IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecm/wc2000/1588.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing

Author

Listed:
  • Masao Ogaki

    (Ohio State University)

  • Qiang Zhang

    (Ohio State University)

Abstract

The relative risk aversion (RRA) coefficient of a household whose consumption is close to the subsistence level may be very high. For example, if consumption is exactly at the subsistence level, the household may not be willing to bear any risk. If this is the case, then the RRA coefficient must be a decreasing function of wealth for poor households. Therefore we should allow the possibility of decreasing RRA (DRRA) in testing the full risk sharing hypothesis. However, existing tests in the empirical literature are derived using preferences that exhibit either increasing or constant RRA even when they are applied to data containing low-income households. We therefore use a Hyperbolic Absolute Risk Aversion (HARA) utility, which implies increasing, constant, and decreasing RRA as special cases, to test full risk-sharing hypothesis. Using the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Crops Research Institute of the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) household level data sets, we find evidence in support of the DRRA hypothesis, along with evidence favoring full risk-sharing hypothesis at the village level, and evidence against the hypothesis at the inter-village level. When RRA is restricted to be constant, we replicate the previous results in the literature: reject the full risk-sharing hypothesis at both levels. Our tests, however, reject this restriction and favor DRRA in almost all cases. These results suggest that it is important to allow for DRRA in testing the full risk-sharing hypothesis when data containing low-income households are investigated.

Suggested Citation

  • Masao Ogaki & Qiang Zhang, 2000. "Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1588, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1588
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/RePEc/es2000/1588.pdf
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 539-591.
    3. Atkeson, Andrew & Ogaki, Masao, 1996. "Wealth-varying intertemporal elasticities of substitution: Evidence from panel and aggregate data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 507-534, December.
    4. Robert M. Townsend, 1995. "Consumption Insurance: An Evaluation of Risk-Bearing Systems in Low-Income Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 83-102, Summer.
    5. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1996. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints, and Portfolio Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 158-172, March.
    6. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
    7. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Binswanger, Hans P, 1993. "Wealth, Weather Risk and the Composition and Profitability of Agricultural Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 56-78, January.
    8. Altug, Sumru & Miller, Robert A, 1990. "Household Choices in Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 543-570, May.
    9. Hayashi, Fumio & Altonji, Joseph & Kotlikoff, Laurence, 1996. "Risk-Sharing between and within Families," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 261-294, March.
    10. Masao Ogaki & Andrew Atkeson, 1997. "Rate Of Time Preference, Intertemporal Elasticity Of Substitution, And Level Of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 564-572, November.
    11. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-976, October.
    12. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-956, October.
    13. Kessler, Denis & Wolff, Edward N, 1991. "A Comparative Analysis of Household Wealth Patterns in France and the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 249-266, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    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:ecm:wc2000:1588. 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: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.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.