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Idiosyncratic Risk and Volatility Bounds, or, Can Models with Idiosyncratic Risk Solve the Equity Premium Puzzle?

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  • Lettau, Martin

Abstract

This paper evaluates models with idiosyncratic consumption risk using Hansen and Jagannathan’s (1991) volatility bounds. It is shown that idiosyncratic risk does not change the volatility bounds at all when consumers have constant relative risk aversion (CRRA) preferences and the distribution of the idiosyncratic shock is independent of the aggregate state. Following Mankiw (1986), I show that idiosyncratic risk can help to enter the bounds when idiosyncratic uncertainty depends on the aggregate state of the economy. Since individual consumption data is not reliable, I compute an upper bound of the volatility bounds using individual income data and assume that agents must consume their endowment. I find that the model does not pass the Hansen and Jagannathan test even for very volatile idiosyncratic income data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1795.

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Date of creation: Jan 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1795

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Keywords: Asset Prices; idiosyncratic risk; Risk Premia; volatility bounds;

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References

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  1. Timothy Cogley, 1998. "Idiosyncratic risk and the equity premium: evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Weil, Philippe, 1992. "Equilibrium asset prices with undiversifiable labor income risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 769-790.
  3. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-62, April.
  4. Hua He and David M. Modest., 1992. "Market Frictions and Consumption-Based Asset Pricing," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-223, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 115-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  7. 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.
  8. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "The equity premium puzzle and the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 401-421, November.
  9. S Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Asset Returns with transaction costs and uninsured individual risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 648, David K. Levine.
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  13. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1986. "The equity premium and the concentration of aggregate shocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-219, September.
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  18. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  19. Cogley, Timothy, 2002. "Idiosyncratic risk and the equity premium: evidence from the consumer expenditure survey," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 309-334, March.
  20. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, . "Persistent Idiosyncratic Shocks and Incomplete Markets," GSIA Working Papers 24, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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Cited by:
  1. Söderlind, Paul, 2003. "C-CAPM and the Cross-Section of Sharpe Ratios," CEPR Discussion Papers 4067, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hanno Lustig, . "When is Market Incompleteness Irrelevant for the Price of Aggregate Risk (joint with Dirk Krueger, UPenn)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 380, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. YiLi Chien & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "The Market Price of Aggregate Risk and the Wealth Distribution," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1596-1650, April.
  4. Andrei Semenov, 2004. "High-Order Consumption Moments and Asset Pricing," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 130, Econometric Society.
  5. Paul Söderlind, 2006. "C-CAPM Refinements and the Cross-Section of Returns," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2006 2006-07, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.

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