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The Private Memory of Aggregate Shocks

  • Costa, Carlos Eugênio da
  • Luz, Vitor Farinha
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    We study constrained efficient aggregate risk sharing and its consequence for the behavior of macro-aggregates in a dynamic Mirrlees’s (1971) setting. Privately observed idiosyncratic productivity shocks are assumed to be independent of i.i.d. publicly observed aggregate shocks. Yet, private allocations display memory with respect to past aggregate shocks, when idosyncratic shocks are also i.i.d.. Under a mild restriction on the nature of optimal allocations the result extends to more persistent idiosyncratic shocks, for all but the limit at which idiosyncratic risk disappears, and the model collapses to a pure heterogeneity repeated Mirrlees economy identical to Werning [2007]. When preferences are iso-elastic we show that an allocation is memoryless only if it displays a strong form of separability with respect to aggregate shocks. Separability characterizes the pure heterogeneity limit as well as the general case with log preferences. With less than full persistence and risk aversion different from unity both memory and non-separability characterize optimal allocations. Exploiting the fact that non-separability is associated with state-varying labor wedges, we apply a business cycle accounting procedure (e.g. Chari et al. [2007]) to the aggregate data generated by the model. We show that, whenever risk aversion is great than one our model produces efficient counter-cyclical labor wedges.

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    Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 706.

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    Date of creation: 10 Jul 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:706
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    1. Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Luigi Pistaferri, 2006. "Household Heterogeneity and Real Exchange Rates," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001275, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Narayana Kocherlakota & Luigi Pistaferri, 2008. "Inequality and Real Exchange Rates," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 597-608, 04-05.
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    10. Ligon, Ethan & Thomas, Jonathan P & Worrall, Tim, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 209-44, January.
    11. Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Luigi Pistaferri, 2004. "Asset Pricing Implications of Pareto Optimality with Private Information," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000508, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. Casey Rothschild & Florian Scheuer, 2011. "Optimal Taxation with Rent-Seeking," NBER Working Papers 17035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jonathan Levin, 2002. "Multilateral Contracting And The Employment Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1075-1103, August.
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