IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Rare Disasters, Asset Prices, and Welfare Costs

  • Robert J. Barro

A representative-consumer model with Epstein-Zin-Weil preferences and i.i.d. shocks, including rare disasters, accords with key asset-pricing observations. If the coefficient of relative risk aversion equals 3-4, the model accords with observed equity premia and risk-free real interest rates. If the intertemporal elasticity of substitution is greater than one, an increase in uncertainty lowers the price-dividend ratio for equity, whereas a rise in the expected growth rate raises this ratio. In a model with endogenous saving, more uncertainty lowers the saving ratio (because substitution effects dominate). The match with major features of asset pricing suggests that the model is a reasonable candidate for assessing the welfare cost of aggregate consumption uncertainty. In the baseline simulation, the welfare cost of disaster risk is large -- society would be willing to lower real GDP by as much as 20% each year to eliminate the small chance of major economic collapses. The welfare cost from usual economic fluctuations is much smaller, though still important, corresponding to lowering GDP by around 1.5% each year.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13690.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13690.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Robert J. Barro, 2009. "Rare Disasters, Asset Prices, and Welfare Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 243-64, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13690
Note: EFG ME PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
  2. Gadi Barlevy, 2003. "The Cost of Business Cycles Under Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 9970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alvarez, Fernando & Jermann, Urban J., 2000. "Using Asset Prices to Measure the Cost of Business Cycles," Working Papers 00-1, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  4. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  5. Raj Chetty, 2006. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1821-1834, December.
  6. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  7. Kevin Salyer, 2005. "Macroeconomic Priorities and Crash States," Working Papers 55, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  8. Anindya Banerjee & Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock, 1990. "Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit Root and Trend Break Hypothesis: Theory and International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 187-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:fth:harver:1421 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Corbae, Dean, 2007. "On the aggregate welfare cost of Great Depression unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1529-1544, September.
  13. Cogley, T., 1989. "International Evidence On The Size Of The Random Walk In Output," Working Papers 89-02, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  14. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
  15. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
  16. Aude Pommeret & Anne Epaulard, 2001. "Recursive Utility, Endogenous Growth, and the Welfare Cost of Volatility," IMF Working Papers 01/5, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Evaluating Risky Consumption Paths: The Role of Intertemporal Substitutability," NBER Technical Working Papers 0120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Alberto Giovannini & Philippe Weil, 1989. "Risk Aversion and Intertemporal Substitution in the Capital Asset Pricing Model," NBER Working Papers 2824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Barro, Robert, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 3208215, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  20. Gregory D. Hess, 2003. "The Economic Welfare Cost of Conflict: An Empirical Assessment," CESifo Working Paper Series 852, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  22. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  23. Robert J. Barro, 2005. "Rare Events and the Equity Premium," NBER Working Papers 11310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
  25. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  26. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  27. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1990. " Disentangling the Coefficient of Relative Risk Aversion from the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: An Irrelevance Result," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 175-90, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Rare Disasters, Asset Prices, and Welfare Costs (AER 2009) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13690. 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: ()

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.