Creator: Ligon, Ethan., Thomas, Jonathan P., and Worrall, Tim. Series: Endogenous incompleteness Abstract:
This paper studies efficient insurance arrangements in village economies when there is complete information but limited commitment. Commitment is limited because only limited penalties can be imposed on households which renege on their promises. Any efficient insurance arrangement must therefore take into account the fact that households will renege if the benefits from doing so outweigh the costs. We study a general model which admits aggregate and idiosyncratic risk as well as serial correlation of incomes. It is shown that in the case of two households and no storage the efficient insurance arrangement is characterized by a simple updating rule. An example illustrates the similarity of the efficient arrangement to a simple debt contract with occasional debt forgiveness. The model is then extended to multiple households and a simple storage technology. We use data from the ICRISAT survey of three villages in southern India to test the theory against three alternative models: autarky, full insurance, and a static model of limited commitment due to Coate and Ravallion (1993). Overall, the model we develop does a significantly better job of explaining the data than does any of these alternatives.
Keyword: Village economies, Insurance arrangements, Limited commitment, Risk, India, and Agrarian economies Subject (JEL): O15 - Economic development - Human resources ; Human development ; Income distribution ; Migration, O12 - Economic development - Microeconomic analyses of economic development, and D81 - Information, knowledge, and uncertainty - Criteria for decision-making under risk and uncertainty
Creator: Alvarez, Fernando, 1964- and Jermann, Urban J. Series: Endogenous incompleteness Abstract:
We study the asset pricing implications of a multi-agent endowment economy where agents can default on debt. We build on the environment studied by Kocherlakota (1995) and Kehoe and Levine (1993). We present an equilibrium concept for an economy with complete markets and with endogenous solvency constraints. These solvency constraints prevent default, but at the cost of reduced risk sharing. We show that versions of the classical welfare theorems hold 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 depend on the covariance of the idiosyncratic and aggregate shocks.
Keyword: Equilibrium, Default, Solvency constraints, Risk, Shocks, and Assets Subject (JEL): G12 - General financial markets - Asset pricing ; Trading volume ; Bond interest rates and D50 - General equilibrium and disequilibrium - General
Creator: Kocherlakota, Narayana Rao, 1963- Series: Lucas expectations anniversary conference Abstract:
There were three important changes in the United States economy during the 1980s. First, from 1982-90, the decade featured the longest consecutive stretch of positive quarterly output growth in United States history. Second, wage inequality expanded greatly as the wages of highly skilled workers grew markedly faster than the wages of less skilled workers (Katz and Murphy (1992)). Finally, consumption inequality also expanded as the consumption of highly skilled workers grew faster than that of less skilled workers (Attanasio and Davis (1994)). This paper argues that these three aspects of the United States economic experience can be interpreted as being part of an efficient response to a macroeconomic shock given the existence of a particular technological impediment to full insurance. I examine the properties of efficient allocations of risk in an economic environment in which the outside enforcement of risksharing arrangements is infinitely costly. In these allocations, relative productivity movements have effects on both the current and future distribution of consumption across individuals. If preferences over consumption and leisure are nonhomothetic, these changes in the allocation of consumption will generate persistent cycles in aggregate output that do not occur in efficient allocations when enforcement is costless.
Keyword: Business cycle, Skilled workers, Risk, and Consumption Subject (JEL): E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles and E21 - Macroeconomics : Consumption, saving, production, employment, and investment - Consumption ; Saving ; Wealth