Ambiguity in Asset Markets: Theory and Experiment
AbstractThis paper studies the impact of ambiguity and ambiguity aversion on equilibrium asset prices and portfolio holdings in competitive financial markets. It argues that attitudes toward ambiguity are heterogeneous across the population, just as attitudes toward risk are heterogeneous across the population, but that heterogeneity of attitudes toward ambiguity has different implications than heterogeneity of attitudes toward risk. In particular, when some state probabilities are not known, agents who are sufficiently ambiguity averse find open sets of prices for which they refuse to hold an ambiguous portfolio. This suggests a different cross-section of portfolio choices, a wider range of state price/probability ratios and different rankings of state price/probability ratios than would be predicted if state probabilities were known. Experiments confirm all of these suggestions. Our findings contradict the claim that investors who have cognitive biases do not affect prices because they are infra-marginal: ambiguity averse investors have an indirect effect on prices because they change the per-capita amount of risk that is to be shared among the marginal investors. Our experimental data also suggest a positive correlation between risk aversion and ambiguity aversion that might explain the "value effect" in historical data.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 27.
Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision: 2009
Ambiguity; Experiments; Financial Markets; Heterogeneity;
Other versions of this item:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2006-09-30 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-FIN-2006-09-30 (Finance)
- NEP-FMK-2006-09-30 (Financial Markets)
- NEP-UPT-2006-09-30 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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