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Risksharing within the United States: what have financial markets and fiscal federalism accomplished?

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  • Stafano Athanasoulis
  • Eric van Wincoop

Abstract

We document aggregate income growth uncertainty at the state level, and the extent to which this uncertainty is reduced by risksharing through financial markets and federal fiscal policy. A methodology is adopted that is closely connected to the empirical growth literature. It does not rely on assumptions about a model or stochastic process of income. This is important because estimated gains from international risksharing have been found to be very sensitive to the assumed model or income process. We only make assumptions about the information set used to predict growth, which is sufficient (and necessary) to compute income growth uncertainty. Estimates of growth uncertainty for a representative state are obtained at horizons from one to twenty-six years from panel regressions of state income growth, in deviation from national growth, on variables in the information set. This "residual risk" can be fully diversified at a zero risk premium. We show that potential welfare gains from risksharing depend on a weighted average of the variance of residual risk at different horizons. Three measures of income are considered: gross state product, pre-tax state income, and disposable state income. The differences between the first two is associated with financial markets (net asset income), while the difference between the last two is associated with federal fiscal policy (federal taxes and transfers). At a 26-year horizon we find that 71% of potential welfare gains from risksharing have already been achieved; 60% through financial markets and 11% through federal fiscal policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Stafano Athanasoulis & Eric van Wincoop, 1998. "Risksharing within the United States: what have financial markets and fiscal federalism accomplished?," Research Paper 9808, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednrp:9808
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    Cited by:

    1. Hess, Gregory D. & Shin, Kwanho, 2000. "Risk sharing by households within and across regions and industries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 533-560, June.
    2. Faruk Balli & Syed Basher & Rosmy Jean Louis, 2012. "Channels of risk-sharing among Canadian provinces: 1961–2006," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 763-787, October.
    3. Melitz, Jacques & Zumer, Frederic, 1999. "Interregional and international risk-sharing and lessons for EMU," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 149-188, December.
    4. Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio & Sempere, Jaume, 2006. "A theoretical model of nations, regions and fiscal integration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 132-157, January.
    5. Frédéric Zumer & Jacques Mélitz, 2002. "Partage du risque dans l'Union européenne. Expériences interrégionales et internationales," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(5), pages 299-323.
    6. Fatas, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2001. "Government size and automatic stabilizers: international and intranational evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 3-28, October.
    7. Del Negro, Marco, 2002. "Asymmetric shocks among U.S. states," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 273-297, March.
    8. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2010. "How Much Does Household Collateral Constrain Regional Risk Sharing?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 265-294, April.
    9. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Bent E. Sørensen & Oved Yosha, 2003. "Risk Sharing and Industrial Specialization: Regional and International Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 903-918, June.
    10. Zahir, Antia & Djoudad, Ramdane & St-Amant, Pierre, 1999. "Canada’s Exchange Rate Regime and North American Economic Integration: The Role of Risk-Sharing Mechanisms," Staff Working Papers 99-17, Bank of Canada.
    11. Sebnem Kalemi-Ozcan & Bent E. Sorensen & Oved Yosha, 2000. "Risk Sharing and Sectoral Specialization: Regional and International Evidence," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1582, Econometric Society.
    12. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/762 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Davide Furceri, 2002. "Risk-sharing e architettura istituzionale delle politiche di stabilizzazione nell'UME: aspetti metodologici e verifica empirica," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 92(6), pages 175-210, November-.
    14. Lafrance, Robert & St-Amant, Pierre, 2000. "Les zones monétaires optimales," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 76(4), pages 577-612, décembre.
    15. Konrad Szelag, 2008. "A Single Fiscal Policy in the Euro Area: Vision or Utopia?," NBP Working Papers 46, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.

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    Keywords

    Fiscal policy ; Risk ; Financial markets;

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