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The Spirit of Capitalism and Asset Pricing: An Empirical Investigation

  • Zhang Qiang

    ()

    (University of Memphis)

We extend and test two models of asset pricing that feature status-seeking through accumulation of not only financial and real assets but also human capital. We use weak-identification robust tests to confront these models with U.S. aggregate data. Contrary to previous results, we find that the spirit of capitalism hypothesis, modeled as either direct preference for wealth or pursuit of relative wealth status, is rejected. Therefore, adding status motive alone to an otherwise standard model may not be sufficient to resolve the equity premium puzzle.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 1-25

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:topics.6:y:2006:i:3:n:1
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  1. Ravi Jagannathan & Zhenyu Wang, 1996. "The conditional CAPM and the cross-section of expected returns," Staff Report 208, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1990. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," NBER Technical Working Papers 0089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zou, Heng-fu, 1994. "'The spirit of capitalism' and long-run growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 279-293, July.
  4. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-86, April.
  5. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Understanding Trend and Cycle in Asset Values: Reevaluating the Wealth Effect on Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 276-299, March.
  6. Zhang, Qiang, 2006. "Human Capital, Weak Identification, and Asset Pricing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 873-899, June.
  7. Liutang Gong & Heng-fu Zou, 2001. "Direct preferences for wealth, the risk premium puzzle, growth, and policy effectiveness," CEMA Working Papers 53, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  8. Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2006. "Empirical Proxies for the Consumption-Wealth Ratio," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 34-51, January.
  9. Smith, William T, 2001. "How Does the Spirit of Capitalism Affect Stock Market Prices?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 1215-32.
  10. Martin Lettau, 2000. "Cross-variable restrictions in Euler equations and risk premia," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 99-101.
  11. Sydney Ludvigson & Martin Lettau, 1999. "Consumption, aggregate wealth and expected stock returns," Staff Reports 77, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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