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Are Industrial-Country Consumption Risks Globally Diversified?

  • Maurice Obstfeld

What idiosyncratic consumption risks can countries trade away on international asset markets? This paper develops an empirical methodology for answering the question. The tests are based on the proposition that in an integrated world asset market with representative national agents, the ex post difference between two countries' intertemporal marginal rates of substitution in consumption is uncorrelated with any random variable on which contractual payoffs can be conditioned. This result is applied to annual time-series data for the seven largest industrial countries over 1950-88. Of these countries, Germany seems to have been most successful at internationally diversifying its consumption risks.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4308.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4308.

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Date of creation: Mar 1993
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Publication status: forthcoming in Leonardo Leiderman and Assaf Razin, eds., Capital Mobility Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1994
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4308
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  1. Alan C. Stockman & Linda L. Tesar, 1990. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," NBER Working Papers 3566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1991. "International real business cycles," Staff Report 146, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld, 1986. "How Integrated are World Capital Markets? Some New Tests," NBER Working Papers 2075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
  5. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-56, October.
  6. Baxter, Marianne & Crucini, Mario J, 1993. "Explaining Saving-Investment Correlations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 416-36, June.
  7. repec:cdl:ucsbec:16-90 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Kollmann, Robert, 1995. "Consumption, real exchange rates and the structure of international asset markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 191-211, April.
  9. Radner, Roy, 1972. "Existence of Equilibrium of Plans, Prices, and Price Expectations in a Sequence of Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(2), pages 289-303, March.
  10. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
  11. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  12. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  13. Maurice Obstfeld, 1985. "Capital Mobility in the World Economy: Theory and Measurement," NBER Working Papers 1692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
  15. Devereux, Michael B. & Gregory, Allan W. & Smith, Gregor W., 1992. "Realistic cross-country consumption correlations in a two-country, equilibrium, business cycle model," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-16, February.
  16. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
  17. repec:cdl:ucsbec:16-92 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. David K. Backus & Gregor W. Smith, 1992. "Consumption and Real Exchange Rates in Dynamic Exchange Economies with Nontraded Goods," Working Papers 92-7, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
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