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Disaster Risk and Business Cycles

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  • Francois Gourio

Abstract

Motivated by the evidence that risk premia are large and countercyclical, this paper studies a tractable real business cycle model with a small risk of economic disaster, such as the Great Depression. An increase in disaster risk leads to a decline of employment, output, investment, stock prices, and interest rates, and an increase in the expected return on risky assets. The model matches well data on quantities, asset prices, and particularly the relations between quantities and prices, suggesting that variation in aggregate risk plays a significant role in some business cycles. (JEL E13, E32, E44, G32)

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  • Francois Gourio, 2012. "Disaster Risk and Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2734-2766, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:6:p:2734-66
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    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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