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Household Risk Management

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  • Adriano A. Rampini
  • S. Viswanathan

Abstract

Households' insurance against shocks to income and asset values (that is, household risk management) is limited, especially for poor households. We argue that a trade-off between intertemporal financing needs and insurance across states explains this basic insurance pattern. In a model with limited enforcement, we show that household risk management is increasing in household net worth and income, incomplete, and precautionary. These results hold in economies with income risk, durable goods and collateral constraints, and durable goods price risk, under quite general conditions and, remarkably, risk aversion is sufficient and prudence is not required. In equilibrium, collateral scarcity lowers the interest rate, reduces insurance, and increases inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Adriano A. Rampini & S. Viswanathan, 2016. "Household Risk Management," NBER Working Papers 22293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22293
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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