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An alternative unifying measure of welfare gains from risk-sharing


  • Auffret, Philippe


Following Lucas's (1987) standard approach, welfare gains from international risk-sharing have been measured as the percentage increase in consumption levels that leaves individuals indifferent between, autarky and risk-sharing. The author proposes to measure welfare gains as the increase in consumption growth, instead of consumption levels. When the consumption process is non-stationary, the author's proposed measure has several attractive features: it does not depend on the horizon, and it is robust to alternative specifications of the consumption stochastic processes (from geometric Brownian processes, to Orstein-Ulhenbeck mean-reverting processes), and preferences (from constant relative risk aversion preferences to Kreps-Porteus preferences). The author then uses this measure to estimate potential welfare gains from international risk-sharing for a representative U.S. consumer. The author finds that if international risk-sharing leads only to a complete elimination of aggregate consumption volatility (with no impact on consumption growth), it represents gains to a U.S. consumer of only $ 12 a year on average. But if international risk-sharing also permits an increase in consumption growth, it may have a sizable impact on welfare. Each 0.5 percentage point increase in consumption growth, represents gains to a U.S. consumer of about $ 160 a year on average.

Suggested Citation

  • Auffret, Philippe, 2001. "An alternative unifying measure of welfare gains from risk-sharing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2676, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2676

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eswar S. Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei & M. Ayhan Kose, 2007. "Financial Globalization, Growth and Volatility in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization and Poverty, pages 457-516 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ventura, Luigi, 2008. "Risk sharing opportunities and macroeconomic factors in Latin American and Caribbean countries : A consumption insurance assessment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4490, The World Bank.
    3. Al-Jarhi, Mabid, 2004. "The Philosophy of Islamic Banking and Finance," MPRA Paper 66739, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2007.


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