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Disaster risk and preference shifts in a New Keynesian model

Isoré, Marlène and Szczerbowicz, Urszula (2015): Disaster risk and preference shifts in a New Keynesian model.

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of a change in a small but time-varying “disaster risk” à la Gourio (2012) in a New Keynesian model. In a real business cycle framework, the disaster risk has been successful in replicating observed moments of equity premia. However, responses of macroeconomic variables critically depend on the value of the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS). In particular, we show here that an increase in the probability of disaster causes a recession only in case of an EIS larger than unity, which may be arbitrarily large. Nevertheless, we also find that incorporating sticky prices allows to conciliate recessionary effects of the disaster risk with a plausible value of the EIS. A higher disaster risk is then also associated with an increase in the discount factor and with deflation, making it consistent with the preference shock literature (Christiano et al., 2011).

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