Why does Implied Risk Aversion Smile?
AbstractA few recent papers have derived estimates of the representative agent's risk aversion by comparing the statistical density of asset returns and the state-price density. The implied risk aversion estimates obtained in these studies are puzzling, exhibiting (i) pronounced U-shaped patterns (a "smile") and (ii) negative values. This paper analyzes three potential explanations for these phenomena: (i) heterogeneity in investor preferences, (ii) difficulties in estimating agents' beliefs and (iii) heterogeneous beliefs among agents. Our results show that preferences alone cannot explain the patterns reported in the literature. Misestimation of investors' beliefs caused by nonstationarity of the return process cannot explain the smile either. The patterns of beliefs misestimation required to generate the empirical implied risk aversion estimates found in the literature suggest that heterogeneous beliefs are the most likely cause of the smile.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering in its series FAME Research Paper Series with number rp47.
Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 40 bd. du Pont d'Arve, Case postale 3, CH - 1211 Geneva 4
Phone: 41 22 / 312 09 61
Fax: 41 22 / 312 10 26
Web page: http://www.swissfinanceinstitute.ch
More information through EDIRC
asset pricing; state-price density; heterogeneous preferences; heterogeneous beliefs; implied risk aversion;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing
- G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marilyn Barja).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.