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Ambiguity and the historical equity premium

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Author Info

  • Sujoy Mukerji
  • Kevin Sheppard
  • Fabrice Collard and Jean-Marc Tallon

Abstract

This paper assesses the quantitative impact of ambiguity on the historically observed equity premium. We consider a Lucas-tree pure--exchange economy with a single agent where we introduce two key non-standard assumptions. First, the agent's beliefs about the dividend/consumption process is ambiguous, i.e., she is uncertain about the exact probability distribution governing the realization of future dividends and consumption. Second, the agent's preferences are sensitive to this ambiguity, a property formalized using the smooth ambiguity model. The consumption and dividend process is assumed to evolve according to a hidden state model, popularized by Bansal and Yaron (2004), where a persistent latent state variable describes temporary shocks to the mean of consumption growth prospects. We further extend the model to allow for uncertainty about the magnitude of the persistence of the latent state. The agent's beliefs are ambiguous due to the uncertainty about the conditional mean of the probability distribution on consumption and dividends in the next period. We show that in this model ambiguity is endogenously dynamic, for example, increasing during recessions. This results in an endogenously volatile and (counter-)cyclical equity premium. We calibrate the level of ambiguity aversion to match only the first moment of the risk-free rate in data, and ambiguity to match the uncertainty conditional on the historical growth path, and evaluate the model using moderate levels of risk aversion. We find that this simple modification of a Lucas-tree model accounts for a large part of the historical equity premium, both in terms of its level and variation over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 550.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:550

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Keywords: Ambiguity aversion; Asset pricing; Equity Premium puzzle;

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References

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Ambiguity and the historical equity premium
    by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2011-06-01 14:15:29
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Cited by:
  1. Massimo Guidolin & Francesca Rinaldi, 2011. "Ambiguity in Asset Pricing and Portfolio Choice: A Review of the Literature," Working Papers 417, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Michèle Cohen & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2009. "An experimental investigation of imprecision attitude and its relation with risk attitude and impatience," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00389674, HAL.
  3. Nengjiu Ju & Jianjun Miao, 2010. "Ambiguity, Learning, and Asset Returns," CEMA Working Papers 438, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  4. Christian Gollier, 2011. "Portfolio Choices and Asset Prices: The Comparative Statics of Ambiguity Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1329-1344.
  5. Gierlinger, Johannes & Gollier, Christian, 2008. "Socially Efficient Discounting under Ambiguity Aversion," IDEI Working Papers 561, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. Jayant Ganguli & Scott Condie & Philipp Karl Illeditsch, 2012. "Information Inertia," Economics Discussion Papers 719, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  7. Hua Chen & Michael Sherris & Tao Sun & Wenge Zhu, 2013. "Living With Ambiguity: Pricing Mortality-Linked Securities With Smooth Ambiguity Preferences," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(3), pages 705-732, 09.
  8. Massimo Guidolin & Hening Liu, 2013. "Ambiguity Aversion and Under-diversification," Working Papers 483, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. : Constantinos Antoniou & : Richard D.F. Harris & : Ruogu Zhang, 2013. "Ambiguity Aversion and Stock Market Participation: Evidence from Fund Flows," Working Papers wpn13-01, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  10. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Doriana Ruffino, 2010. "Alpha as Ambiguity: Robust Mean-Variance Portfolio Analysis," Working Papers 373, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. Jianjun Miao & Bin Wei & Hao Zhou, 2012. "Ambiguity Aversion and Variance Premium," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2012-009, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  12. Oliver Walker & Simon Dietz, 2011. "A representation result for choice under conscious unawareness," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 59, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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