Inferring labor income risk and partial insurance from economic choices
AbstractThis paper uses the information contained in the joint dynamics of individuals’ labor earnings and consumption-choice decisions to quantify both the amount of income risk that individuals face and the extent to which they have access to informal insurance against this risk. We accomplish this task by using indirect inference to estimate a structural consumption-savings model, in which individuals both learn about the nature of their income process and partly insure shocks via informal mechanisms. In this framework, we estimate (i) the degree of partial insurance, (ii) the extent of systematic differences in income growth rates, (iii) the precision with which individuals know their own income growth rates when they begin their working lives, (iv) the persistence of typical labor income shocks, (v) the tightness of borrowing constraints, and (vi) the amount of measurement error in the data. In implementing indirect inference, we find that an auxiliary model that approximates the true structural equations of the model (which are not estimable) works very well, with negligible small sample bias. The main substantive findings are that income shocks are not very persistent, systematic differences in income growth rates are large, individuals have substantial amounts of information about their income growth rates, and about one-half of income shocks are effectively smoothed via partial insurance. Putting these findings together, we argue that the amount of uninsurable lifetime income risk that individuals perceive is substantially smaller than what is typically assumed in calibrated macroeconomic models with incomplete markets.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 485.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-07-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2013-07-15 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-IAS-2013-07-15 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-IUE-2013-07-15 (Informal & Underground Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Smith, A A, Jr, 1993. "Estimating Nonlinear Time-Series Models Using Simulated Vector Autoregressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(S), pages S63-84, Suppl. De.
- Magnac & Robin & Visser, 1995.
"Analysing incomplete individual employment histories using indirect inference,"
153761, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
- Magnac, Thierry & Robin, Jean-Marc & Visser, Michael, 1995. "Analysing Incomplete Individual Employment Histories Using Indirect Inference," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(S), pages S153-69, Suppl. De.
- Sumru Altug & Robert Miller, .
"Household Choices in Equilibrium,"
University of Chicago - Population Research Center
87-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Li, Tong, 2010. "Indirect inference in structural econometric models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(1), pages 120-128, July.
- Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
- Alejandro Badel & Mark Huggett, .
"Interpreting Life Cycle Inequality Patterns as an Efficient Allocation: Mission Impossible?,"
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Alejandro Badel & Mark Huggett, 2010. "Interpreting life-cycle inequality patterns as an efficient allocation: mission impossible?," Working Papers 2010-046, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- Mark Huggett & Alejandro Badel, 2007. "Interpreting Life-Cycle Inequality Patterns asan Efficient Allocation: Mission Impossible?," Working Papers gueconwpa~07-07-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- Alejandro Badel & Mark Huggett, 2014. "Code and data files for "Interpreting Life Cycle Inequality Patterns as an Efficient Allocation: Mission Impossible?"," Computer Codes 12-119, Review of Economic Dynamics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Janelle Ruswick).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.