## CFS working paper series

- 2006, 22
- Evaluating asset pricing models with limited commitment using household consumption data (2006)
- We evaluate the asset pricing implications of a class of models in which risk sharing is imperfect because of the limited enforcement of intertemporal contracts. Lustig (2004) has shown that in such a model the asset pricing kernel can be written as a simple function of the aggregate consumption growth rate and the growth rate of consumption of the set of households that do not face binding enforcement constraints in that state of the world. These unconstrained households have lower consumption growth rates than constrained households, i.e. they are located in the lower tail of the crosssectional consumption growth distribution. We use household consumption data from the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey to estimate the pricing kernel implied by the model and to evaluate its performance in pricing aggregate risk. We employ the same data to construct aggregate consumption and to derive the standard complete markets pricing kernel. We find that the limited enforcement pricing kernel generates a market price of risk that is substantially larger than the standard complete markets asset pricing kernel. Klassifizierung: G12, D53, D52, E44

- 2006, 21
- Taxing capital? : not a bad idea after all! (2006)
- In this paper we quantitatively characterize the optimal capital and labor income tax in an overlapping generations model with idiosyncratic, uninsurable income shocks, where households also differ permanently with respect to their ability to generate income. The welfare criterion we employ is ex-ante (before ability is realized) expected (with respect to uninsurable productivity shocks) utility of a newborn in a stationary equilibrium. Embedded in this welfare criterion is a concern of the policy maker for insurance against idiosyncratic shocks and redistribution among agents of different abilities. Such insurance and redistribution can be achieved by progressive labor income taxes or taxation of capital income, or both. The policy maker has then to trade off these concerns against the standard distortions these taxes generate for the labor supply and capital accumulation decision. We find that the optimal capital income tax rate is not only positive, but is significantly positive. The optimal (marginal and average) tax rate on capital is 36%, in conjunction with a progressive labor income tax code that is, to a first approximation, a flat tax of 23% with a deduction that corresponds to about $6,000 (relative to an average income of households in the model of $35,000). We argue that the high optimal capital income tax is mainly driven by the life cycle structure of the model whereas the optimal progressivity of the labor income tax is due to the insurance and redistribution role of the income tax system. Klassifizierung: E62, H21, H24

- 2006, 18
- On the consequences of demographic change for rates of returns to capital and the distribution of wealth and welfare (2006)
- This paper employs a multi-country large scale Overlapping Generations model with uninsurable labor productivity and mortality risk to quantify the impact of the demographic transition towards an older population in industrialized countries on world-wide rates of return, international capital flows and the distribution of wealth and welfare in the OECD. We find that for the U.S. as an open economy, rates of return are predicted to decline by 86 basis points between 2005 and 2080 and wages increase by about 4.1%. If the U.S. were a closed economy, rates of return would decline and wages increase by less. This is due to the fact that other regions in the OECD will age even more rapidly; therefore the U.S. is “importing” the more severe demographic transition from the rest of the OECD in the form of larger factor price changes. In terms of welfare, our model suggests that young agents with little assets and currently low labor productivity gain, up to 1% in consumption, from higher wages associated with population aging. Older, asset-rich households tend to lose, because of the predicted decline in real returns to capital. Klassifizierung: E17, E25, D33, C68