IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bro/econwp/2004-08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Welfare Cost of Business Cycles When Markets Are Incomplete

Author

Abstract

This paper analyzes the welfare effects of business cycles when workers face uninsurable idiosyncratic labor income risk that has a cyclical component. In accordance with the recent literature, this paper assumes that eliminating business cycles amounts to integrating out aggregate shocks (the integration principle) and that idiosyncratic shocks and aggregate shocks are stochastically independent (the independence assumption). This paper provides two arguments why the previous literature has underestimated the welfare costs of business cycles. First, the welfare cost of business cycles are in general indeterminate, and the previous literature has only reported the lower bound that is consistent with the data. In a simple example calibrated to match the observed cyclical variations in displacement probabilities, the lower bound is .35 percent of average consumption and the upper bound is 1.39 percent (using log-utility). Second, the previous literature has only focused on cyclical variations in job displacement (unemployment) probabilities, but neglected cyclical variations in the average income loss of displaced workers. In a simple calibrated example, the introduction of cyclical variations in the average income loss of displaced workers increases the lower bound from .35 percent of average consumption to .94 percent and the upper bound from 1.39 percent to 1.89 percent (again for log-utility)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Tom Krebs, 2004. "Welfare Cost of Business Cycles When Markets Are Incomplete," Working Papers 2004-08, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2004-08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://economics.brown.edu/sites/g/files/dprerj726/files/papers/2004-08_paper.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Attanasio, Orazio P., 1999. "Consumption," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 741-812, Elsevier.
    3. 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.
    4. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    5. Gomes, Joao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sergio, 2001. "Equilibrium unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 109-152, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Human Capital Risk and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 709-744.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Alon Brav & George M. Constantinides & Christopher C. Geczy, 2002. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers and Limited Participation: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 793-824, August.
    11. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Growth and Welfare Effects of Business Cycles in Economies with Idiosyncratic Human Capital Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 846-868, October.
    12. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegul Sahin & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2009. "Revisiting the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 393-402, July.
    13. Krebs, Tom, 2004. "Testable implications of consumption-based asset pricing models with incomplete markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-2), pages 191-206, February.
    14. Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997. "The nature of precautionary wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
    15. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
    16. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
    17. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris I. & Yaron, Amir, 2001. "The welfare cost of business cycles revisited: Finite lives and cyclical variation in idiosyncratic risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1311-1339.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Tom Krebs, 2007. "Job Displacement Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 664-686, June.
    2. Tom Krebs, 2006. "Multi-Dimensional Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 640-658, October.
    3. Tom Krebs, 2002. "Growth & Welfare Effects of Business Cycles In Economies with Idiosyncratic Human Capital Risk," Working Papers 2002-31, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    4. Ricardo Reis, 2009. "The Time-Series Properties of Aggregate Consumption: Implications for the Costs of Fluctuations," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 722-753, June.
    5. Gadi Barlevy, 2005. "The cost of business cycles and the benefits of stabilization," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 29(Q I), pages 32-49.
    6. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Bianconi, Marcelo, 2005. "Welfare Gains From Stabilization In A Stochastically Growing Economy With Idiosyncratic Shocks And Flexible Labor Supply," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 321-357, June.
    7. Alisdair McKay & Tamas Papp, 2011. "Accounting for Idiosyncratic Wage Risk Over the Business Cycle," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-028, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    8. Gadi Barlevy, 2004. "The Cost of Business Cycles and the Benefits of Stabilization: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Tom Krebs & Pravin Krishna & William Maloney, 2010. "Trade Policy, Income Risk, and Welfare," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 467-481, August.
    10. Gadi Barlevy, 2004. "The Cost of Business Cycles Under Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 964-990, September.
    11. Mordecai Kurz, 2005. "Measuring the Ex-Ante Social Cost of Aggregate Volatility," Discussion Papers 04-006, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    12. Jung, Philip & Kuester, Keith, 2011. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for the welfare cost of business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1744-1768, October.
    13. Kyle Chauvin & David Laibson & Johanna Mollerstrom, 2011. "Asset Bubbles and the Cost of Economic Fluctuations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 233-260, August.
    14. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L., 2008. "Insurance and opportunities: A welfare analysis of labor market risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 501-525, April.
    15. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris I. & Yaron, Amir, 2001. "The welfare cost of business cycles revisited: Finite lives and cyclical variation in idiosyncratic risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1311-1339.
    16. Michał Gradzewicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2013. "Do We Really Need to Start From Scratch? Economic Theory on Economic Crises," Working Papers 2013-17, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    17. Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2008. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare," Working Papers 08-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    18. Ensar Yılmaz, 2014. "Welfare Costs of Business Cycles in Turkey," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 195-211, May.
    19. Acedański, Jan, 2016. "Youth unemployment and welfare gains from eliminating business cycles — The case of Poland," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 248-262.
    20. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae, 2003. "On the welfare gains of eliminating a small likelihood of economic crises: A case for stabilization policies?," Working Papers 03-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets

    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:bro:econwp:2004-08. 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: . General contact details of provider: .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Brown Economics Webmaster (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.