IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/lvl/lacicr/0524.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Welfare Costs of Macroeconomic Fluctuations under Incomplete Markets: Evidence from State-Level Consumption Data

Author

Listed:
  • Kris Jacobs
  • Stéphane Pallage
  • Michel A. Robe

Abstract

Existing estimates of the welfare cost of business cycles suggest that it is quite low and might well be minuscule. Many of these estimates are based on aggregated U.S. consumption data. Arguably, because markets are incomplete and risk-sharing is imperfect, the welfare costs computed with aggregate consumption data are likely underestimates. Yet, incomplete-market models have not yielded significantly greater cost figures. Previous incomplete-market studies, however, have relied on model-generated consumption series that reflect optimal decsions in models calibrated using individual income data. In this paper, we maintain the assumption of incomplete markets but use observed consumption streams instead. Using state-level retail sales figures, we show that the welfare cost of macroeconomic volatility is in fact very substantial. In one half of the U.S. states, the welfare gain from the removal of business cycles can in fact exceed the gain from receiving an extra percentage point of consumption growth in perpetuity. In short, our results indicate that macroeconomic volatility has first-order welfare implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Kris Jacobs & Stéphane Pallage & Michel A. Robe, 2005. "The Welfare Costs of Macroeconomic Fluctuations under Incomplete Markets: Evidence from State-Level Consumption Data," Cahiers de recherche 0524, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0524
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cirpee.org/fileadmin/documents/Cahiers_2005/CIRPEE05-24.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incomplete markets; consumption volatility; growth; welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0524. 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: (Manuel Paradis). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cirpeca.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.