IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/h/eee/finchp/2-14.html
   My bibliography  Save this book chapter

The equity premium in retrospect

In: Handbook of the Economics of Finance

Author

Listed:
  • Mehra, Rajnish
  • Prescott, Edward C.

Abstract

This paper is a critical review of the literature on the "equity premium puzzle[equal, rising dots]. The puzzle, as originally articulated more than fifteen years ago, underscored the inability of the standard paradigm of Economics and Finance to explain the magnitude of the risk premium, that is, the return earned by a risky asset in excess of the return to a relatively riskless asset such as a U.S. government bond. The paper summarizes the historical experience for the USA and other industrialized countries and details the intuition behind the discrepancy between model prediction and empirical data. Various research approaches that have been proposed to enhance the model's realism are detailed and, as such, the paper reviews the major directions of theoretical financial research over the past ten years. The author argues that the majority of the proposed resolutions fail along crucial dimensions and proposes a promising direction for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 2003. "The equity premium in retrospect," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 889-938 Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finchp:2-14
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B7GX8-4DXJCWN-9/2/1a13db94b391bc64ba51d24e990d2cbb
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-240, April.
    2. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B., 2014. "Intermediate Financial Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 3, number 9780123865496.
    3. Orazio P. Attanasio & James Banks & Sarah Tanner, 2002. "Asset Holding and Consumption Volatility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 771-792, August.
    4. John H. Cochrane, 1997. "Where is the market going? Uncertain facts and novel theories," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 3-37.
    5. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Idiosyncratic Risk and Overlapping Generations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 519-548, October.
    6. Basak, Suleyman & Cuoco, Domenico, 1998. "An Equilibrium Model with Restricted Stock Market Participation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(2), pages 309-341.
    7. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1993. "Movements in the Equity Premium," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 75-138.
    8. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
    9. Andrew B. Abel & N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1989. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19.
    10. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B. & Mehra, Rajnish, 1992. "The equity premium and the allocation of income risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 509-532.
    11. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
    12. George M. Constantinides & John B. Donaldson & Rajnish Mehra, 2002. "Junior Can't Borrow: A New Perspective on the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 269-296.
    13. Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-1262, December.
    14. 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.
    15. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
    16. Alon Brav & George M. Constantinides & Christopher C. Geczy, 2002. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers and Limited Participation: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 793-824, August.
    17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    18. 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.
    19. John Heaton & Deborah J. Lucas, 2000. "Stock prices and fundamentals," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Apr.
    20. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1986. "The equity premium and the concentration of aggregate shocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-219, September.
    21. Ferson, Wayne E. & Constantinides, George M., 1991. "Habit persistence and durability in aggregate consumption: Empirical tests," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 199-240, October.
    22. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-1198, December.
    23. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
    24. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2002. "The Equity Premium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 637-659, April.
    25. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
    26. Mehra, Rajnish, 1988. "On the Existence and Representation of Equilibrium in an Economy with Growth and Nonstationary Consumption," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 131-135, February.
    27. Kandel, Shmuel & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1991. "Asset returns and intertemporal preferences," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 39-71, February.
    28. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 1998. "Asset Pricing when Risk Sharing is Limited by Default," NBER Working Papers 6476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Donaldson, John B. & Johnsen, Thore & Mehra, Rajnish, 1990. "On the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 571-596, October.
    30. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-956, October.
    31. He, Hua & Modest, David M, 1995. "Market Frictions and Consumption-Based Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 94-117, February.
    32. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-487, June.
    33. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2000. "Is the stock market overvalued?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 20-40.
    34. Mark Rubinstein, 1976. "The Valuation of Uncertain Income Streams and the Pricing of Options," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 407-425, Autumn.
    35. 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.
    36. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
    37. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 2000. "Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices: The Importance of Entrepreneurial Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1163-1198, June.
    38. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 115-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. Donaldson, John B. & Mehra, Rajnish, 1983. "Stochastic growth with correlated production shocks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 282-312, April.
    40. Breeden, Douglas T., 1979. "An intertemporal asset pricing model with stochastic consumption and investment opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 265-296, September.
    41. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2002. "The 6D Bias and the Equity-Premium Puzzle," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 257-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    42. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-286, April.
    43. Kris Jacobs, 1999. "Incomplete Markets and Security Prices: Do Asset-Pricing Puzzles Result from Aggregation Problems?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 123-163, February.
    44. John B. Donaldson & Rajnish Mehra, 1984. "Comparative Dynamics of an Equilibrium Intertemporal Asset Pricing Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 491-508.
    45. repec:cup:macdyn:v:1:y:1997:i:1:p:76-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    46. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Taxes, Regulations, and Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 8623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    47. Campbell, John Y., 2003. "Consumption-based asset pricing," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 803-887 Elsevier.
    48. Heaton, John, 1995. "An Empirical Investigation of Asset Pricing with Temporally Dependent Preference Specifications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 681-717, May.
    49. George M. Constantinides, 2002. "Rational Asset Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1567-1591, August.
    50. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1988. "The equity risk premium: A solution?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 133-136, July.
    51. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 1997. "Market Frictions, Savings Behavior, And Portfolio Choice," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 76-101, January.
    52. Lynch, Anthony W, 1996. " Decision Frequency and Synchronization across Agents: Implications for Aggregate Consumption and Equity Return," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1479-1497, September.
    53. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory and Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53.
    54. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-976, October.
    55. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
    56. Nicholas Barberis, 2000. "Investing for the Long Run when Returns Are Predictable," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 225-264, February.
    57. Tom Krebs, 2000. "Consumption-Based Asset Pricing with Incomplete Markets," Working Papers 2000-10, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    58. LeRoy,Stephen F. & Werner,Jan, 2014. "Principles of Financial Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107024120, February.
    59. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-1286, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:finchp:2-14. 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: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description .

    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.