Inferring labor income risk and partial insurance from economic choices
This paper uses the information contained in the joint dynamics of individuals’ labor earnings and consumption-choice decisions to quantify both the amount of income risk that individuals face and the extent to which they have access to informal insurance against this risk. We accomplish this task by using indirect inference to estimate a structural consumption-savings model, in which individuals both learn about the nature of their income process and partly insure shocks via informal mechanisms. In this framework, we estimate (i) the degree of partial insurance, (ii) the extent of systematic differences in income growth rates, (iii) the precision with which individuals know their own income growth rates when they begin their working lives, (iv) the persistence of typical labor income shocks, (v) the tightness of borrowing constraints, and (vi) the amount of measurement error in the data. In implementing indirect inference, we find that an auxiliary model that approximates the true structural equations of the model (which are not estimable) works very well, with negligible small sample bias. The main substantive findings are that income shocks are not very persistent, systematic differences in income growth rates are large, individuals have substantial amounts of information about their income growth rates, and about one-half of income shocks are effectively smoothed via partial insurance. Putting these findings together, we argue that the amount of uninsurable lifetime income risk that individuals perceive is substantially smaller than what is typically assumed in calibrated macroeconomic models with incomplete markets.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (612) 204-5000
Web page: http://minneapolisfed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/pubs/ Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Smith, A A, Jr, 1993. "Estimating Nonlinear Time-Series Models Using Simulated Vector Autoregressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(S), pages S63-84, Suppl. De.
- Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
- Li, Tong, 2010. "Indirect inference in structural econometric models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(1), pages 120-128, July.
- Magnac & Robin & Visser, 1995.
"Analysing incomplete individual employment histories using indirect inference,"
153761, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
- Magnac, Thierry & Robin, Jean-Marc & Visser, Michael, 1995. "Analysing Incomplete Individual Employment Histories Using Indirect Inference," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(S), pages S153-69, Suppl. De.
- Sumru Altug & Robert A. Miller, 1987.
"Household choices in equilibrium,"
341, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Sumru Altug & Robert Miller, . "Household Choices in Equilibrium," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:485. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Janelle Ruswick)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.