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A Theory of Asset Prices based on Heterogeneous Information

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  • Albagli, Elias
  • Hellwig, Christian
  • Tsyvinski, Aleh

Abstract

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 the price of a security, 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. The sign and magnitude of this expected wedge depend on the asymmetry between upside and downside payoff risks and on the importance of information heterogeneity. We consider three applications of our theory. We first show that predictions of our model provide a novel theoretical justification and are quantitatively consistent with documented empirical regularities on negative relationship between returns and skewness. Second, we illustrate how heterogeneous information leads to systematic departures from the Modigliani-Miller theorem and provide a new theory of debt versus equity. Third, we provide conditions under which permanent over- or under-pricing of assets is sustainable in a dynamic version of our model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9291.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9291

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Related research

Keywords: asset prices; information aggregation; Modigliani-Miller Theorem; skewness;

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References

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  1. Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2001. "Asset Pricing under Asymmetric Information: Bubbles, Crashes, Technical Analysis, and Herding," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296980.
  2. Kenneth D. West, 1986. "Dividend Innovations and Stock Price Volatility," NBER Working Papers 1833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Elias Albagli & Christian Hellwig & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2011. "Information Aggregation, Investment, and Managerial Incentives," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000197, David K. Levine.
  4. Hong, Harrison & Stein, Jeremy, 2007. "Disagreement and the Stock Market," Scholarly Articles 2894690, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Allen F. & Morris S. & Postlewaite A., 1993. "Finite Bubbles with Short Sale Constraints and Asymmetric Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 206-229, December.
  6. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-74, May.
  7. Hong, Harrison & Sraer, David, 2013. "Quiet bubbles," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 596-606.
  8. Diamond, Douglas W. & Verrecchia, Robert E., 1981. "Information aggregation in a noisy rational expectations economy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 221-235, September.
  9. Christian Hellwig & Arijit Mukherji & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2005. "Self-Fulfilling Currency Crises: The Role of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 11191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Masahiro Watanabe, 2008. "Price Volatility and Investor Behavior in an Overlapping Generations Model with Information Asymmetry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(1), pages 229-272, 02.
  11. Hellwig, Martin F., 1980. "On the aggregation of information in competitive markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-498, June.
  12. Cochrane, John H, 1992. "Explaining the Variance of Price-Dividend Ratios," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 243-80.
  13. Spiegel, Matthew, 1998. "Stock Price Volatility in a Multiple Security Overlapping Generations Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(2), pages 419-47.
  14. Harrison, J Michael & Kreps, David M, 1978. "Speculative Investor Behavior in a Stock Market with Heterogeneous Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 323-36, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Gadi Barlevy, 2011. "A leverage-based model of speculative bubbles," Working Paper Series WP-2011-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Ken Kasa & Todd Walker & Charles Whiteman, 2012. "Heterogenous Beliefs and Tests of Present Value Models," Discussion Papers dp12-06, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.

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