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Consumption, Stock Returns, and the Gains from International Risk-Sharing

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  • Karen K. Lewis
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    Abstract

    Standard theoretical models predict that domestic residents should diversify their portfolios into foreign assets much more than observed in practice. Whether this lack of diversification is important depends upon the potential gains from risk-sharing. General equilibrium models and consumption data tend to find that the costs are small, typically less than «% of permanent consumption. On the other hand, stock returns imply gains that are several hundred times larger. In this paper, I examine the reasons for these differences. I find that the primary differences are due to either: (a) the much higher variability of stocks, and/or (b) the higher degree of risk aversion required to reconcile an international equity premium. On the other hand, the significant differences do not arise treating stock returns as exogenous.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5410.

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    Date of creation: Jan 1996
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    Publication status: published as Lewis, Karen K. "Why Do Stocks And Consumption Imply Such Different Gains From International Risk Sharing?," Journal of International Economics, 2000, v52(1,Oct), 1-35.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5410

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    1. Shmuel Kandel & Robert F. Stambaugh, 1991. "Asset Returns and Intertemporal Preferences," NBER Working Papers 3633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J, 1997. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 170-80, March.
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    4. 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.
    5. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
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    7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
    8. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Evaluating Risky Consumption Paths: The Role of Intertemporal Substitutability," NBER Technical Working Papers 0120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Lewis, Karen K, 1996. "What Can Explain the Apparent Lack of International Consumption Risk Sharing?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 267-97, April.
    10. Epstein, Larry G., 1988. "Risk aversion and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-192, September.
    11. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1987. "Trade in Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 2403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
    13. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-26, May.
    15. Clarida, Richard H, 1990. "International Lending and Borrowing in a Stochastic, Stationary Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 543-58, August.
    16. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. Athanasoulis, Stefano G. & van Wincoop, Eric, 2000. "Growth uncertainty and risksharing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 477-505, June.
    2. Mirakhor, Abbas, 2007. "Islamic Finance and Globalization: A Convergence?," MPRA Paper 56026, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Auffret, Philippe, 2001. "An alternative unifying measure of welfare gains from risk-sharing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2676, The World Bank.
    4. Eric van Wincoop, 1998. "How big are potential welfare gains from international risksharing?," Staff Reports 37, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Olivia S. Mitchell & Zvi Bodie, . "A Framework for Analyzing and Managing Retirement Risks," Pension Research Council Working Papers 2000-4, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    6. Jean Imbs & Paolo Mauro, 2007. "Pooling Risk Among Countries," IMF Working Papers 07/132, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Pang, Ke, 2013. "Financial integration, nominal rigidity, and monetary policy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 75-90.
    8. Patrick F. Rowland & Linda L. Tesar, 2004. "Multinationals and the Gains from International Diversification," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 789-826, October.
    9. Okina, Kunio & Shirakawa, Masaaki & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 1999. "Financial Market Globalization: Present and Future," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 17(3), pages 1-40, December.
    10. Stefano G. Athanasoulis & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "World Income Components: Measuring and Exploiting Risk-Sharing Opportunities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1031-1054, September.
    11. Stafano Athanasoulis & Eric van Wincoop, 1998. "Risksharing within the United States: what have financial markets and fiscal federalism accomplished?," Research Paper 9808, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    12. M. Ayhan Kose & Kenneth Rogoff & Eswar Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "Effects of Financial Globalization on Developing Countries," IMF Occasional Papers 220, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Lee, Khang Min & Moyen, Nathalie, 2006. "Optimal liberalization of financial markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1319-1335, December.
    14. Luiz Fernando Rodrigues de Paula & Tiago Rinaldi Meyer & JoãoAdelino de Faria Júnior & Manoel Carlos de Castro Pires, 2011. "FinancialLiberalization, Economic Performance and Macroeconomic Stability inBrazil: an assessment of the recent period," Anais do XXXVII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 37th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 100, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    15. Iwata, Shigeru & Wu, Shu, 2009. "Stock market liberalization and international risk sharing," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 461-476, July.
    16. Cevdet Aydemir, A., 2008. "Risk sharing and counter-cyclical variation in market correlations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 3084-3112, October.

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