Asset pricing when risk sharing is limited by default: a theoretical framework

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1997-09-04
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We study the asset pricing implications of an endowment economy when agents can default on contracts that would leave them otherwise worse off. We specialize and extend the environment studied by Kocherlakota (1995) and Kehoe and Levine (1993) to make it comparable to standard studies of asset pricillg. We completely charactize efficient allocations for several special cases. We illtroduce a competitive equilibrium with complete markets alld with elldogellous solvency constraints. These solvellcy constraints are such as to prevent default -at the cost of reduced risk sharing. We show a version of the classical welfare theorems for this equilibrium definition. We characterize the pricing kernel, alld compare it with the one for economies without participation constraints : interest rates are lower and risk premia can be bigger depending on the covariance of the idiosyncratic and aggregate shocks. Quantitative examples show that for reasonable parameter values the relevant marginal rates of substitution fali within the Hansen-Jagannathan bounds.


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