Creator: Phelan, Christopher. Series: Macroeconomics with heterogenous agents, incomplete markets, liquidity constraints, and transaction costs Abstract:
This paper considers the unobserved endowment economy of Green (1987) with a restriction that agents can walk away from insurance contracts at the beginning of any period and contract with another insurer (one-sided commitment). An equilibrium is derived characterized by a unique, market determined insurance contract with the property that agents never want to walk away from it. I show that trade (or insurance) still occurs and that a non-degenerate long-ran distribution of consumption exists.
Fach: D82 - Information, knowledge, and uncertainty - Asymmetric and private information and D31 - Distribution - Personal income, wealth, and their distributions
Creator: Townsend, Robert M., 1948- Series: Financial history conference Abstract:
ln environments with private information and spatial separation, the ability of agents to establish mutually beneficial arrangements can be limited by their ability to communicate contemporary dealings and histories of past dealings. Indeed, with the extension of some recent work in contract theory and mechanism design, this paper argues that location or person-specific assignment systems, portable object record-keeping systems, written message systems, and telecommunication systems can be viewed as communication systems which are successively more complete in this sense. An attempt is made also to match these various communication systems with systems in use in historical primitive, and/or contemporary societies and to interpret these communication systems as financial structures.
Fach: C44 - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory, D83 - Information, knowledge, and uncertainty - Search ; Learning ; Information and knowledge ; Communication ; Belief, and D23 - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
Creator: Kahn, James A. (James Allan) and Lim, Jong-Soo. Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
This paper analyzes the political economy of growth as an issue of intergenerational distribution. The first part of the paper develops a model of endogenous growth via human capital accumulation in an overlapping generations setting. Equilibrium growth is inefficient due to the presence of an intergenerational externality. We characterize the set of Pareto efficient paths for physical and human capital accumulation, and find that there is a continuum of efficient growth rate-interest rate combinations. The preferred combination for an infinitely-lived planner will depend on the social discount rate. Competitive equilibrium with subsidized or mandated human capital accumulation may give rise to a Pareto efficient steady state, though for some parameters efficiency requires some intergenerational redistribution. We then argue that a social planner or government with an infinite horizon is incongruous in an OG model when the agents all have finite horizons. Hence the second part of the paper addresses the question of how a government whose decisionmakers reflect the finite horizons of their constituents would choose policies that affect physical and human capital accumulation. Specifically we assume that each government maximizes a weighted sum of utilities of those currently alive. Each period the government selects a policy that takes into account the effect (through state variables) on subsequent policy decisions (and hence on the welfare of the current young generation). Numerical methods involving polynomial approximations are used to compute equilibria under specific parametric assumptions. Equilibrium growth rates turn out to be substantially below efficient rates.
Stichwort: Growth, Political economy, Education, Political instability, and Markov equilibrium Fach: D91 - Intertemporal choice and growth - Intertemporal consumer choice ; Life cycle models and saving, O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, and D72 - Analysis of collective decision-making - Models of political processes : Rent-seeking, elections, legislatures, and voting behavior
Creator: Barbosa, Antonio S. Pinto., Jovanovic, Boyan, 1951-, and Spiegel, Mark. Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
This paper analyzes how political stability depends on economic factors. Fluctuations in groups' economic capacities and in their abilities to engage in rent-seeking or predatory behavior create periodic incentives for those groups to renege on their social obligations. A constitution remains in force so long as no party wishes to defect to the noncooperative situation, and it is reinstituted as soon as each party finds it to its advantage to revert to cooperation. Partnerships of equals are easier to sustain than are arrangements in which one party is more powerful in some economic or noneconomic trait. In this sense, inequality is bad for social welfare. Surprisingly, perhaps, it is the rich, and not the poor segments of society who in our model pose the greater threat to the stability of the social order. Using cross-country data, we test and confirm the prediction that most constitutional disruptions should be accompanied by increases in income inequality.
Stichwort: Welfare, Social problems, Interest groups, and Economic models Fach: E52 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Monetary policy and D72 - Analysis of collective decision-making - Models of political processes : Rent-seeking, elections, legislatures, and voting behavior
Creator: Den Haan, Wouter J., 1962- Series: Nonlinear rational expectations modeling group Abstract:
The objective of this paper is to investigate whether, in a Sidrauski type model with uncertainty, welfare maximization calls for following the famous "Chicago Rule". This question will be answered in the affirmative in this paper, i.e. social welfare optimization calls for a zero nominal interest rate on one-period bonds. The zero nominal interest rate, however, does not imply in an uncertain world that there is no systematic difference between the expected rate of deflation and the rate of time preference in an economy without growth. The magnitude of this difference turns out to be small, however. Numerical welfare comparisons are made between the optimal policy and policies in which the growth rate of money is fixed. The optimal policy requires that the monetary authorities react every period to the available information and they choose a growth level of the money stock that will set the interest rate equal to zero. If we compare the time paths of the real variables under the optimal policy with the time paths if the money supply decreases at a rate equal to the rate of time preference, then we see hardly any differences. The price dynamics can be very different, however. The paper also investigates the issue of superneutrality and finds that the quantitative deviations from superneutrality are substantial if a model with a shopping time technology is used. The neo-classical models in this paper are solved numerically using a technique developed in Marcet (1988).
Fach: E31 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Price level ; Inflation ; Deflation and E52 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Monetary policy
Creator: Persson, Torsten. and Tabellini, Guido Enrico, 1956- Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
Inspired by the current European developments, we study equilibrium fiscal policy under alternative constitutional arrangements in a "federation" of countries. There are two levels of government: local and federal. Local policy redistributes across individuals and affects the probability of aggregate shocks, while federal policy shares international risk. Policies are chosen under majority rule. There is a moral hazard problem: federal risk-sharing can induce the local governments to enact policies that increase local risk. We investigate this incentive problem under alternative fiscal constitutions. In particular, we contrast a vertically ordered system like the EC with a horizontally ordered federal system like the US. These alternative arrangements are not neutral, in the sense that they create different incentives for policymakers and voters, and give rise to different political equilibria. A general conclusion is that, centralization of functions and power can be welfare improving under appropriate institutions. However, this conclusion only applies to the moral hazard problem and a federation where the countries are not too dissimilar.
Stichwort: Fiscal federalism, Politics, Risk sharing, and Principal—agent models Fach: D70 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making: General, E60 - Macroeconomic policy, macroeconomic aspects of public finance, and general outlook - General, and H10 - Structure and Scope of Government: General
Creator: Allen, Franklin, 1956- and Gale, Douglas. Series: Monetary theory and financial intermediation Abstract:
Traditional theories of asset pricing assume there is complete market participation so all investors participate in all markets. In this case changes in preferences typically have only a small effect on asset prices and are not an important determinant of asset price volatility. However, there is considerable empirical evidence that most investors participate in a limited number of markets. We show that limited market participation can amplify the effect of changes in preferences so that an arbitrarily small degree of aggregate uncertainty in preferences can cause a large degree of price volatility. We also show that in addition to this equilibrium with limited participation and volatile asset prices, there may exist a Pareto-preferred equilibrium with complete participation and less volatility.
Fach: C58 - Financial Econometrics and G12 - General financial markets - Asset pricing ; Trading volume ; Bond interest rates
Creator: Lacker, Jeffrey Malcolm. and Schreft, Stacey Lee Series: Monetary theory and financial intermediation Abstract:
We describe a stochastic economic environment in which the mix of money and trade credit used as means of payment is endogenous. The economy has an infinite horizon, spatial separation and a credit-related transaction cost, but no capital. We find that the equilibrium prices of arbitrary contingent claims to future currency differ from those from one-good cash-in-advance models. This anomaly is directly related to the endogeneity of the mix of media of exchange used. In particular, nominal interest rates affect the risk-free real rate of return. The model also has implications for some long-standing issues in monetary policy and for time series analysis using money and trade credit.
Fach: G12 - General financial markets - Asset pricing ; Trading volume ; Bond interest rates and E42 - Money and interest rates - Monetary systems ; Standards ; Regimes ; Government and the monetary system ; Payment systems