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Under-Diversification and Idiosyncratic Risk Externalities

April 30, 2021

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.

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