IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/finlet/v3y2006i3p181-193.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Disentangling risk aversion and intertemporal substitution through a reference level

Author

Listed:
  • Garcia, Rene
  • Renault, Eric
  • Semenov, Andrei

Abstract

In the standard consumption capital asset pricing model (CCAPM), the curvature of the investor's utility function captures two aspects of preferences: as the concavity of the function increases so does his aversion to risk as well as his desire to smooth consumption intertemporally. This restriction is not theoretically justified nor empirically supported. To disentangle the two concepts, Epstein and Zin (1989) and Weil (1989) have proposed a recursive utility framework. However, the ensuing risk aversion measure (1-α) should not be considered as a simple Arrow-Pratt index of relative risk aversion that could be interpreted independently of the level of the elasticity σ. The lack of disentangling comes from the fact that the recursive utility model introduces risk aversion through the definition of a certainty equivalent of future utility that mixes attitudes towards risk and intertemporal substitution. We show that the higher σ is (while remaining smaller than one to be realistic), the more (1-α) underestimates the genuine level of risk aversion since a higher σ facilitates intertemporal diversification and thus substantially lowers the level of risk that is significantly borne. We suggest that the requested disentangling may alternatively be obtained by introducing an exogenous reference level which, in a recursive way, assesses the expected future consumption. Therefore, risk aversion is now defined with respect to the unpredictable discrepancy between actual consumption and this reference level (a quantity independent of the attitude towards risk). In this new framework, preferences are represented by a generalized von Neumann-Morgenstern utility specification whereby satisfaction is derived from consumption relative to an external reference level as well as from this reference level itself. Dans le modèle standard d'évaluation des actifs financiers fondé sur la consommation (CCAPM), la courbure de la fonction d'utilité de l'investisseur associe deux aspects des
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Garcia, Rene & Renault, Eric & Semenov, Andrei, 2006. "Disentangling risk aversion and intertemporal substitution through a reference level," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 181-193, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finlet:v:3:y:2006:i:3:p:181-193
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1544-6123(06)00023-7
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    3. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
    4. Alberto Giovannini & Philippe Weil, 1989. "Risk Aversion and Intertemporal Substitution in the Capital Asset Pricing Model," NBER Working Papers 2824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
    6. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2004. "Using Asset Prices to Measure the Cost of Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1223-1256, December.
    7. Kreps, David M. & Porteus, Evan L., 1979. "Temporal von neumann-morgenstern and induced preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 81-109, February.
    8. 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 263-286, April.
    9. Bakshi, Gurdip S & Chen, Zhiwu, 1996. "The Spirit of Capitalism and Stock-Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 133-157, March.
    10. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-265, April.
    11. Sundaresan, Suresh M, 1989. "Intertemporally Dependent Preferences and the Volatility of Consumption and Wealth," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 73-89.
    12. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "The equity premium puzzle and the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 401-421, November.
    13. 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 937-969, July.
    14. Martin Lettau & Sydney Ludvigson, 2001. "Resurrecting the (C)CAPM: A Cross-Sectional Test When Risk Premia Are Time-Varying," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1238-1287, December.
    15. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    16. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1481-1509, August.
    17. Philippe Weil, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42.
    18. repec:fth:harver:1421 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Campbell, John Y, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing without Consumption Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 487-512, June.
    20. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942.
    21. 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 1215-1232.
    22. 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 519-543, June.
    23. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1984. "Optimal growth with many consumers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 139-171, February.
    24. Duffie, Darrel & Lions, Pierre-Louis, 1992. "PDE solutions of stochastic differential utility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 577-606.
    25. Martin S. Eichenbaum & Lars Peter Hansen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1988. "A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption and Leisure Choice Under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 51-78.
    26. Aschauer, David Alan, 1985. "Fiscal Policy and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 117-127, March.
    27. Startz, Richard, 1989. "The Stochastic Behavior of Durable and Nondurable Consumption," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 356-363, May.
    28. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory and Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53.
    29. Duffie, Darrell & Epstein, Larry G, 1992. "Stochastic Differential Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 353-394, March.
    30. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
    31. Duffie, Darrell & Epstein, Larry G, 1992. "Asset Pricing with Stochastic Differential Utility," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 411-436.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. H. Bertholon & A. Monfort & F. Pegoraro, 2008. "Econometric Asset Pricing Modelling," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 6(4), pages 407-458, Fall.
    2. repec:eee:jfinec:v:128:y:2018:i:2:p:207-233 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Grammig, Joachim & Schrimpf, Andreas, 2009. "Asset pricing with a reference level of consumption: New evidence from the cross-section of stock returns," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 113-123, August.
    4. Andrei Semenov, 2003. "An Empirical Assessment of a Consumption CAPM with a Reference Level under Incomplete Consumption Insurance," Working Papers 2003_5, York University, Department of Economics.
    5. Hansen, Lars Peter, 2013. "Risk Pricing over Alternative Investment Horizons," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    6. Echevarría, Cruz A., 2012. "Income tax progressivity, physical capital, aggregate uncertainty and long-run growth in an OLG economy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 955-974.
    7. Basu, Parantap & Semenov, Andrei & Wada, Kenji, 2011. "Uninsurable risk and financial market puzzles," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1055-1089, October.
    8. Monfort, Alain & Pegoraro, Fulvio, 2012. "Asset pricing with Second-Order Esscher Transforms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1678-1687.
    9. Roche, Hervé, 2011. "Asset prices in an exchange economy when agents have heterogeneous homothetic recursive preferences and no risk free bond is available," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 80-96, January.
    10. Badescu, Alex & Elliott, Robert J. & Siu, Tak Kuen, 2009. "Esscher transforms and consumption-based models," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 337-347, December.

    More about this item

    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:eee:finlet:v:3:y:2006:i:3:p:181-193. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/frl .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.