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Income and Consumption Smoothing Among US States: Regions or Clubs?


  • Sørensen, Bent E
  • Yosha, Oved


We measure the amount of income insurance and cross-sectional consumption smoothing (lending and borrowing) achieved within subgroups of states, such as regions or clubs, e.g. the club of rich states. We find that there is as much income insurance between, as well as within, regions. By contrast, consumption smoothing occurs mainly within regions but not between regions, suggesting that capital markets transcend regional barriers while credit markets are regional in their nature. Smoothing within the club of rich states is accomplished mainly via capital markets whereas consumption smoothing is dominant within the club of poor states. The fraction of a shock to gross state product smoothed by the federal tax-transfer system is the same for various regions and other clubs of states. We calculate the scope for consumption smoothing within various regions and clubs, finding that most gains from risk sharing can be achieved within US regions. Since a considerable fraction of shocks to gross state product are smoothed within regions, we conclude that existing markets achieve a substantial fraction of the potential welfare gains from interstate income and consumption smoothing. Nonetheless, non-negligible welfare gains may be obtained from further improvement of risk sharing institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sørensen, Bent E & Yosha, Oved, 1997. "Income and Consumption Smoothing Among US States: Regions or Clubs?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1670, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1670

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Rodden & Erik Wibbels, 2010. "Fiscal Decentralization And The Business Cycle: An Empirical Study Of Seven Federations," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 37-67, March.
    2. Hess, Gregory D. & Shin, Kwanho, 2000. "Risk sharing by households within and across regions and industries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 533-560, June.
    3. Adriana Arreaza & Bent E. Sgrensen & Oved Yosha, 1999. "Consumption Smoothing through Fiscal Policy in OECD and EU Countries," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 59-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hess, Gregory D. & Shin, Kwanho, 2010. "Understanding the Backus-Smith puzzle: It's the (nominal) exchange rate, stupid," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 169-180, February.
    5. Stafano Athanasoulis & Eric van Wincoop, 1998. "Risksharing within the United States: what have financial markets and fiscal federalism accomplished?," Research Paper 9808, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. Herrmann, Sabine & Jochem, Axel, 2005. "Determinants of current account developments in the central and east European EU member states - consequences for the enlargement of the euro area," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,32, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    7. Herrmann, Sabine & Jochem, Axel, 2003. "Die internationale Integration der Geldmärkte in den mittel- und osteuropäischen Beitrittsländern: Abweichungen von der gedeckten Zinsparität, Kapitalverkehrskontrollen und Ineffizienzen des Finanzsek," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2003,07, Deutsche Bundesbank.

    More about this item


    Capital Markets; Consumption Smoothing; Credit Markets; Federal Government Insurance; Regional Risk Sharing; Welfare Gains;

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • 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
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General


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