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A Preference Regime Model of Bull and Bear Markets

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  • Pascal St-Amour
  • Stephen Gordon

Abstract

This paper develops a consumption-based asset pricing model in which attitudes towards risk are contingent upon the state of the world. For a low (high) level of consumption relative to a subjective metric, counter-cyclical (pro-cyclical) risk aversion implies that consumption shocks generate larger fluctuations in marginal utility, against which the agent will hedge in choosing his optimal portfolio. Asset prices are studied using two-state Markov preference regimes where bull and bear markets reflect alternating periods of low and high risk aversion. Joint estimation of bond and stock prices highlights moderate and infrequent movements in risk aversion, and a marked improvement on the model's ability to capture the cyclical nature of observed asset prices. Résumé: Ce papier développe un modèle d'agent représentatif de valorisation des actifs dans lequel les préférences sont contingentes à l'état du monde. Lorsque la consommation est basse (élevée) par rapport à un niveau subjectif, une aversion contra- (pro-) cyclique implique que des chocs à la consommation se traduisent par des fluctuations accentuées de l'utilité marginale que l'agent désirera lisser lors de son choix du portefeuille optimal. Les prix des actifs sont étudiés dans le cadre d'un modèle markovien à deux états où les marchés haussiers ou baissiers reflètent des périodes alternatives de basse et de haute aversion pour le risque. L'estimation conjointe des prix des bons et des actions mettent en évidence des mouvements modérés et peu fréquents dans l'aversion au risque ainsi qu'une amélioration nette du modèle en ce qui a trait aux mouvements cycliques des prix.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 90 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1019-1033

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:4:p:1019-1033

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.4.1019
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  1. Bakshi, Gurdip S & Chen, Zhiwu, 1996. "The Spirit of Capitalism and Stock-Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 133-57, March.
  2. Andrew B. Abel, . "Exact Solutions for Expected Rates of Return Under Markov Regime Switching: Implications for the Equity Premium Puzzle," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 9-92, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. John Y. Campbell, 1996. "Consumption and the Stock Market: Interpreting International Experience," NBER Working Papers 5610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gurdip S. Bakshi & Zhiwu Chen, 1996. "The Spirit of Capitalism and Stock-Market Prices," CEMA Working Papers 511, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  5. Albert, James H & Chib, Siddhartha, 1993. "Bayes Inference via Gibbs Sampling of Autoregressive Time Series Subject to Markov Mean and Variance Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(1), pages 1-15, January.
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  1. Welfare costs of the business cycle and the equity premium
    by Stephen in Worthwhile Canadian Initiative on 2006-12-15 19:09:36
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