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Risk Aversion and the Labor Margin in Dynamic Equilibrium Models

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  • Eric T. Swanson

Abstract

The household's labor margin has a substantial effect on risk aversion, and hence asset prices, in dynamic equilibrium models even when utility is additively separable between consumption and labor. This paper derives simple, closed-form expressions for risk aversion that take into account the household's labor margin. Ignoring this margin can dramatically overstate the household's true aversion to risk. Risk premia on assets priced with the stochastic discount factor increase essentially linearly with risk aversion, so measuring risk aversion correctly is crucial for asset pricing in the model.

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  • Eric T. Swanson, 2012. "Risk Aversion and the Labor Margin in Dynamic Equilibrium Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1663-1691, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:4:p:1663-91
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boldrin, Michele & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Fisher, Jonas D.M., 1997. "Habit Persistence And Asset Returns In An Exchange Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 312-332, June.
    2. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-887, September.
    3. Ruediger Bachmann & Christian Bayer, 2009. "Firm-Specific Productivity Risk over the Business Cycle: Facts and Aggregate Implications," 2009 Meeting Papers 869, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    5. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
    6. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
    7. Eric T. Swanson & Gary S. Anderson & Andrew T. Levin, 2006. "Higher-order perturbation solutions to dynamic, discrete-time rational expectations models," Working Paper Series 2006-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    8. Alvarez, Fernando & Stokey, Nancy L., 1998. "Dynamic Programming with Homogeneous Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 167-189, September.
    9. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Behavior Towards Risk with Many Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 660-667, October.
    10. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
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