  11. Fatih Guvenen, 2011. "Macroeconomics With Heterogeneity: A Practical Guide," NBER Working Papers 17622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. 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.
  14. 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.

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