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Macro-Finance

Jul 2016
Working Paper
16-033
By  John Cochrane

 Macro-finance addresses the link between asset prices and economic fluctuations. Many models reflect the same rough idea: the market’s ability to bear risk varies over time, larger in good times, and less in bad times. Models achieve this similar result by quite different mechanisms, and I contrast their strengths and weaknesses. I outline how macro-finance models may illuminate macroeconomics, by putting time-varying risk aversion, risk-bearing capacity, and precautionary savings at the center of recessions rather than variation in “the” interest rate and intertemporal substitution. I emphasize unsolved questions and profitable avenues for research.