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Welfare Cost of Business Cycles in Economies with Individual Consumption Risk

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Ellison

    () (University of Oxford)

  • Thomas J. Sargent

    () (New York University)

Abstract

The welfare cost of random consumption fluctuations is known from De Santis (2007) to be increasing in the level of individual consumption risk in the economy. It is also known from Barillas et al. (2009) to increase if agents in the economy care about robustness to model misspecification. In this paper, we combine these two effects and calculate the cost of business cycles in an economy with consumers who face individual consumption risk and who fear model misspecification. We find that individual risk has a greater impact on the cost of business cycles if agents already have a preference for robustness. Correspondingly, we find that endowing agents with concerns about a preference for robustness is more costly if there is already individual risk in the economy. The combined effect exceeds the sum of the individual effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Ellison & Thomas J. Sargent, 2014. "Welfare Cost of Business Cycles in Economies with Individual Consumption Risk," Working Papers 2014-9, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
  • Handle: RePEc:bok:wpaper:1409
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-240, April.
    2. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
    3. Pascal J. Maenhout, 2004. "Robust Portfolio Rules and Asset Pricing," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(4), pages 951-983.
    4. 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.
    5. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J. & Wang, Neng E., 2002. "Robust Permanent Income And Pricing With Filtering," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 40-84, February.
    6. Thomas J. Sargent & LarsPeter Hansen, 2001. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 60-66, May.
    7. Beaudry, Paul & Pages, Carmen, 2001. "The cost of business cycles and the stabilization value of unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1545-1572, August.
    8. Anderson, Evan W. & Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2012. "Small noise methods for risk-sensitive/robust economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 468-500.
    9. 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.
    10. Barillas, Francisco & Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2009. "Doubts or variability?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2388-2418, November.
    11. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J. & Turmuhambetova, Gauhar & Williams, Noah, 2006. "Robust control and model misspecification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 45-90, May.
    12. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. P. Lopez, 2014. "The Term Structure of the Welfare Cost of Uncertainty," Working papers 521, Banque de France.
    2. Rabitsch, Katrin & Stepanchuk, Serhiy & Tsyrennikov, Viktor, 2015. "International portfolios: A comparison of solution methods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 404-422.
    3. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric, 2015. "Robust Permanent Income in General Equilibrium," MPRA Paper 63985, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Pierlauro Lopez, 2016. "Welfare Implications of the Term Structure of Returns: Should Central Banks Fill Gaps or Remove Volatility?," 2016 Meeting Papers 742, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Jang-Ok Cho & Thomas Cooley & Hyung Seok Kim, 2015. "Business Cycle Uncertainty and Economic Welfare," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 185-200, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cost of Business Cycles; Idiosyncratic Risk; Model Uncertainty; Robustness;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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