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Risk sharing, investment, and incentives in the neoclassical growth model

  • Emilio Espino
  • Juan M. Sanchez

We first study growth and risk sharing in a stochastic growth model with preference shocks and two risk-averse agents. In periods in which one of the agents needs extra consumption (insurance), it is socially optimal to reduce the consumption of the other agent (redistribution) and also to accumulate fewer resources for the future (disinvestment). The latter hurts growth while the former only affects the distribution of aggregate consumption. Then, to analyze if information matters, we study if the same allocation would be implementable under private information. We find that it depends on the state of the economy. The provision of insurance that is implemented by reducing capital accumulation deteriorates the prospects of all agents in the economy and thus helps to alleviate informational frictions. The size of redistribution versus disinvestment and the outlook of economic growth at the time of disinvestment affects the possibilities of implementing the best possible allocation when the preference shock is private information. Therefore, we conjecture that under private information the best allocation compatible with incentives would tend to hurt growth and to concentrate resources in agents with private information in order to provide incentives to report the shock truthfully.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its journal Economic Quarterly.

Volume (Year): (2010)
Issue (Month): 4Q ()
Pages: 399-416

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2010:i:4q:p:399-416:n:v.96no.4
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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Sanchez, Juan M & Wang, Cheng, 2007. "Financing Development: The Role of Information Costs," Staff General Research Papers 12848, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Khan, A. & Ravikumar, B., 1997. "Growth and Risk-Sharing with Private Information," Working Papers 97-13, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  3. Wang, C., 1995. "Incentives, CEO Compensation, and Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model," GSIA Working Papers 1995-08, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. Jeremy Greenwood & Juan M. Sanchez & Cheng Wang, 2010. "Quantifying the impact of financial development on economic development," Working Paper 10-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  5. Pablo F Beker & Emilio Espino, 2007. "The Dynamics of Efficient Asset Trading with Heterogeneous Beliefs," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001715, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
  7. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  8. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S223-50, January.
  9. Espino, Emilio, 2005. "On Ramsey's conjecture: efficient allocations in the neoclassical growth model with private information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 192-213, April.
  10. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
  11. Sorger, Gerhard, 2002. "On the Long-Run Distribution of Capital in the Ramsey Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 226-243, July.
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