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Intergenerational risksharing and equilibrium asset prices

  • John Y. Campbell
  • Yves Nosbusch

In the presence of overlapping generations, markets are incomplete because it is impossible to engage in risksharing trades with the unborn. In such an environment the government can use a social security system, with contingent taxes and benefits, to improve risksharing across generations. An interesting question is how the form of the social security system affects asset prices in equilibrium. In this paper we set up a simple model with two risky factors of production: human capital, owned by the young, and physical capital, owned by all older generations. We show that a social security system that optimally shares risks across generations exposes future generations to a share of the risk in physical capital returns. Such a system reduces precautionary saving and increases the risk-bearing capacity of the economy. Under plausible conditions it increases the riskless interest rate, lowers the price of physical capital, and reduces the risk premium on physical capital.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24484/
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 24484.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:24484
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  1. John Y. Campbell & Yves Nosbusch, 2006. "Intergenerational Risksharing and Equilibrium Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 12204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  5. Marshall, John M. & Sonstelie, Jon & Gilles, Christian, 1987. "Money and redistribution : Revisionist notes on a problem of samuelson," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 3-23, July.
  6. John McHale, 1999. "The Risk of Social Security Benefit Rule Changes: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2007. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing in the Spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with Applications to Social Security Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 523-547, 08.
  8. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Dirk Krueger & Felix Kubler, 2003. "Pareto Improving Social Security Reform when Financial Markets are Incomplete?," NBER Working Papers 9410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Luis M. Viceira, 1999. "Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income," NBER Working Papers 7409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Andrew B. Abel, 2002. "The effects of a baby boom on stock prices and capital accumulation in the presence of Social Security," Working Papers 03-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  13. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
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  16. John Y. Campbell & João F. Cocco & Francisco J. Gomes & Pascal J. Maenhout, 2001. "Investing Retirement Wealth: A Life-Cycle Model," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 439-482 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942, March.
  18. Constantinides, G.M. & Donalson, J.B. & Mehra, R., 1997. "Junior Can't Borrow: A New Perspective on the Equity Premium Puzzle," Papers 97-24, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  19. Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Government debt and social security in a life-cycle economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 61-110, June.
  20. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  21. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2005. "Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle in the Presence of 'Trickle Down' Labor Income," NBER Working Papers 11247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  23. Stefano G. Athanasoulis, 2006. "Asset Prices and Consumption in a Model of Perpetual Youth," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 2835-2868, November.
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