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The 6D Bias and the Equity Premium Puzzle

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  • Xavier Gabaix
  • David Laibson

Abstract

If decision costs lead agents to update consumption every D periods, then econometricians will find an anomalously low correlation between equity returns and consumption growth (Lynch 1996). We analytically characterize the dynamic properties of an economy composed of consumers who have such delayed updating. In our setting, an econometrician using an Euler equation procedure would infer a coefficient of relative risk aversion biased up by a factor of 6D. Hence with quarterly data, if agents adjust their consumption every D = 4 quarters, the imputed coefficient of relative risk aversion will be 24 times greater than the true value. High levels of risk aversion implied by the equity premium and violations of the Hansen-Jagannathan bounds cease to be puzzles. The neoclassical model with delayed adjustment explains the consumption behavior of shareholders. Once limited participation is taken into account, the model matches most properties of aggregate consumption and equity returns, including new evidence that the covariance between ln(Ct+h/Ct) and Rt+1 slowly rises with h.

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1947.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1947

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  1. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 4088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. John Y. Campbell, 1998. "Asset Prices, Consumption, and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Duffie, Darrell & Sun, Tong-sheng, 1990. "Transactions costs and portfolio choice in a discrete-continuous-time setting," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 35-51, February.
  5. Luttmer, Erzo G J, 1996. "Asset Pricing in Economies with Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1439-67, November.
  6. David I. Laibson & Xavier Gabaix, 2000. "A Boundedly Rational Decision Algorithm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 433-438, May.
  7. Arthur B. Kennickell & Martha Starr-McCluer & Brian J. Surette, 2000. "Recent changes in U. S. family finances: results from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-29.
  8. Philippe Weil, 1989. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 2829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  10. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  11. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1993. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. He, Hua & Modest, David M, 1995. "Market Frictions and Consumption-Based Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 94-117, February.
  13. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory And Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53, February.
  14. John H. Cochrane, 1988. "The Sensitivity of Tests of the Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption to Near-Rational Alternatives," NBER Working Papers 2730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  16. Sanford J Grossman & Guy Laroque, 2003. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000803, David K. Levine.
  17. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  18. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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