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Rare Macroeconomic Disasters

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  • Robert J. Barro
  • José F. Ursua

Abstract

The potential for rare macroeconomic disasters may explain an array of asset-pricing puzzles. Our empirical studies of these extreme events rely on long-term data now covering 28 countries for consumption and 40 for GDP. A baseline model calibrated with observed peak-to-trough disaster sizes accords with the average equity premium with a reasonable coefficient of relative risk aversion. High stock-price volatility can be explained by incorporating time-varying long-run growth rates and disaster probabilities. Business-cycle models with shocks to disaster probability have implications for the cyclical behavior of asset returns and corporate leverage, and international versions may explain the uncovered-interest-parity puzzle. Richer models of disaster dynamics allow for transitions between normalcy and disaster, bring in post-crisis recoveries, and use the full time series on consumption. Potential future research includes applications to long-term economic growth and environmental economics and the use of stock-price options and other variables to gauge time-varying disaster probabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Barro & José F. Ursua, 2011. "Rare Macroeconomic Disasters," NBER Working Papers 17328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17328
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Salvador Pueyo, 2013. "Is it a power law distribution? The case of economic contractions," Papers 1310.2567, arXiv.org.
    2. repec:eee:dyncon:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:187-215 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Albuquerque, Rui & Eichenbaum, Martin & Papanikolaou, Dimitris & Rebelo, Sergio, 2015. "Long-run bulls and bears," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(S), pages 21-36.
    4. Rogoff, Kenneth S. & Tashiro, Takeshi, 2015. "Japan’s exorbitant privilege," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 43-61.
    5. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Reinhart, Vincent & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2015. "Dealing with debt," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(S1), pages 43-55.
      • Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff, 2014. "Dealing with Debt," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2014, pages 43-55 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mehl, Arnaud, 2013. "Large global volatility shocks, equity markets and globalisation: 1885-2011," Working Paper Series 1548, European Central Bank.
    7. Rıza Demirer & Rangan Gupta & Tahir Suleman & Mark E. Wohar, 2017. "Time-Varying Rare Disaster Risks, Oil Returns and Volatility," Working Papers 201762, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    8. Aizenman, Joshua & Noy, Ilan, 2013. "Public and private saving and the long shadow of macroeconomic shocks," Working Paper Series 2776, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    9. Robert J. Barro, 2014. "Safe Assets," Working Papers 2014-28, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    10. Aizenman, Joshua & Noy, Ilan, 2015. "Saving and the long shadow of macroeconomic shocks," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 147-159.
    11. Rangan Gupta & Tahir Suleman & Mark E. Wohar, 2017. "The Role of Time-Varying Rare Disaster Risks in Predicting Bond Returns and Volatility," Working Papers 201770, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    12. Max Gillman & Michal Kejak & Michal Pakoš, 2015. "Learning about Rare Disasters: Implications For Consumption and Asset Prices," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 1053-1104.
    13. Zigrand, Jean-Pierre, 2014. "Systems and systemic risk in finance and economics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 61220, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Funke, Manuel & Schularick, Moritz & Trebesch, Christoph, 2016. "Going to extremes: Politics after financial crises, 1870–2014," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 227-260.
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    16. Adrian, Tobias & Boyarchenko, Nina & Giannone, Domenico, 2016. "Vulnerable Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 11583, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. repec:eee:socmed:v:187:y:2017:i:c:p:134-143 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Hiroaki Sakamoto & Ken-Ichi Akao, "undated". "A theory of disasters and long-run growth," Discussion papers e-17-014, Graduate School of Economics , Kyoto University.
    19. Balbir S. Sihag, 2017. "Kautilya, Fibonacci and Samuelson on Discounting," Advances in Management and Applied Economics, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 7(2), pages 1-3.
    20. Palmer, Carolyn, 2014. "'Flood and fire and famine': Tax policy lessons from the Australian responses to natural disasters," Working Paper Series 3718, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
    21. Christoph M. Rheinberger & Nicolas Treich, 2017. "Attitudes Toward Catastrophe," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 67(3), pages 609-636, July.
    22. Antonova, Liudmila & Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "Macroeconomic Crunches During Working Years and Health Outcomes Later in Life," MEA discussion paper series 201420, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    23. Max Gillman & Michal Kejak & Michal Pakos, 2014. "Learning about Disaster Risk: Joint Implications for Consumption and Asset Prices," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp507, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    24. Dupuy, Philippe, 2015. "The tail risk premia of the carry trades," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 123-145.
    25. Doukas, John A. & Zhang, Hao, 2013. "The performance of NDF carry trades," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 172-190.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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