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Can Time-Varying Risk of Rare Disasters Explain Aggregate Stock Market Volatility?


Why is the equity premium so high, and why are stocks so volatile? Why are stock returns in excess of government bill rates predictable? This paper proposes an answer to these questions based on a time-varying probability of a consumption disaster. In the model, aggregate consumption follows a normal distribution with low volatility most of the time, but with some probability of a consumption realization far out in the left tail. The possibility of this poor outcome substantially increases the equity premium, while time-variation in the probability of this outcome drives high stock market volatility and excess return predictability.

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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 68 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (06)
Pages: 987-1035

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:68:y:2013:i:3:p:987-1035
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  1. Darrell Duffie & Jun Pan & Kenneth Singleton, 2000. "Transform Analysis and Asset Pricing for Affine Jump-Diffusions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1343-1376, November.
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  4. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
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  8. Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney, 1999. "Consumption, Aggregate Wealth and Expected Stock Returns," CEPR Discussion Papers 2223, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Martin Lettau & Jessica Wachter, 2005. "Why is Long-Horizon Equity Less Risky? A Duration-Based Explanation of the Value Premium," NBER Working Papers 11144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Roger Lord & Remmert Koekkoek & Dick van Dijk, 2006. "A Comparison of Biased Simulation Schemes for Stochastic Volatility Models," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-046/4, Tinbergen Institute, revised 07 Jun 2007.
  11. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
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  16. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
  17. Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. "Dividend Yields and Expected Stock Returns: Alternative Procedures for Inference and Measurement," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 357-86.
  18. Gourio, Fran├žois, 2008. "Time-series predictability in the disaster model," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 191-203, December.
  19. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  20. Veronesi, Pietro, 2004. "The Peso problem hypothesis and stock market returns," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 707-725, January.
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