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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Johan Walden

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January 2010Limited Capital Market Participation and Human Capital Risk
with Jonathan Berk: w15709
The non-tradability of human capital is often cited for the failure of traditional asset pricing theory to explain agents' portfolio holdings. In this paper we argue that the opposite might be true --- traditional models might not be able to explain agent portfolio holdings because they do not explicitly account for the fact that human capital does trade (in the form of labor contracts). We derive wages endogenously as part of a dynamic equilibrium in a production economy. Risk is shared in labor markets because firms write bilateral labor contracts that insure workers, allowing agents to achieve a Pareto optimal allocation even when the span of asset markets is restricted to just stocks and bonds. Capital markets facilitate this risk sharing because it is there that firms offload t...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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