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Constrained efficiency in the neoclassical growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks

We investigate the welfare properties of the one-sector neoclassic growth model with uninsurable idiosyncratic shocks. We focus on the constrained efficiency notion of the general equilibrium literature, and we demonstrate constrained inefficiency for our model. We provide a characterization of constrained efficiency that uses the first-order condition of a constrained planner's problem that points to the margins of relevance for whether capital is too high or too low : the income composition of the (consumption) poor. We calibrate our benchmark model parameters governing idiosyncratic risks to the U.S. earnings and wealth distribution, and for this distribution the income of the poor is mainly composed of labor earnings. We compute the constrained-efficient allocations -including transition dynamics- for our model economy, and we conclude that the long-run capital stock in a laissez faire world is not only too low, but much too low. We also show that one can find parameterizations with different qualitative features : in one case, the steady-state capital stock is too high, and in another case no steady state exists.

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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1) in its series Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques with number b05066.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:b05066
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  1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1982. "The Inefficiency of the Stock Market Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 241-61, April.
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  5. Diaz, Antonia & Pijoan-Mas, Josep & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2003. "Precautionary savings and wealth distribution under habit formation preferences," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1257-1291, September.
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  8. Krusell, Per & Smith, Anthony A., 1997. "Income And Wealth Heterogeneity, Portfolio Choice, And Equilibrium Asset Returns," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 387-422, June.
  9. Santiago Budria Rodriguez & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2002. "Updated facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 2-35.
  10. Geanakoplos, J. & Magill, M. & Quinzii, M. & Dreze, J., . "Generic inefficiency of stock market equilibrium when markets are incomplete," CORE Discussion Papers RP 916, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  13. Carvajal, Andrés & Polemarchakis, Herakles, 2011. "Idiosyncratic risk and financial policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1569-1597, July.
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  16. Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
  17. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  18. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  19. Kehoe, Timothy J & Levine, David K, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 865-88, October.
  20. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  21. Mark Huggett, 1995. "The one-sector growth model with idiosyncratic shocks," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 105, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  22. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-83, December.
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