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Code and data files for "Heterogeneous Risk Preferences and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles"

  • Sam Schulhofer-Wohl

    (Princeton University)

I study the welfare cost of business cycles in a complete-markets economy where some people are more risk averse than others. Relatively more risk-averse people buy insurance against aggregate risk, and relatively less risk-averse people sell insurance. These trades reduce the welfare cost of business cycles for everyone. Indeed, the least risk-averse people benefit from business cycles. Moreover, even infinitely risk-averse people suffer only finite and, in my empirical estimates, very small welfare losses. In other words, when there are complete insurance markets, aggregate fluctuations in consumption are essentially irrelevant not just for the average person -- the surprising finding of Lucas (1987) -- but for everyone in the economy, no matter how risk averse they are. If business cycles matter, it is because they affect productivity or interact with uninsured idiosyncratic risk, not because aggregate risk per se reduces welfare. (Copyright: Elsevier)

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Software component provided by Review of Economic Dynamics in its series Computer Codes with number 07-133.

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Programming language: Stata
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:ccodes:07-133
Contact details of provider: Postal: Marina Azzimonti, Department of Economics, Stonybrook University, 10 Nicolls Road, Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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