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Asset Prices and Risk Aversion

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  • Dominique Pepin

    ()
    (CRIEF - Centre de Recherche sur l'Intégration Economique et Financière - Université de Poitiers)

Abstract

The standard asset pricing models (the CCAPM and the Epstein-Zin non-expected utility model) counterintuitively predict that equilibrium asset prices can rise if the representative agent's risk aversion increases. If the income effect, which implies enhanced saving as a result of an increase in risk aversion, dominates the substitution effect, which causes the representative agent to reallocate his portfolio in favour of riskless assets, the demand for securities increases. Thus, asset prices are forced to rise when the representative agent is more risk adverse. By disentangling risk aversion and intertemporal substituability, we demonstrate that the risky asset price is an increasing function of the coefficient of risk aversion only if the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS) exceeds unity. This result, which was first proved par Epstein (1988) in a stationary economy setting with a constant risk aversion, is shown to hold true for non-stationary economies with a variable or constant risk aversion coefficient. The conclusion is that the EIS probably exceeds unity.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00955590.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00955590

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Keywords: risk aversion ; elasticity of intertemporal substitution ; CCAPM ; asset prices;

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  1. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  2. Phillippe Weil, 1997. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1833, David K. Levine.
  3. Ogaki, M & Reinhart, C-M, 1995. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution : The Role of Durable Goods," RCER Working Papers 404, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Epstein, Larry G., 1988. "Risk aversion and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-192, September.
  5. Motohiro Yogo, 2004. "Estimating the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution When Instruments Are Weak," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 797-810, August.
  6. Donaldson, John B & Mehra, Rajnish, 1984. "Comparative Dynamics of an Equilibrium Intertemporal Asset Pricing Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 491-508, July.
  7. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  8. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-86, April.
  9. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mark Rubinstein, 1976. "The Valuation of Uncertain Income Streams and the Pricing of Options," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 407-425, Autumn.
  11. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
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