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Competitive Risk Sharing Contracts with One-Sided Commitment

  • Dirk Krueger
  • Harald Uhlig

This paper analyzes dynamic equilibrium risk sharing contracts between profit-maximizing intermediaries and a large pool of ex-ante identical agents that face idiosyncratic income uncertainty that makes them heterogeneous ex-post. In any given period, after having observed her income, the agent can walk away from the contract, while the intermediary cannot, i.e. there is one-sided commitment. We consider the extreme scenario that the agents face no costs to walking away, and can sign up with any competing intermediary without any reputational losses. We demonstrate that not only autarky, but also partial and full insurance can obtain, depending on the relative patience of agents and financial intermediaries. Insurance can be provided because in an equilibrium contract an up-front payment effectively locks in the agent with an intermediary. We then show that our contract economy is equivalent to a consumption-savings economy with one-period Arrow securities and a short-sale constraint, similar to Bulow and Rogoff (1989). From this equivalence and our characterization of dynamic contracts it immediately follows that without cost of switching financial intermediaries debt contracts are not sustainable, even though a risk allocation superior to autarky can be achieved.

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File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2005-003.pdf
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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2005-003.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2005-003
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  1. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 1999. "Risk sharing: private insurance markets or redistributive taxes?," Staff Report 262, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Debraj Ray, 2002. "The Time Structure of Self-Enforcing Agreements," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 547-582, March.
  3. Atkeson, Andrew & Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 427-53, July.
  4. Dilip Abreu & David Pearce & Ennio Stacchetti, 1997. "Optimal Cartel Equilibria with Imperfect monitoring," Levine's Working Paper Archive 632, David K. Levine.
  5. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 1999. "Quantitative asset pricing implications of endogenous solvency constraints," Working Papers 99-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Kenneth M. Kletzer & Brian D. Wright, 2000. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," International Finance 0003004, EconWPA.
  7. Rey, Patrick & Salanie, Bernard, 1990. "Long-term, Short-term and Renegotiation: On the Value of Commitment in Contracting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 597-619, May.
  8. Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," Papers 411, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
  10. Milton Harris & Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Discussion Papers 488, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2010. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing Without Commitment," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2053, David K. Levine.
  12. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2000. "Efficiency, Equilibrium, and Asset Pricing with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 775-798, July.
  13. Phelan Christopher, 1995. "Repeated Moral Hazard and One-Sided Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 488-506, August.
  14. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Prescott, Edward C, 1992. "Stochastic Monotonicity and Stationary Distributions for Dynamic Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1387-406, November.
  15. Rey, Patrick & Salanie, Bernard, 1996. "On the Value of Commitment with Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1395-1414, November.
  16. Andrew Atkeson, 2010. "International lending with moral hazard and risk of repudiation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 200, David K. Levine.
  17. Malcomson, J., 1998. "Individual employment contracts," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9804, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  18. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2000. "Mutual Insurance, Individual Savings and Limited Commitment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(2), pages 216-246, April.
  19. Fudenberg, Drew & Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1990. "Short-term contracts and long-term agency relationships," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 1-31, June.
  20. Malcomson, James M & Spinnewyn, Frans, 1988. "The Multiperiod Principal-Agent Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 391-407, July.
  21. Kehoe, Timothy J & Levine, David K, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 865-88, October.
  22. Parikshit Ghosh & Debraj Ray, 1995. "Cooperation in Community Interaction Without Information Flows," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 64, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  23. Kehoe, Timothy J & Levine, David K, 2001. "Liquidity Constrained Markets versus Debt Constrained Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 575-98, May.
  24. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-88, August.
  25. Phelan, Christopher, 1994. "Incentives and Aggregate Shocks," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 681-700, October.
  26. Atkeson Andrew & Lucas Jr. , Robert E., 1995. "Efficiency and Equality in a Simple Model of Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 64-88, June.
  27. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
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