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Risk Aversion and Intertemporal Substitution in the Capital Asset Pricing Model

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  • Alberto Giovannini
  • Philippe Weil

Abstract

When tastes are represented by a class of generalized preferences which -- unlike traditional Von-Neumann preferences -- do not confuse behavior towards risk with attitudes towards intertemporal substitution, the true beta of an asset is, in general, an average of its consumption and market betas. We show that the two parameters measuring risk aversion and intertemporal substitution affect consumption and portfolio allocation decisions in symmetrical ways. A unit elasticity of intertemporal substitution gives rise to myopia in consumption-savings decisions (the future does not affect the optimal consumption plan), while a unit coefficient of relative risk aversion gives rise to myopia in portfolio allocation (the future does not affect optimal portfolio allocation). The empirical evidence is consistent with the behavior of intertemporal maximizers who have a unit coefficient of relative risk aversion and an elasticity of intertemporal substitution different from 1.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2824.

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Date of creation: Jan 1989
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2824

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  1. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
  2. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
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  5. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1990. " Disentangling the Coefficient of Relative Risk Aversion from the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: An Irrelevance Result," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 175-90, March.
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  8. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Miller, Merton H & Scholes, Myron S, 1982. "Dividends and Taxes: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1118-41, December.
  10. Larry G. Epstein & Stanley E. Zin, 1987. "Substitution, Risk Aversion and the Temporal Behaviour of Consumption and Asset Returns II: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 698, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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  13. Mankiw, N Gregory & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1986. "Risk and Return: Consumption Beta versus Market Beta," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 452-59, August.
  14. Bergman, Yaacov Z., 1985. "Time preference and capital asset pricing models," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 145-159, March.
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  16. 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.
  17. Selden, Larry, 1978. "A New Representation of Preferences over "Certain A Uncertain" Consumption Pairs: The "Ordinal Certainty Equivalent" Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1045-60, September.
  18. Epstein, Larry G., 1988. "Risk aversion and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-192, September.
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