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Explaining financial market facts: the importance of incomplete markets and transaction costs

Listed author(s):
  • S. Rao Aiyagari

In this article, I suggest that incomplete markets and transaction costs are crucial for explaining the high equity premium and the low risk-free rate. I first demonstrate the failure of the complete frictionless markets model in explaining these return puzzles and then show how introducing incomplete markets and transaction costs can lead to success. Additionally, I explain how these features lead to predictions concerning individual consumptions, wealths, portfolios, and asset market transactions that are in better agreement with the facts than the predictions of the complete frictionless markets model.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its journal Quarterly Review.

Volume (Year): (1993)
Issue (Month): Win ()
Pages: 17-31

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:1993:i:win:p:17-31:n:v.17no.1
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  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. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  3. Christopher Phelan & Robert M. Townsend, 1991. "Computing Multi-Period, Information-Constrained Optima," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 853-881.
  4. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Gertler, Mark, 1991. "Asset returns with transactions costs and uninsured individual risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 311-331, June.
  5. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-1248, September.
  6. Barsky, Robert B & Mankiw, N Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1986. "Ricardian Consumers with Keynesian Propensities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 676-691, September.
  7. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1991. "The consumption of stockholders and nonstockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, March.
  8. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E. Lucas, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution With Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 427-453.
  9. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-262, April.
  10. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
  11. Labadie, Pamela, 1989. "Stochastic inflation and the equity premium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 277-298, September.
  12. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
  13. Christopher D. Carroll, 1991. "Buffer stock saving and the permanent income hypothesis," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 114, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. 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.
  15. Kessler, Denis & Wolff, Edward N, 1991. "A Comparative Analysis of Household Wealth Patterns in France and the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 249-266, September.
  16. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
  17. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Gertler, Mark, 1991. "Asset returns with transactions costs and uninsured individual risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 311-331, June.
  18. James M. Nason, 1988. "The equity premium and time-varying risk behavior," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1988. "The equity risk premium: A solution?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 133-136, July.
  20. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
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