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Information processing with recursive utility: some intriguing results

Author

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  • Frode Brevik

    ()

  • Stefano d'Addona

    ()

Abstract

We study information processing in a simple endowment economy where the mean consumption growth rate are governed by a hidden state variable and agents have recursive preferences. We show that for typical parameter values, there is a strong incentive to commit to ignoring future information on the state of the economy, but that such commitment raises time-inconsistency problems. We estimate the model on postwar US data and find that the representative consumer can achieve a utility gain equivalent to a 20% increase in lifetime consumption simply by not paying attention to the state of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Frode Brevik & Stefano d'Addona, 2007. "Information processing with recursive utility: some intriguing results," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-40, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2007:2007-40
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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2007/DP-40-Br.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
    2. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "The equity premium puzzle and the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 401-421, November.
    3. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1990. " Disentangling the Coefficient of Relative Risk Aversion from the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: An Irrelevance Result," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 175-190, March.
    4. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1481-1509, August.
    5. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Recursive preferences; Epstein-Zin preferences; Uncertainty aversion; Information processing; Time inconsistency;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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