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The wrong shape of insurance? What cross-sectional distributions tell us about models of consumption-smoothing

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  • Broer, Tobias

Abstract

This paper shows how two standard models of consumption risk-sharing - self-insurance through borrowing and saving and limited commitment to insurance contracts - replicate similarly well the standard, second-moment measures of insurance observed in US micro-data. A non-parametric analysis, however, reveals strongly contrasting and counterfactual joint distributions of consumption, income and wealth. Method of moments estimation shows how measurement error in consumption eliminates excessive skewness and concentration of consumption growth. Moreover, counterfactual non-linearities disappear at high estimated risk-aversion under self-insurance, but are a robust feature of limited commitment. Its "shape of insurance" thus argues strongly in favour of the self-insurance model.

Suggested Citation

  • Broer, Tobias, 2011. "The wrong shape of insurance? What cross-sectional distributions tell us about models of consumption-smoothing," CEPR Discussion Papers 8701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8701
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Yuzhe, 2013. "Characterization of a risk sharing contract with one-sided commitment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 794-809.
    2. Árpád Ábrahám & Sarolta Laczó, 2013. "Efficient Risk Sharing with Limited Commitment and Storage," Working Papers 697, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. repec:eee:jetheo:v:175:y:2018:i:c:p:624-651 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Röhrs, Sigrid & Winter, Christoph, 2015. "Public versus private provision of liquidity: Is there a trade-off?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 314-339.
    5. Tobias Broer & Marek Kapicka & Paul Klein, 2017. "Consumption Risk Sharing with Private Information and Limited Enforcement," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 170-190, January.
    6. Broer, Tobias, 2014. "Domestic or global imbalances? Rising income risk and the fall in the US current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 47-67.
    7. Tobias Broer & Tessa Bold, 2015. "Risk-Sharing in Village Economies Revisited," 2015 Meeting Papers 1232, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Xavier Mateos-Planas & Giulio Seccia, 2013. "Consumer Default with Complete Markets: Default-based Pricing and Finite Punishment," Working Papers 711, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    9. Thomas, Jonathan P. & Worrall, Tim, 2014. "Dynamic Relational Contracts under Complete Information," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-47, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Thomas, Jonathan P. & Worrall, Tim, 2018. "Dynamic relational contracts under complete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 624-651.
    11. Xavier Mateos-Planas & Giulio Seccia, 2014. "Consumer default with complete markets: default-based pricing and finite punishment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(3), pages 549-583, August.
    12. Tobias Broer & Marek Kapicka & Paul Klein, 2017. "Consumption Risk Sharing with Private Information and Limited Enforcement," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 170-190, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Limited Commitment; Risk Sharing; Wealth and Consumption Distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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