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Risk Premium Shocks Can Create Inefficient Recessions

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  • Sebastian Di Tella
  • Robert E. Hall

Abstract

We develop an equilibrium theory of business cycles driven by spikes in risk premiums that depress business demand for capital and labor. Aggregate shocks increase firms’ uninsurable idiosyncratic risk and raise risk premiums. We show that risk shocks can create quantitatively realistic recessions, with contractions in employment, consumption, and investment. Business cycles are inefficient—output and employment fall too much during recessions, compared to the constrained-efficient allocation, and consumption should rise. Optimal policy involves stimulating employment and consumption during recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Di Tella & Robert E. Hall, 2020. "Risk Premium Shocks Can Create Inefficient Recessions," NBER Working Papers 26721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26721
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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