How much consumption insurance beyond self-insurance?

Greg Kaplan, Giovanni L. Violante

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We assess the degree of consumption smoothing implicit in a calibrated life-cycle version of the standard incomplete-markets model, and we compare it to the empirical estimates of Richard Blundell, Luigi Pistaferri, and Ian Preston (2008) (BPP hereafter) on US data. Households in the data have access to more consumption insurance against permanent earnings shocks than in the model. BPP estimate that 36 percent of permanent shocks are insurable, whereas the model's counterpart of the BPP estimator varies between 7 percent and 22 percent, depending on the tightness of debt limits. We also show that the BPP estimator has a downward bias that grows as borrowing limits become tighter. (JEL D31, D91, E21).

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)53-87
    Number of pages35
    JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Macroeconomics
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


    Dive into the research topics of 'How much consumption insurance beyond self-insurance?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this