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Myopic loss aversion, disappointment aversion, and the equity premium puzzle

  • Fielding, David
  • Stracca, Livio

This paper takes a close look at the 'behavioural finance' explanations of the equity premium puzzle, namely myopic loss aversion (Benartzi and Thaler, 1995) and disappointment aversion (Ang, Bekaert and Liu, 2000). The paper proposes a simple specification of loss and disappointment aversion and brings these theories to the data. The main conclusion of the paper is that a highly short-sighted investment horizon is required for the historical equity premium to be explained by loss aversion, while reasonable values for disappointment aversion are found also for long investment horizons. So, stocks may lose only in the short term, but may disappoint also in the long term. JEL Classification: G11, G12

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 64 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 250-268

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:64:y:2007:i:2:p:250-268
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  1. Constantinides, G.M. & Donalson, J.B. & Mehra, R., 1997. "Junior Can't Borrow: A New Perspective on the Equity Premium Puzzle," Papers 97-24, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
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  3. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory And Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53, February.
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  6. Benartzi, Shlomo & Thaler, Richard H, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92, February.
  7. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert & Jun Liu, 2000. "Why Stocks May Disappoint," NBER Working Papers 7783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brown, Stephen J & Goetzmann, William N & Ross, Stephen A, 1995. " Survival," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 853-73, July.
  9. Epstein, Larry G. & Zin, Stanley E., 1990. "'First-order' risk aversion and the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 387-407, December.
  10. Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Economics Working Papers E00-279, University of California at Berkeley.
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  12. 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 519-43, June.
  13. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
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  18. Frankfurter, George M. & McGoun, Elton G., 2002. "Resistance is futile: the assimilation of behavioral finance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 375-389, August.
  19. Otrok, Christopher & Ravikumar, B. & Whiteman, Charles H., 2002. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1261-1288, September.
  20. George M. Constantinides, 2002. "Rational Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 8826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S251-78, October.
  22. Jeremy J. Siegel & Richard H. Thaler, 1997. "Anomalies: The Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 191-200, Winter.
  23. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  24. Jia, Jianmin & Dyer, James S & Butler, John C, 2001. " Generalized Disappointment Models," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 59-78, January.
  25. Rajnish Mehra, 2003. "The Equity Premium: Why is it a Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 9512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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