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Macroeconomic Sources of Equity Risk

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  • P N Smith
  • S Sorensen
  • M R Wickens

Abstract

There are very few estimates of a time-varying equity risk premium based on models that satisfy a no-arbitrage condition. The main aim of this paper is to estimate the US and UK equity risk premia implied by a number of well-known asset pricing models using monthly data for 1975-2001. The models include consumption-based CAPM with power utility, the Epstein-Zin general equilibrium model with time non-separable preferences, CAPM, and the SDF model. We show that most of the theoretical models of the equity risk premium that have been proposed in the literature are special cases the SDF model. We explain why some of them are unable to do this as formulated. In addition to examining existing theories of the equity risk premium, we use the SDF model to generate new theories. We find that macroeconomic variables not previously considered, and not consistent with standard general equilibrium theory, such as production, appear to be priced for the equity risk premium. This suggests that traditional general equilibrium considerations may not be the sole explanation for the equity risk premium; other short-term factors associated with pure price risk may also be involved. A related, and rapidly growing, literature adopts a more statistical approach. It focusses on the empirical relation between the return on equity (or the Sharpe ratio) and return volatility. We use SDF theory to show that this relation is misconceived. The reason for the absence of estimates of the equity risk premium is the difficulty of estimating it. Most of the empirical evidence on these asset pricing models is based on calibration, or the estimation of the Euler equation by GMM, neither of which delivers an estimate of the risk premium. We use a new empirical approach that does produce estimates of the risk premium and allows tests of the theories. As a result we provide the first estimates of the equity risk premium for some of these models. We then use our estimates to investigate the importance of different components of the equity risk premium including, amongst others, return volatility.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 03/13.

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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:03/13

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  1. Campbell, John Y, 1996. "Understanding Risk and Return," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 298-345, April.
  2. A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
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  5. Baillie, R.T. & Degennaro, R.P., 1988. "Stock Returns And Volatility," Papers 8803, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
  6. Mike R Wickens & Peter N Smith, . "Macroeconmic Sources of FOREX Risk," Discussion Papers 01/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. L. Epstein & S. Zin, 2010. "First order risk aversion and the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1400, David K. Levine.
  8. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
  9. Glosten, Lawrence R & Jagannathan, Ravi & Runkle, David E, 1993. " On the Relation between the Expected Value and the Volatility of the Nominal Excess Return on Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1779-1801, December.
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  12. Smith, Peter & Wickens, Michael, 2002. " Asset Pricing with Observable Stochastic Discount Factors," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 397-446, July.
  13. Andrew Ang & Monika Piazzesi, 2001. "A No-Arbitrage Vector Autoregression of Term Structure Dynamics with Macroeconomic and Latent Variables," NBER Working Papers 8363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  15. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. John T. Scruggs, 1998. "Resolving the Puzzling Intertemporal Relation between the Market Risk Premium and Conditional Market Variance: A Two-Factor Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 575-603, 04.
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Cited by:
  1. Peter N Smith & S Sorensen & M R Wickens, 2005. "The asymmetric effect of the business cycle on the relation between stock market returns and their volatility," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 47, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  2. Renatas Kizys & Peter Spencer, 2007. "Assessing the Relation between Equity Risk Premia and Macroeconomic Volatilities," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 140, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  3. Tigran Poghosyan & Evzen Kocenda, 2007. "Macroeconomic Sources of Foreign Exchange Risk in New EU Members," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp898, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Pierre Monnin, . "Are stock markets really like beauty contests? Empirical evidence of higher order belief's impact on asset prices," IEW - Working Papers 202, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Peter N Smith & Steffen Sorensen & Mike Wickens, 2007. "The Asymmetric Effect of the Business Cycle on the Equity Premium (This is an extensively revised version of earlier paper No. 06/04)," Discussion Papers 07/11, Department of Economics, University of York.
  6. Vit Posta, 2012. "Time-Varying Risk Premium in the Czech Capital Market: Did the Market Experience a Structural Shock in 2008–2009?," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 62(5), pages 450-470, November.
  7. Evžen Koèenda & Tigran Poghosyan, 2010. "Exchange Rate Risk in Central European Countries," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 60(1), pages 22-39, February.
  8. P N Smith & S Sorensen & M R Wickens, . "An Asset Market Integration Test Based on Observable Macroeconomic Stochastic Discount Factors," Discussion Papers 03/14, Department of Economics, University of York.

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