IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bfr/banfra/521.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Term Structure of the Welfare Cost of Uncertainty

Author

Listed:
  • P. Lopez

Abstract

The marginal cost of aggregate fluctuations has a term structure that is a simple transformation of the term structures of equity and interest rates. I extract evidence from index option markets to infer a downward-sloping, volatile and procyclical term structure of welfare costs. On average, the gains from greater macroeconomic stability are large, especially in the short run. I estimate that at the margin the elimination of one-year ahead consumption risk is worth around 12 percentage points of additional growth; this number compares to a marginal cost of lifetime uncertainty of 2-3 percentage points. Over time, the term structure of welfare costs varies substantially, predictably and with a volatility that decreases with maturity. These empirical properties of the term structure of welfare costs cannot be easily captured by today's leading dynamic equilibrium models and therefore represent a puzzling piece of evidence with potentially important welfare implications.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Lopez, 2014. "The Term Structure of the Welfare Cost of Uncertainty," Working papers 521, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:521
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://publications.banque-france.fr/sites/default/files/medias/documents/working-paper_521_2014.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lettau, Martin & Wachter, Jessica A., 2011. "The term structures of equity and interest rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 90-113, July.
    2. Larry G. Epstein & Emmanuel Farhi & Tomasz Strzalecki, 2014. "How Much Would You Pay to Resolve Long-Run Risk?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2680-2697, September.
    3. Matthias Fleckenstein & Francis A. Longstaff & Hanno Lustig, 2014. "The TIPS-Treasury Bond Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(5), pages 2151-2197, October.
    4. Bekaert, Geert & Hoerova, Marie & Lo Duca, Marco, 2013. "Risk, uncertainty and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 771-788.
    5. Jules van Binsbergen & Michael Brandt & Ralph Koijen, 2012. "On the Timing and Pricing of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1596-1618, June.
    6. Mariano M. Croce & Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2015. "Investor Information, Long-Run Risk, and the Term Structure of Equity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 28(3), pages 706-742.
    7. D’Amico, Stefania & Kim, Don H. & Wei, Min, 2018. "Tips from TIPS: The Informational Content of Treasury Inflation-Protected Security Prices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 395-436, February.
    8. Cosmin L. Ilut & Martin Schneider, 2014. "Ambiguous Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2368-2399, August.
    9. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
    10. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2004. "Using Asset Prices to Measure the Cost of Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1223-1256, December.
    11. Ellison, Martin & Sargent, Thomas J., 2012. "Welfare cost of business cycles in economies with individual consumption risk," Research Discussion Papers 25/2012, Bank of Finland.
    12. Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 187-218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson & Robert Barro & José Ursúa, 2013. "Crises and Recoveries in an Empirical Model of Consumption Disasters," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 35-74, July.
    14. Ian Dew-Becker & Stefano Giglio, 2016. "Asset Pricing in the Frequency Domain: Theory and Empirics," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(8), pages 2029-2068.
    15. Eric T. Swanson, 2012. "Risk Aversion and the Labor Margin in Dynamic Equilibrium Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1663-1691, June.
    16. Massimiliano De Santis, 2007. "Individual Consumption Risk and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1488-1506, September.
    17. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Martin Uribe, 2011. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2530-2561, October.
    18. Barillas, Francisco & Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2009. "Doubts or variability?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2388-2418, November.
    19. Otrok, Christopher, 2001. "On measuring the welfare cost of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-92, February.
    20. David Backus & Mikhail Chernov & Stanley Zin, 2014. "Sources of Entropy in Representative Agent Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(1), pages 51-99, February.
    21. Greg Duffee, 2010. "Sharpe ratios in term structure models," Economics Working Paper Archive 575, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    22. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
    23. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert & Min Wei, 2008. "The Term Structure of Real Rates and Expected Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(2), pages 797-849, April.
    24. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 1999. "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 245-272, January.
    25. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    26. Borovička, Jaroslav & Hansen, Lars Peter, 2014. "Examining macroeconomic models through the lens of asset pricing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 183(1), pages 67-90.
    27. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1481-1509, August.
    28. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Jonathan H. Wright, 2012. "Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 331-367, June.
    29. Xavier Gabaix, 2012. "Variable Rare Disasters: An Exactly Solved Framework for Ten Puzzles in Macro-Finance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 645-700.
    30. Lars Peter Hansen & John C. Heaton & Nan Li, 2008. "Consumption Strikes Back? Measuring Long-Run Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 260-302, April.
    31. Berg, Tobias, 2010. "The term structure of risk premia: new evidence from the financial crisis," Working Paper Series 1165, European Central Bank.
    32. Leonid Kogan & Dimitris Papanikolaou, 2012. "Economic Activity of Firms and Asset Prices," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 361-384, October.
    33. Jin-Long Liu & Chia-Hui Huang & Chih-Hai Yang, 2013. "Technological Change, Job Risk, and Wage Premium: Evidence from Taiwan," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 51(2), pages 186-202, June.
    34. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
    35. Olesya V. Grishchenko & Jing-zhi Huang, 2012. "Inflation risk premium: evidence from the TIPS market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 2012.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Marfè, 2015. "Income Insurance and the Equilibrium Term-Structure of Equity," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 407, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. Pierlauro Lopez & David Lopez-Salido & Francisco Vazquez-Grande, 2018. "Risk-Adjusted Linearizations of Dynamic Equilibrium Models," Working papers 702, Banque de France.
    3. J. David Lopez-Salido & Francisco Vazquez-Grande & Pierlauro Lopez, 2015. "Macro-Finance Separation by Force of Habit," 2015 Meeting Papers 980, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Pier Lopez & J. David Lopez-Salido & Francisco Vazquez-Grande, 2015. "Nominal Rigidities and the Term Structures of Equity and Bond Returns," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-64, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare cost of business cycles; Macroeconomic priorities; Dividend strips; Return forecastability.;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:521. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael brassart). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bdfgvfr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.