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Under-diversification and idiosyncratic risk externalities

Felipe Iachan (), Dejanir Silva and Chao Zi

Journal of Financial Economics, 2022, vol. 143, issue 3, 1227-1250

Abstract: We study the effects of idiosyncratic uncertainty on asset prices, investment, and welfare. We consider an economy with two main components: under-diversification and endogenous, countercyclical idiosyncratic risk. The equilibrium is subject to underinvestment and excessive aggregate risk-taking. Inefficiencies stem from an idiosyncratic risk externality, as firms do not internalize the effect of their investment decisions on the risk borne by others. Risk externalities depend on an idiosyncratic risk premium and a variance risk premium. We assess their magnitude empirically. The optimal allocation can be implemented through financial regulation using a tax benefit on debt and risk-weighted capital requirements.

Keywords: Idiosyncratic risk; Under-diversification; Risk-taking; Pecuniary externalities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E22 G12 G18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2021.05.001

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