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Risk aversion and the elasticity of substitution in general dynamic portfolio theory: Consistent planning by forward looking, expected utility maximizing investors

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  • Kihlstrom, Richard

Abstract

Using the measure of risk aversion suggested by Kihlstrom and Mirman [Kihlstrom, R., Mirman, L., 1974. Risk aversion with many commodities. Journal of Economic Theory 8, 361-388; Kihlstrom, R., Mirman, L., 1981. Constant, increasing and decreasing risk aversion with many commodities. Review of Economic Studies 48, 271-280], we propose a dynamic consumption-savings-portfolio choice model in which the consumer-investor maximizes the expected value of a non-additively separable utility function of current and future consumption. Preferences for consumption streams are CES and the elasticity of substitution can be chosen independently of the risk aversion measure. The additively separable case is a special case. Because choices are not dynamically consistent, we follow the "consistent planning" approach of Strotz [Strotz, R., 1956. Myopia and inconsistency in dynamic utility maximization. Review of Economic Studies 23, 165-180] and also interpret our analysis from the game theoretic perspective taken by Peleg and Yaari [Peleg, B., Yaari, M., 1973. On the existence of a consistent course of action when tastes are changing. Review of Economic Studies 40, 391-401]. The equilibrium of the Lucas asset pricing model with i.i.d. consumption growth is obtained and the equity premium is shown to depend on the elasticity of substitution as well as the risk aversion measure. The nature of the dependence is examined. Our results are contrasted with those of the non-expected utility recursive approach of Epstein-Zin and Weil.

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  • Kihlstrom, Richard, 2009. "Risk aversion and the elasticity of substitution in general dynamic portfolio theory: Consistent planning by forward looking, expected utility maximizing investors," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(9-10), pages 634-663, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:45:y:2009:i:9-10:p:634-663
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