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The Welfare Gains from Stabilization in a Stochastically Growing Economy with Idiosyncratic Shocks and Flexible Labor Supply

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  • Marcelo Bianconi

Abstract

Stochastic models with economy-wide shocks imply that the welfare costs of aggregate volatility are negligible. In reality idiosyncratic shocks are important, and empirical evidence suggests that their volatility is several times that of aggregate shocks. This paper introduces both types of shocks. We find that if in the process of eliminating aggregate risk the policymaker can reduce idiosyncratic risk by a modest amount, in accordance with available empirical evidence, the welfare gains from aggregate stabilization can become significant. The introduction of idiosyncratic risk has important implications for asset pricing, and in particular may reduce the risk-free rate substantially, through the precautionary savings motive. Many of our results are sensitive both to the degree of risk aversion, and to the flexibility of labor supply. The paper highlights the tradeoffs involved in analyzing the effects of risk on growth and welfare, on the one hand, and on asset pricing, on the other, clarifying the need to examine these issues within a unified stochastic general equilibrium framework.

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  • Marcelo Bianconi, 2004. "The Welfare Gains from Stabilization in a Stochastically Growing Economy with Idiosyncratic Shocks and Flexible Labor Supply," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0413, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0413
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    Cited by:

    1. Posch, Olaf, 2011. "Risk premia in general equilibrium," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1557-1576, September.
    2. Getachew, Yoseph Yilma, 2016. "Credit constraints, growth and inequality dynamics," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 364-376.
    3. Getachew, Yoseph Y. & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2015. "Productive government spending and its consequences for the growth–inequality tradeoff," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 621-640.
    4. Merlin, Giovanni Tondin, 2018. "Entrepreneurship, financial frictions and the welfare gains of business cycles," Textos para discussão 484, FGV EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil).
    5. Gadi Barlevy, 2004. "The Cost of Business Cycles and the Benefits of Stabilization: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Akdeniz, Levent & Dechert, W. Davis, 2007. "The equity premium in Brock's asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 2263-2292, July.
    7. Klaus Wälde, 2009. "Production Technologies in Stochastic Continuous Time Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 2831, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Wälde, Klaus, 2011. "Production technologies in stochastic continuous time models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 616-622, April.
    9. Gadi Barlevy, 2005. "The cost of business cycles and the benefits of stabilization," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 29(Q I), pages 32-49.

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    JEL classification:

    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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