A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion
AbstractThis paper develops a method of estimating the coefficient of relative risk aversion (g) from data on labor supply. The main result is that existing estimates of labor supply elasticities place a tight bound on g, without any assumptions beyond those of expected utility theory. It is shown that the curvature of the utility function is directly related to the ratio of the income elasticity of labor supply to the wage elasticity, holding fixed the degree of complementarity between consumption and leisure. The degree of complementarity can in turn be inferred from data on consumption choices when employment is stochastic. Using a large set of existing estimates of wage and income elasticities, I find a mean estimate of g = 1. I also give a calibration argument showing that a positive uncompensated wage elasticity, as found in most studies of labor supply, implies g
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9988.
Date of creation: Sep 2003
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Other versions of this item:
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-07-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-CFN-2004-07-18 (Corporate Finance)
- NEP-FIN-2004-07-18 (Finance)
- NEP-MIC-2003-09-28 (Microeconomics)
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- Matthew Rabin, 2000.
"Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem,"
Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
- Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risk Aversion and Expected Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7667, David K. Levine.
- Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt731230f8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Economics Working Papers E00-279, University of California at Berkeley.
- Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0012001, EconWPA.
- Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998.
"Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches,"
IFS Working Papers
W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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