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Do heterogeneous beliefs diversify market risk?

  • Carl Chiarella
  • Roberto Dieci
  • Xue-Zhong He

It is believed that diversity is good for our society, but is it good for financial markets? In particular, does the diversity with respect to beliefs among investors reduce the market risk of risky assets? The current paper aims to answer this question. Within the standard mean-variance framework, we introduce heterogeneous beliefs not only in risk preferences and expected payoffs but also in variances/covariances. By aggregating heterogeneous beliefs into a market consensus belief, we obtain capital asset pricing model-like equilibrium price and return relationships under heterogeneous beliefs. We show that the market aggregate behaviour is in principle a weighted average of heterogeneous individual behaviours. The impact of heterogeneity on the market equilibrium price and risk premium is examined in general. In particular, we give a positive answer to the question in the title by considering some special structure in heterogeneous beliefs. In addition, we provide an explanation of Miller's long-standing hypothesis on the relation between a stock's risk and the divergence of opinions.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1351847X.2010.481457
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The European Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 17 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 241-258

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Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjfi:v:17:y:2011:i:3:p:241-258
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  1. Gaunersdorfer, A. & Hommes, C.H., 2005. "A nonlinear structural model for volatility clustering," CeNDEF Working Papers 05-02, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
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  3. Carl Chiarella & Roberto Dieci & Xue-Zhong He, 2005. "Heterogeneous Expectations and Speculative Behaviour in a Dynamic Multi-Asset Framework," Research Paper Series 166, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
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  5. J. Doyne Farmer & Laszlo Gillemot & Fabrizio Lillo & Szabolcs Mike & Anindya Sen, 2003. "What really causes large price changes?," Papers cond-mat/0312703, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2004.
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  7. Westerhoff, Frank H., 2004. "Multiasset Market Dynamics," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(05), pages 596-616, November.
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  9. Karl B. Diether & Christopher J. Malloy & Anna Scherbina, 2002. "Differences of Opinion and the Cross Section of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2113-2141, October.
  10. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Mark, 1998. "Asset Pricing with Distorted Beliefs: Are Equity Returns Too Good To Be True?," NBER Working Papers 6354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brock, W.A. & Hommes, C.H., 1996. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Working papers 9530r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  12. Carl Chiarella & Roberto Dieci & Laura Gardini, 2005. "The Dynamic Interaction of Speculation and Diversification," Applied Mathematical Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 17-52.
  13. Brock, William A. & Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "Heterogeneous beliefs and routes to chaos in a simple asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1235-1274, August.
  14. Carl Chiarella & Roberto Dieci & Xue-Zhong He, 2008. "Heterogeneity, Market Mechanisms, and Asset Price Dynamics," Research Paper Series 231, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
  15. He, Xue-Zhong & Li, Youwei, 2007. "Power-law behaviour, heterogeneity, and trend chasing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 3396-3426, October.
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  18. Laurent Calvet & Jean-Michel Grandmont & Isabelle Lemaire, 2001. "Aggregation of Heterogenous Beliefs and Asset Pricing in Complete Financial Markets," Working Papers 2001-01, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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