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Asset Pricing when Risk Sharing is Limited by Default

  • Fernando Alvarez
  • Urban J. Jermann

We study the asset pricing implications of a multi-agent endowment economy where agents can default on contracts that would leave them otherwise worse off. We specialize and extend the environment studied by Kocherlakota (1995) and Kehoe and Levine (1993) to make it comparable to standard studies of asset pricing. We make contributions along two fronts. First, we extend the characterization of efficient allocations. Second, we present an equilibrium concept with complete markets and with endogenous solvency constraints. These solvency constraints are such as to prevent default at the cost of reduced risk sharing. We show a version of the classical welfare theorems for this equilibrium definition. We characterize the pricing kernel, and compare it to the one for economies without participation constraints: interest rates are lower and risk premia can be bigger depending on the covariance of the idiosyncratic and aggregate shocks. We show that those agents whose endowment is very similar to the aggregate endowment are irrelevant for asset pricing. In a quantitative example, for reasonable parameter values, the relevant marginal rates of substitution fall within the Hansen-Jagannathan bounds.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6476.

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Date of creation: Mar 1998
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Publication status: published as Alvarez, Fernando and Urban J. Jermann. "Efficiency, Equilibrium, And Asset Pricing With Risk Of Default," Econometrica, 2000, v68(4,Jul), 775-797.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6476
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  1. Luttmer, Erzo G J, 1996. "Asset Pricing in Economies with Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1439-67, November.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Equity Premium and the Concentration of Aggregate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 1788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
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  8. Alejandro Hernandez & Manuel Santos, 1994. "Competitive Equilibria for Infinite-Horizon Economies with Incomplete Markets," Working Papers 9407, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  9. Manuel S. Santos & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Rational Asset Pricing Bubbles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 19-58, January.
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  13. He, Hua & Modest, David M, 1995. "Market Frictions and Consumption-Based Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 94-117, February.
  14. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609, October.
  15. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 115-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-75, August.
  17. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-87, June.
  18. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, . "Persistent Idiosyncratic Shocks and Incomplete Markets," GSIA Working Papers 24, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  19. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
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