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Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing

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  • John Heaton
  • Deborah Lucas

Abstract

We examine asset prices and consumption patterns in a model in which agents face both aggregate and idiosyncratic income shocks, and insurance markets are incomplete. Agents reduce consumption variability by trading in a stock and bond market to offset idiosyncratic shocks, but transactions costs in both markets limit the extent of trade. To calibrate the model, we estimate an empirical model of labor and dividend income, using data from the PSID and the NIPA. Although the agents in the model are not very risk averse, the model predicts a sizable equity premium and a low riskfree rate. By simultaneously considering aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks, we decompose this effect of transactions costs on the equity premium into two components. The direct effect is due to the fact that individuals equate net-of-cost margins, so an asset with lower associated transactions costs will have a lower market rate of return. A second, indirect effect occurs because transactions costs result in individual consumption that more closely tracks individual income than aggregate consumption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4249.

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Date of creation: Jan 1993
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Publication status: published as Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 104, no. 3 (June 1996): 443-487.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4249

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  1. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1990. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," NBER Technical Working Papers 0089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-40, April.
  3. Amihud, Yakov & Mendelson, Haim, 1986. "Asset pricing and the bid-ask spread," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 223-249, December.
  4. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
  5. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1986. "The equity premium and the concentration of aggregate shocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-219, September.
  6. Chris I. Telmer, 1991. "Asset Pricing Puzzles and Incomplete Markets," Working Papers 806, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Constantinides, George M, 1986. "Capital Market Equilibrium with Transaction Costs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 842-62, August.
  8. 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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  9. Albert Marcet & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1990. "Equilibrium asset prices and savings of heterogeneous agents in the presence of incomplete markets and portfolio constraints," Economics Working Papers 319, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 1998.
  10. S Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Asset Returns with transaction costs and uninsured individual risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 648, David K. Levine.
  11. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  12. S. Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1990. "Asset Returns with Transactions Cost and Uninsured Risk: A Stage III Exercise," NBER Working Papers 3481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
  14. Dumas, Bernard, 1989. "Two-Person Dynamic Equilibrium in the Capital Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(2), pages 157-88.
  15. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 1992. "The effects of incomplete insurance markets and trading costs in a consumption-based asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 601-620.
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