A Theory of Asset Prices Based on Heterogeneous Information
AbstractWe propose a theory of asset prices that emphasizes heterogeneous information as the main element determining prices of different securities. With only minimal restrictions on security payoffs and trader preferences, noisy aggregation of heterogeneous information drives a systematic wedge between the impact of fundamentals on an asset price, and the corresponding impact on cash flow expectations. From an ex ante perspective, this information aggregation wedge leads to a systematic gap between an asset's expected price and its expected dividend, whose sign and magnitude depend on the asymmetry between upside and downside payoff risks, and on the importance of information heterogeneity. Moreover, when information frictions are sufficiently severe, the model is consistent with arbitrarily high levels of excess price variability as well as low return predictability. Importantly, these results do not rely on traders' risk aversion and thus offer an alternative theory of expected asset returns and price volatility. As applications of our theory, we first highlight how heterogeneous information leads to systematic departures from the Modigliani-Miller theorem and provide a new theory of debt versus equity. Second, in a dynamic extension we provide conditions under which price bubbles are sustainable.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 786969000000000347.
Date of creation: 09 Jan 2012
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Other versions of this item:
- Elias Albagli & Christian Hellwig & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2011. "A Theory of Asset Prices Based on Heterogeneous Information," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1827, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Albagli, Elias & Hellwig, Christian & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2013. "A Theory of Asset Prices based on Heterogeneous Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 9291, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Christian Hellwig & Aleh Tsyvinski & Elias Albagli, 2012. "A theory of asset prices based on heterogeneous information," 2012 Meeting Papers 394, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing
- G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies
- G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
- E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBA-2012-01-18 (Central Banking)
- NEP-CTA-2012-01-18 (Contract Theory & Applications)
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