IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v97y2007i4p1102-1130.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Subjective Expectations and Asset-Return Puzzles

Author

Listed:
  • Martin L. Weitzman

Abstract

In textbook expositions of the equity-premium, riskfree-rate and equity-volatility puzzles, agents are sure of the economy's structure while growth rates are normally distributed. But because of parameter uncertainty the thin-tailed normal distribution conditioned on realized data becomes a thick-tailed Student-t distribution, which changes the entire nature of what is considered "puzzling" by reversing every inequality discrepancy needing to be explained. This paper shows that Bayesian updating of unknown structural parameters inevitably adds a permanent tail-thickening effect to posterior expectations. The expected-utility ramifications of this for asset pricing are strong, work against the puzzles, and are very sensitive to subjective prior beliefs—even with asymptotically infinite data. (JEL D84, G12)

Suggested Citation

  • Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "Subjective Expectations and Asset-Return Puzzles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1102-1130, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:4:p:1102-1130
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.4.1102
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.97.4.1102
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:4:p:1102-1130. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.