IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Foreign Ownership of U.S. Safe Assets: Good or Bad?

  • Sydney Ludvigson

    (New York University)

  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh

    (NYU Stern School of Business)

  • Jack Favilukis

    (London School of Economics)

The last 20 years have been marked by a sharp rise in international demand for U.S. reserve assets, or safe stores-of-value. We argue that these trends in international capital flows are likely to be a boon for some (by a lot) but a bane for others (by less). The young benefit from a capital inflow due to lower interest rates, which reduce the costs of home ownership and of borrowing against higher expected future income. Middle-aged savers are hurt because they are crowded out of the safe bond market and exposed to greater systematic risk in equity and housing markets. Although they are partially compensated for this in equilibrium by higher risk premia, they still suffer from lower expected rates of return on their savings. By contrast, retired individuals, who are drawing down assets and who receive social security income that is least sensitive to the current aggregate state, benefit handsomely from the higher asset values that accompany a capital inflow. In some states, the youngest working-age households and the oldest retired households would be willing to give up 1.5-1.7% of lifetime consumption in order to avoid just one year of a typical annual decline in foreign holdings of the safe asset. Middle-aged households could benefit from an outflow, but they do so by an amount that is typically one-tenth of the magnitude of the losses to the youngest and oldest households. Under the veil of ignorance, a newborn would be willing to give up over 11% of lifetime consumption to avoid a large capital outflow.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 297.

in new window

Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:297
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Gomes, Francisco J & Michaelides, Alexander, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Limited Risk Sharing and Heterogeneous Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 6136, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. N/A, 2011. "Reform of the International Monetary System," Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, Emerging Markets Forum, vol. 3(2), pages 185-193, May.
  3. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 1993. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 4249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Michaelides, Alexander & Nikolov, Kalin, 2010. "Winners and Losers in Housing Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 7953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Benninga, Simon & Protopapadakis, Aris, 1990. "Leverage, time preference and the 'equity premium puzzle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 49-58, January.
  6. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  7. Gita Gopinath & Brent Neiman, 2011. "Trade Adjustment and Productivity in Large Crises," NBER Working Papers 16958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. François Ortalo-Magné & Sven Rady, 2002. "Housing Market Dynamics: On the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraints," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 02-01, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  9. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  10. Matteo Maggiori, 2012. "Financial Intermediation, International Risk Sharing, and Reserve Currencies," 2012 Meeting Papers 146, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Favilukis, Jack, 2013. "Inequality, stock market participation, and the equity premium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 740-759.
  12. Matteo Iacoviello & Marina Pavan, 2009. "Housing and Debt Over the Life Cycle and Over the Business Cycle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 723, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Sep 2011.
  13. Krueger, Dirk & Lustig, Hanno, 2010. "When is market incompleteness irrelevant for the price of aggregate risk (and when is it not)?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 1-41, January.
  14. Mendoza, Enrique G & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalances," CEPR Discussion Papers 6149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Francis E. Warnock & Veronica C. Warnock, 2005. "International Capital Flows and U.S. Interest Rates," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp103, IIIS.
  16. Hanno N. Lustig & Stijn G. Van Nieuwerburgh, 2005. "Housing Collateral, Consumption Insurance, and Risk Premia: An Empirical Perspective," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1167-1219, 06.
  17. Richard N. Cooper, 2007. "Living with Global Imbalances," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(2), pages 91-110.
  18. Jack Favilukis & David Kohn & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2012. "International Capital Flows and House Prices: Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 235-299 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
  20. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
  21. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2007. "The Demand for Treasury Debt," NBER Working Papers 12881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  23. Brian Peterson, 2003. "Aggregate Uncertainty, Individual Uncertainty and the Housing Market," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 178, Society for Computational Economics.
  24. Basak, Suleyman & Cuoco, Domenico, 1998. "An Equilibrium Model with Restricted Stock Market Participation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(2), pages 309-41.
  25. Kohn, Donald L, 2002. "Panel: Implications of Declining Treasury Debt: What Should the Federal Reserve Do as Treasury Debt Is Repaid?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(3), pages 941-45, August.
  26. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 1999. "What Level of Fixed Costs Can Reconcile Consumption and Stock Returns?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 969-997, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed012:297. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.