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Safety Traps

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Author Info

  • Kenza Benhima
  • Baptiste Massenot

Abstract

Fear of risk provides a rationale for protracted economic downturns. We develop a real business cycle model where investors with decreasing relative risk aversion choose between a risky and a safe technology that exhibit decreasing returns. Because of a feedback effect from the interest rate to risk aversion, two equilibria can emerge: a standard equilibrium and a "safe" one in which investors invest in safer assets. We refer to the dynamics of this second equilibrium as a safety trap because it is self-reinforcing as investors accumulate more wealth and show it to be consistent with Japan's lost decade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 12.04.

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Length: 41 pp. + figures and table
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:12.04

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
Email:
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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Related research

Keywords: decreasing relative risk aversion; reference consumption; business cycles; Japan's lost decade;

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References

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  1. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycles," Working Paper Series WP-99-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
  3. Kenza Benhima, 2008. "A Reappraisal of the Allocation Puzzle through the Portfolio Approach," EconomiX Working Papers 2008-27, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  4. Bryan S. Graham & Jonathan R. W. Temple, 2004. "Rich nations, poor nations: how much can multiple equilibria explain?," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp017, IIIS.
  5. Abel, A.B., 1990. "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation And Catching Up With The Joneses," Weiss Center Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  6. Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2009. "Fight Or Flight? Portfolio Rebalancing by Individual Investors-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 301-348, February.
  7. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  8. Holmstrom, B & Tirole, J, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Working papers 96-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and the Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-91, August.
  10. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2008. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1943-77, December.
  11. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "Public Debt as Private Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 382-88, May.
  12. Aart Kraay & Norman Loayza & Luis Servén & Jaume Ventura, 2000. "Country portfolios," Economics Working Papers 913, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  13. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "The 1990s in Japan: A Lost Decade," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 206-235, January.
  14. Campbell, John & Calvert, Lauren E. & Sodini, Paolo, 2009. "Fight or Flight? Portfolio Rebalancing by Individual Investors," Scholarly Articles 2617031, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Angeletos, George-Marios & Panousi, Vasia, 2009. "Revisiting the supply side effects of government spending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 137-153, March.
  16. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  17. Howitt, Peter & McAfee, R Preston, 1988. "Stability of Equilibria with Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 261-77, May.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Is a lost decade ahead?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-07-13 13:56:00
  2. [??]????
    by himaginary in himaginaryの日記 on 2012-07-13 07:00:00

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