IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Ambiguity and Asset Markets

  • Larry G. Epstein
  • Martin Schneider


    (Department of Economics, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
    Department of Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305)

The Ellsberg paradox suggests that people's behavior is different in risky situations—when they are given objective probabilities—from their behavior in ambiguous situations—when they are not told the odds (as is typical in financial markets). Such behavior is inconsistent with subjective expected utility (SEU) theory, the standard model of choice under uncertainty in financial economics. This article reviews models of ambiguity aversion. It shows that such models—in particular, the multiple-priors model of Gilboa and Schmeidler—have implications for portfolio choice and asset pricing that are very different from those of SEU and that help to explain otherwise puzzling features of the data.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text downloads are only available to subscribers. Visit the abstract page for more information.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 315-346

in new window

Handle: RePEc:anr:refeco:v:2:y:2010:p:315-346
Contact details of provider: Postal: Annual Reviews 4139 El Camino Way Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA
Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Baillon, Aurélien & Driesen, Bram & Wakker, Peter P., 2012. "Relative concave utility for risk and ambiguity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 481-489.
  2. Sbuelz, Alessandro & Trojani, Fabio, 2008. "Asset prices with locally constrained-entropy recursive multiple-priors utility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3695-3717, November.
  3. Pierpaolo Benigno & Salvatore Nisticò, 2009. "International Portfolio Allocation under Model Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 14734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Nengjiu Ju & Jianjun Miao, 2012. "Ambiguity, Learning, and Asset Returns," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 559-591, 03.
  5. Mukerji, S. & Tallon, J.-M., 1999. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Financial Markets," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 1999-28, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  6. Uppal, Raman & Wang, Tan, 2002. "Model Misspecification and Under-Diversification," CEPR Discussion Papers 3304, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. David Easley & Maureen O'Hara, 2009. "Ambiguity and Nonparticipation: The Role of Regulation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(5), pages 1817-1843, May.
  8. David Ahn & Syngjoo Choi & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2014. "Estimating ambiguity aversion in a portfolio choice experiment," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 195-223, 07.
  9. Bryan Routledge & Stanley Zin, . "Model Uncertainty and Liquidity," GSIA Working Papers 2001-E17, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  10. Epstein, Larry G. & Schneider, Martin, 2003. "Recursive multiple-priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 1-31, November.
  11. John Y. Campbell & Luis M. Viceira, 1998. "Consumption and Portfolio Decisions When Expected Returns Are Time Varying," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1835, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Mukerji, S. & Tallon, J.-M., 2000. "Ambiguity Aversion and the Absence of Indexed Debt," Economics Series Working Papers 9928, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2003. "Ellsberg's two-color experiment, portfolio inertia and ambiguity," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00499358, HAL.
  14. Massimo Guidolin & Francesca Rinaldi, 2010. "A simple model of trading and pricing risky assets under ambiguity: any lessons for policy-makers?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1-2), pages 105-135.
  15. Epstein, Larry G. & Miao, Jianjun, 2003. "A two-person dynamic equilibrium under ambiguity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1253-1288, May.
  16. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2006. "Recursive Smooth Ambiguity Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 17, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2008.
  17. Thibault Gajdos & Takashi Hayashi & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2008. "Attitude toward imprecise information," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00451982, HAL.
  18. Larry Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2002. "Learning Under Ambiguity," RCER Working Papers 497, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER), revised Mar 2005.
  19. Trojani, Fabio & Vanini, Paolo, 2002. "A note on robustness in Merton's model of intertemporal consumption and portfolio choice," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 423-435, March.
  20. Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff, 2002. "A Smooth Model of Decision,Making Under Ambiguity," Economics Series Working Papers 113, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  21. Larry Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2004. "Ambiguity, Information Quality and Asset Pricing," RCER Working Papers 507, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  22. Patrick Gagliardini & Paolo Porchia & Fabio Trojani, 2007. "Ambiguity Aversion and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-29, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  23. Antonio Mele & Francesco Sangiorgi, 2009. "Ambiguity, information acquisition and price swings in asset markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24424, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  24. Isaac Kleshchelski & Nicolas Vincent, 2009. "Robust Equilibrium Yield Curves," Cahiers de recherche 0907, CIRPEE.
  25. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Dynamic Variational Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 1, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  26. Han Ozsoylev & Jan Werner, 2011. "Liquidity and asset prices in rational expectations equilibrium with ambiguous information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 469-491, October.
  27. Peter Bossaerts & Paolo Ghirardato & Serena Guarnaschelli & William R. Zame, 2010. "Ambiguity in Asset Markets: Theory and Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1325-1359, April.
  28. David A. Chapman & Valery Polkovnichenko, 2009. "First-Order Risk Aversion, Heterogeneity, and Asset Market Outcomes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1863-1887, 08.
  29. Fabio Trojani & Paolo Vanini, 2004. "Robustness and Ambiguity Aversion in General Equilibrium," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 279-324.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:anr:refeco:v:2:y:2010:p:315-346. 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: (

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.