NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Moritz Kuhn

Department of Economics
University of Bonn
Adenauerallee 24-42
53113 Bonn
Germany

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2011Human Capital Risk, Contract Enforcement, and the Macroeconomy
with Tom Krebs, Mark L. J. Wright: w17714
We develop a macroeconomic model with physical and human capital, human capital risk, and limited contract enforcement. We show analytically that young (high-return) households are the most exposed to human capital risk and are also the least insured. We document this risk-insurance pattern in data on life-insurance drawn from the Survey of Consumer Finance. A calibrated version of the model can quantitatively account for the life-cycle variation of insurance observed in the US data and implies welfare costs of under-insurance for young households that are equivalent to a 4 percent reduction in lifetime consumption. A policy reform that makes consumer bankruptcy more costly leads to a substantial increase in the volume of credit and insurance.

Published: Tom Krebs & Moritz Kuhn & Mark L. J. Wright, 2015. "Human Capital Risk, Contract Enforcement, and the Macroeconomy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3223-72, November. citation courtesy of

 
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