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Euler Equation Errors

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  • Lettau, Martin
  • Ludvigson, Sydney

Abstract

Among the most important pieces of empirical evidence against the standard representative-agent, consumption-based asset pricing paradigm are the formidable unconditional Euler equation errors the model produces for a broad stock market index return and short-term interest rate. Unconditional Euler equation errors are also large for a broader cross-section of returns. Here we ask whether calibrated leading asset pricing models – specifically developed to address empirical puzzles associated with the standard paradigm – explain these empirical facts. We find that, in many cases, they do not. We present several results. First, we show that if the true pricing kernel that sets the unconditional Euler equation errors to zero is jointly lognormally distributed with aggregate consumption and returns, then values for the subjective discount factor and relative risk aversion can always be found for which the standard model generates identical unconditional asset pricing implications for two asset returns, a risky and risk-free asset. Second, we show, using simulated data from several leading asset pricing frameworks, that many economic models share this property even though in those models the pricing kernel, returns, and consumption are not jointly lognormally distributed. Third, in contrast to the above results, we provide an example of a limited participation/incomplete markets model that is broadly consistent with these empirical facts.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4922.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4922

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Keywords: equity premium; Euler equation; pricing errors;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sydney C. Ludvigson & Martin Lettau, 2005. "Euler Equation Errors," 2005 Meeting Papers 487, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Sydney Ludvigson, 2008. "The Research Agenda: Sydney Ludvigson on Empirical Evaluation of Economic Theories of Risk Premia," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), April.
  3. Howitt, Peter, 2012. "What have central bankers learned from modern macroeconomic theory?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 11-22.
  4. Ravi Bansal & A. Ronald Gallant & George Tauchen, 2007. "Rational Pessimism, Rational Exuberance, and Asset Pricing Models," NBER Working Papers 13107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Saziye Gaziog-super-˜lu & Azize Bastıyalı-Hayfavi, 2010. "Stochastic optimization applied to self-financing portfolio: does bequest matter?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(30), pages 3831-3838.
  6. Anisha Ghosh & George Constantinides, 2008. "Asset Pricing Tests with Long Run Risks in Consumption Growth," FMG Discussion Papers dp609, Financial Markets Group.
  7. Raghu Suryanarayanan, 2006. "Implications of Anticipated Regret and Endogenous Beliefs for Equilibrium Asset Prices: A Theoretical Framework," CSEF Working Papers 162, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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