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Incomplete Markets, Transitory Shocks, and Welfare

  • Felix Kubler

    (Stanford University)

  • Karl Schmedders

    (Northwestern University)

Although equilibrium allocations in models with incomplete markets are generally not Pareto-efficient, it is often argued that quantitative welfare losses from missing assets are small when time horizons are long and shocks are transitory. In this paper, we use a computational analysis to show that even in the simplest infinite horizon model without aggregate uncertainty welfare losses can be substantial. Furthermore we show that in this model welfare losses from incomplete markets do not necessarily disappear when one considers calibrations of the model in which agent become very patient. We argue that when the economic model is calibrated to higher frequency data, the period persistence of negative income shocks must increase as well. In this case the welfare loss of incomplete markets remains constant even as agents' rate of time preference tends to one. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 747-766

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:4:y:2001:i:4:p:747-766
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  1. David K. Levine & William Zame, 1996. "Debt Constraints and Equilibrium in Infinite Horizon Economies with Incomplete Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1954, David K. Levine.
  2. Judd, Kenneth L. & Kubler, Felix & Schmedders, Karl, 2000. "Computing equilibria in infinite-horizon finance economies: The case of one asset," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(5-7), pages 1047-1078, June.
  3. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
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  8. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  9. Magill,Michael & Quinzii,Martine, 1992. "Infinite horizon,Incomplete markets," Discussion Paper Serie A 384, University of Bonn, Germany.
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  11. Michael Magill & Martine Quinzii, 2000. "Infinite horizon CAPM equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 103-138.
  12. Krusell, P & Smith Jr, A-A, 1995. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomic," RCER Working Papers 399, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  14. Wouter J. Denhaan, 2000. "The Importance Of The Number Of Different Agents In A Heterogeneous Asset-Pricing Model," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 349, Society for Computational Economics.
  15. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  16. Eric Van Wincoop, 1998. "How big are potential welfare gains from international risksharing?," Staff Reports 37, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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