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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. Tsyvinski, A. & Golosov, M., 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," 2004 Meeting Papers 124, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1998. "Can sticky price models generate volatile and persistent real exchange rates?," Staff Report 223, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E. Lucas, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution With Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 427-453.
  4. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2004. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000729, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  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. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2001. "Optimal indirect and capital taxation," Working Papers 615, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Luigi Pistaferri, 2004. "Asset Pricing Implications of Pareto Optimality with Private Information," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000508, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Michael W. Brandt & John H. Cochrane & Pedro Santa-Clara, 2001. "International Risk Sharing is Better Than You Think (or Exchange Rates are Much Too Smooth)," NBER Working Papers 8404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola & Sylvain Leduc, 2008. "International Risk Sharing and the Transmission of Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 443-473.
  11. Gianluca Benigno & Christoph Thoenissen, 2004. " Consumption and Real Exchange Rates with Incomplete Markets and Non-traded Goods," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0405, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis, revised Dec 2006.
  12. Riccardo Colacito & Mariano M. Croce, 2011. "Risks for the Long Run and the Real Exchange Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 153 - 181.
  13. 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.
  14. David K. Backus & Gregor W. Smith, 1993. "Consumption and Real Exchange Rates in Dynamic Economies with Non-Traded Goods," Working Papers 1252, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
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