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On the welfare gains of reducing the likelihood of economic crises

  • Satyajit Chatterjee
  • Dean Corbae

The authors seek to measure the potential benefit of reducing the likelihood of economic crises (defined as Depression-style collapses of economic activity). Based on the observed frequency of Depression-like events, they estimate this likelihood to be approximately one in every 83 years for the U.S. The welfare gain of reducing even this small probability of crisis to zero can range between 1.05 percent and 6.59 percent of annual consumption in perpetuity. These large gains occur because although the probability of entering a Depression-like state is small, once the state is entered it is highly persistent. The authors also find that for some calibrations of the model, uninsured unemployment risk contributes significantly to the size of the gains.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 0015.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0015
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  1. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
  2. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  3. Jones,L.E. & Manuelli,R.E. & Stacchetti,E., 1999. "Technology (and policy) shocks in models of endogenous growth," Working papers 9, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Jim Dolmas, 1998. "Risk Preferences and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 646-676, July.
  5. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B, 1999. "Non-falsified Expectations and General Equilibrium Asset Pricing: The Power of the Peso," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 607-35, October.
  6. Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets," NBER Working Papers 4719, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gadi Barlevy, 2000. "Evaluating the Costs of Business Cycles in Models of Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers 1287, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
  9. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2004. "Using Asset Prices to Measure the Cost of Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1223-1256, December.
  10. Chris Otrok, 1999. "On Measuring the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Virginia Economics Online Papers 318, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  11. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Evaluating Risky Consumption Paths: The Role of Intertemporal Substitutability," NBER Technical Working Papers 0120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," GSIA Working Papers 243, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  13. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-83, December.
  15. Darrel Cohen, 2000. "A quantitative defense of stabilization policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1988. "The equity risk premium: A solution?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 133-136, July.
  17. Romer, Christina, 1986. "Spurious Volatility in Historical Unemployment Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 1-37, February.
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