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Intergenerational risksharing and equilibrium asset prices

  • Campbell, John Y.
  • Nosbusch, Yves

In the presence of overlapping generations, markets are incomplete because it is impossible to engage in risksharing trades with the unborn. In such an environment the government can use a social security system, with contingent taxes and benefits, to improve risksharing across generations. An interesting question is how the form of the social security system affects asset prices in equilibrium. In this paper we set up a simple model with two risky factors of production: human capital, owned by the young, and physical capital, owned by all older generations. We show that a social security system that optimally shares risks across generations exposes future generations to a share of the risk in physical capital returns. Such a system reduces precautionary saving and increases the risk-bearing capacity of the economy. Under plausible conditions it increases the riskless interest rate, lowers the price of physical capital, and reduces the risk premium on physical capital.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 54 (2007)
Issue (Month): 8 (November)
Pages: 2251-2268

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:54:y:2007:i:8:p:2251-2268
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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  1. John Y. Campbell & Yves Nosbusch, 2006. "Intergenerational Risksharing and Equilibrium Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 12204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Luis M. Viceira, 1999. "Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income," NBER Working Papers 7409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Robert J. Shiller, 1998. "Social Security and Institutions for Intergenerational, Intragenerational, and International Risk Sharing," JCPR Working Papers 43, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  7. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2007. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing in the Spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with Applications to Social Security Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 523-547, 08.
  8. George M. Constantinides & John B. Donaldson & Rajnish Mehra, 2002. "Junior Must Pay: Pricing the Implicit Put in Privatizing Social Security," NBER Working Papers 8906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2005. "Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle in the Presence of 'Trickle Down' Labor Income," NBER Working Papers 11247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Constantinides, G.M. & Donalson, J.B. & Mehra, R., 1997. "Junior Can't Borrow: A New Perspective on the Equity Premium Puzzle," Papers 97-24, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  11. John McHale, 2001. "The Risk of Social Security Benefit-Rule Changes: Some International Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 247-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Henning Bohn, 2001. "Retirement Savings in an Aging Society: A Case for Innovative Government Debt Management," CESifo Working Paper Series 494, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. John Y. Campbell & Joao F. Cocco & Francisco J. Gomes & Pascala J. Maenhout, 2000. "Investing Retirement Wealth? A Life-Cycle Model," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1896, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Stefano G. Athanasoulis, 2006. "Asset Prices and Consumption in a Model of Perpetual Youth," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 2835-2868, November.
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  16. Dirk Krueger & Felix Kubler, 2003. "Pareto Improving Social Security Reform when Financial Markets are Incomplete?," NBER Working Papers 9410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Henning Bohn, 2004. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing and Fiscal Policy," 2004 Meeting Papers 22, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Government Debt and Social Security in a Life-Cycle Economy," Working Papers 97-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  19. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  20. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  21. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  22. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942, March.
  23. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
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