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Divergence of opinion and valuation in a mean-variance framework

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  • Jacques A. Schnabel
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of heterogeneous expectations on the equilibrium value of a risky asset in a capital market populated by investors that choose mean-variance efficient portfolios. Design/methodology/approach – A single-period, discrete-time version of Williams' capital asset pricing model that incorporates heterogeneous beliefs regarding the mean vector of rates of return and homogeneous beliefs regarding the variance-covariance matrix of rates of return is developed. It is then employed to gauge the impact of both divergence of opinion and increases thereof on the equilibrium price of a risky asset. Findings – The value of a risky asset under heterogeneous beliefs differs from that under homogeneous beliefs as the former is biased towards the beliefs of wealthier and/or more risk tolerant investors. If the latter set of investors is optimistic (pessimistic), the value is higher (lower) than that which prevails in the absence of divergence of beliefs. Increasing divergence of opinion likewise affects the equilibrium price of a risky asset to accord more with the beliefs of wealthier and/or more risk tolerant investors. If the latter set of investors is optimistic (pessimistic), increasing dispersion of beliefs causes the value of a risky asset to rise (fall). Originality/value – A novel simplification and application of Williams' model of capital asset pricing is presented. The findings differ from conclusions derived in previous theoretical treatments of divergence of opinions in capital markets.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Studies in Economics and Finance.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 148-154

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:sefpps:v:26:y:2009:i:3:p:148-154

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    Related research

    Keywords: Capital asset pricing model; Financial risk; Investors; Portfolio investment;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Jouini, Elyès & Napp, Clotilde, 2006. "Heterogeneous Beliefs and Asset Pricing in Discrete Time : an Analysis of Pessimism and Doubt," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/341, Paris Dauphine University.
    2. Karl B. Diether & Christopher J. Malloy & Anna Scherbina, 2002. "Differences of Opinion and the Cross Section of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2113-2141, October.
    3. Williams, Joseph T., 1977. "Capital asset prices with heterogeneous beliefs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 219-239, November.
    4. Bart, John & Masse, Isidore J., 1981. "Divergence of Opinion and Risk," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 23-34, March.
    5. Jouini, Elyes & Napp, Clotilde, 2006. "Heterogeneous beliefs and asset pricing in discrete time: An analysis of pessimism and doubt," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1233-1260, July.
    6. John G. Cragg & Burton G. Malkiel, 1982. "Expectations and the Structure of Share Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number crag82-1.
    7. Varian, Hal R, 1985. " Divergence of Opinion in Complete Markets: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(1), pages 309-17, March.
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