IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Intertemporal asset pricing and the marginal utility of wealth


  • Battauz, Anna
  • De Donno, Marzia
  • Ortu, Fulvio


Abstract We consider the general class of discrete-time, finite-horizon intertemporal asset pricing models in which preferences for consumption at the intermediate dates are allowed to be state-dependent, satiated, non-convex and discontinuous, and the information structure is not required to be generated by a Markov process of state variables. We supply a generalized definition of marginal utility of wealth based on the Fréchet differential of the value operator that maps time t wealth into maximum conditional remaining utility. We show that in this general case all state-price densities/stochastic discount factors are fully characterized by the marginal utility of wealth of optimizing agents even if their preferences for intermediate consumption are highly irregular. Our result requires only the strict monotonicity of preferences for terminal wealth and the existence of a portfolio with positive and bounded gross returns. We also relate our generalized notion of marginal utility of wealth to the equivalent martingale measures/risk-neutral probabilities commonly employed in derivative asset pricing theory. We supply an example in which our characterization holds while the standard representation of state-price densities in terms of marginal utilities of optimal consumption fails.

Suggested Citation

  • Battauz, Anna & De Donno, Marzia & Ortu, Fulvio, 2011. "Intertemporal asset pricing and the marginal utility of wealth," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 227-244, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:47:y:2011:i:2:p:227-244

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Kreps, David M., 1981. "Arbitrage and equilibrium in economies with infinitely many commodities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 15-35, March.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Laroque, Guy, 1990. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 25-51, January.
    4. Allouch, Nizar & Le Van, Cuong, 2008. "Walras and dividends equilibrium with possibly satiated consumers," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(9-10), pages 907-918, September.
    5. Allouch, Nizar & Le Van, Cuong, 2009. "Erratum to "Walras and dividends equilibrium with possibly satiated consumers"," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3-4), pages 320-328, March.
    6. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    7. Polemarchakis, H. M. & Siconolfi, P., 1993. "Competitive equilibria without free disposal or nonsatiation," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 85-99.
    8. Anna Battauz & Marzia De Donno & Fulvio Ortu, 2011. "Envelope theorems in Banach lattices," Working Papers 396, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    9. Grishchenko, Olesya V., 2010. "Internal vs. external habit formation: The relative importance for asset pricing," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 176-194, May.
    10. Machina, Mark J, 1982. ""Expected Utility" Analysis without the Independence Axiom," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 277-323, March.
    11. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
    12. 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.
    13. Sato, Norihisa, 2010. "Satiation and existence of competitive equilibrium," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 534-551, July.
    14. David A. Chapman, 1998. "Habit Formation and Aggregate Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1223-1230, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    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:mateco:v:47:y:2011:i:2:p:227-244. 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: .

    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.