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Preferences, Consumption Smoothing, and Risk Premia

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  • Lettau, Martin
  • Uhlig, Harald

Abstract

Risk premia in the consumption capital asset pricing model depend on preferences and dividends. We develop a decomposition which allows for the separate treatment of both components. We show that preferences alone determine the risk-return trade-off measured by the Sharpe-ratio. In general, the risk-return trade-off implied by preferences depends on the elasticity of a preference-based stochastic discount factor for pricing assets with respect to the consumption innovation. Depending on the particular specification of preferences, the absolute value of this elasticity may coincide with the inverse of the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (e.g. for habit formation preferences) or the coefficient of relative risk-aversion (e.g. for Epstein-Zin preferences). We demonstrate that preferences based on a small elasticity of intertemporal substitution, such as habit formation, produce small risk premia once agents are allowed to save. Departing from the complete markets framework, we show that uninsurable risk can only increase the Sharpe-ratio and risk premia if dividends are correlated with individual consumption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1678.

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Date of creation: Jul 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1678

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Keywords: Asset Prices; Consumption; Preferences; Risk Aversion; Risk Premia;

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References

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  1. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1995. "Asset pricing lessons for modeling business cycles," Working Papers 560, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1993. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 4088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  4. Campbell, John Y, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing without Consumption Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 487-512, June.
  5. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
  6. John Y. Campbell, 1992. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," NBER Working Papers 4188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  8. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1990. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," NBER Technical Working Papers 0089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  10. Andrew B. Abel, 1991. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-40, April.
  13. Phillippe Weil, 1997. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1833, David K. Levine.
  14. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  16. repec:fth:harver:1421 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Alberto Giovannini & Philippe Weil, 1989. "Risk Aversion and Intertemporal Substitution in the Capital Asset Pricing Model," NBER Working Papers 2824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-87, June.
  19. Larry G. Epstein & Stanley E. Zin, 1987. "Substitution, Risk Aversion and the Temporal Behaviour of Consumption and Asset Returns II: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 698, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  20. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
  21. Wouter J. Den Haan, 1996. "Understanding Equilibrium Models with a Small and a Large Number of Agents," NBER Working Papers 5792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Allais & Loic Cadiou & Stéphane Dees, 2001. "Defining Consumption Behaviour in a Multi-Country Model," Working Papers 2001-02, CEPII research center.
  2. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2000. "Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycle," Staff Report 280, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Tack Yun & Wooheon Rhee, 2004. "Implications of Quasi-Geometric Discounting on the Observable Sharpe Ratio," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 243, Econometric Society.
  4. Chiarella Carl & Semmler Willi & Mittnik Stefan & Zhu Peiyuan, 2002. "Stock Market, Interest Rate and Output: A Model and Estimation for US Time Series Data," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-39, April.
  5. Aude Pommeret & Anne Epaulard, 2001. "Agents' Preferences, the Equity Premium, and the Consumption-Saving Trade-Off: An Application to French Data," IMF Working Papers 01/117, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Andreas Hornstein & Harald Uhlig, 1999. "What is the real story for interest rate volatility?," Working Paper 99-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  7. Pijoan-Mas, Josep, 2006. "Pricing Risk in Economies with Heterogenous Agents and Incomplete Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5602, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Douch, Mohamed, 2004. "Equity Premiums In Small Open Economy," MPRA Paper 14613, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Cepii & Cepremap, 2001. "MARMOTTE : a Multinational Model," Working Papers 2001-15, CEPII research center.
  10. Lettau, M., 1997. "Comment on "The Spirit of Capitalism and Stock Market Prices" By G.S. Bakshi and Z. Chen (AER, 1996)," Discussion Paper 1997-49, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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