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Risk Perceptions and Attitudes

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  • Miroslav Misina

Abstract

Changes in risk perception have been used in various contexts to explain shorter-term developments in financial markets, as part of a mechanism that amplifies fluctuations in financial markets, as well as in accounts of "irrational exuberance." This approach holds that changes in risk perception affect actions undertaken in risky situations, and create a discrepancy between the risk attitude implied by those actions and the a priori description of risk attitude as summarized by the Arrow-Pratt coefficients of risk aversion. The author characterizes this discrepancy by introducing the notion of risk perception within the expected utility theory, and proposes the concept of implied risk aversion as a summary measure of risk attitudes implied by agents' actions. Properties of implied risk aversion are related to an individual's future outlook. Key ideas are illustrated using an asset-pricing model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 05-17.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:05-17

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Keywords: Economic models; Financial markets;

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References

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  1. Angelo Melino & Alan X. Yang, 2003. "State Dependent Preferences Can Explain the Equity Premium Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 806-830, October.
  2. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2004. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Chapters, in: Enhancing Productivity (NBER-CEPR-TCER-Keio conference) National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Miroslav Misina, 2003. "Are Distorted Beliefs Too Good to be True?," Working Papers 03-4, Bank of Canada.
  4. Alan Greenspan, 2003. "Federal Reserve Board's semiannual monetary policy report to the Congress: testimony before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, February 11, 2003," Speech 19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. David Hirshleifer, 2001. "Investor Psychology and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1533-1597, 08.
  6. Jean-Pierre Danthine & John B. Donaldson & Christos Giannikos & Hany Guirguis, 2002. "On the Consequences of State Dependent Preferences for the Pricing of Financial Assets," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 02.17, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  7. Pok-sang Lam & Stephen G. Cecchetti & Nelson C. Mark, 2000. "Asset Pricing with Distorted Beliefs: Are Equity Returns Too Good to Be True?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 787-805, September.
  8. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1982. "Risk Perception in Psychology and Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(1), pages 1-9, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Nikola Tarashev & Kostas Tsatsaronis, 2006. "Risk premia across asset markets: information from option prices," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.

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