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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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