Measuring the cost of economic fluctuations with preferences that rationalize the equity premium
Lucas (2003) argues that the potential welfare gains from stabilizing the business cycle are small. In fact, he shows that the benefits of eliminating all economic fluctuations are small, especially when compared with the potential gains from other reforms. His estimates are obtained using standard preferences. I show that a model consistent with observed data on asset returns leads to very different conclusions. Calibrating preferences to observed asset market data raises the estimated welfare gains from completely eliminating aggregate fluctuations by approximately two orders of magnitude. Most of the gains, however, come from the elimination of low-frequency contributions.
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Volume (Year): 43 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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