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Nature or Nurture? Learning and Female Labor Force Dynamics

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  • Alessandra Fogli
  • Laura Veldkamp

Abstract

In this paper we provide a thorough characterization of the asset returns implied by a simple general equilibrium production economy with convex investment adjustment costs. When households have EpsteinÐZin preferences, there exist plausible parameter values such that the model generates unconditional mean riskÐfree rate and equity return, and volatility of consumption growth, which are in line with historical averages for the US economy. Consistently with the data, the priceÐdividend ratio is proÐcyclical and stock returns are predictable (and increasingly so as the time horizon increases), while dividend growth is not. The model also implies realistic values for (i) the correlation of the riskÐfree rate with output growth and consumption growth and (ii) the correlation pattern between riskÐfree rate, equity return, and equity premium. The risk implied by the model is rather low. Given the work of Rabin (2000) among others, it is not surprising that our EpsteinÐZin agent exhibits a much higher risk aversion when faced with substantially larger risks. This shortcoming, however, does not extend to the case in which agents are disappointment averse in the sense of Gul (1991). When faced with a lottery that has a coefficient of variation 100 times as large as that implied by our model, a disappointment averse agent displays the same relative risk aversion as an expected utility agent with logarithmic utility!

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 07-12.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:07-12

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Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/
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