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Household heterogeneity and real exchange rates

  • Narayana R. Kocherlakota
  • Luigi Pistaferri

Typical incomplete markets models in international economics make two assumptions. First, households are not able to fully insure themselves against country-specific shocks. Second, there is a representative household within each country, so that households are fully insured against idiosyncratic shocks. We assume instead that cross-household risk-sharing is limited within countries, but cross-country risk-sharing is complete. We consider two types of limited risk-sharing: domestically incomplete markets (DI) and private information-Pareto optimal (PIPO) risk-sharing. We show that the models imply distinct restrictions between the cross-sectional distributions of consumption and real exchange rates. We evaluate these restrictions using household-level consumption data from the United States and the United Kingdom. We show that the PIPO restriction fits the data well when households have a coefficient of relative risk aversion of around 5. The analogous restrictions implied by the representative agent model and the DI model are rejected at conventional levels of significance.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 372.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:372
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  1. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2001. "Optimal indirect and capital taxation," Staff Report 293, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Brandt, Michael W. & Cochrane, John H. & Santa-Clara, Pedro, 2001. "International Risk Sharing is Better Than You Think (or Exchange Rates are Much Too Smooth)," Working Papers 01-2, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  3. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2004. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000729, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Gianluca Benigno & Christoph Theonissen, 2006. "Consumption and Real Exchange Rates with Incomplete Markets and Non-Traded Goods," CEP Discussion Papers dp0771, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2005. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," NBER Working Papers 11185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Riccardo Colacito & Mariano Croce, 2005. "Risks For The Long Run And The Real Exchange Rate," 2005 Meeting Papers 794, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1994. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," NBER Working Papers 4795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Giancarlo CORSETTI & Luca DEDOLA & Sylvain LEDUC, 2003. "International Risk-Sharing and the Transmission of Productivity Shocks," Economics Working Papers ECO2003/22, European University Institute.
  10. Kocherlakota, Narayana & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2005. "Asset Pricing Implications of Pareto Optimality with Private Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 4930, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2007. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 487-534.
  12. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 631-649.
  13. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E Lucas, 2010. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2179, David K. Levine.
  14. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2002. "Can sticky price models generate volatile and persistent real exchange rates?," Staff Report 277, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Backus, David K. & Smith, Gregor W., 1993. "Consumption and real exchange rates in dynamic economies with non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 297-316, November.
  16. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-53, October.
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