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The CAPM and the risk appetite index; theoretical differences and empirical similarities

  • Marcello Pericoli

    ()

    (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

  • Massimo Sbracia

    ()

    (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

This paper analyzes the Risk Appetite Index (RAI), a measure of investors� risk aversion proposed by Kumar and Persaud (2001, 2002). We show that the RAI distinguishes between risk and risk aversion only under theoretically restrictive assumptions on the distribution of returns and the shocks affecting assets� riskiness. However, by comparing the RAI with a measure of risk aversion derived from the CAPM � a model that does not require those restrictive assumptions � we find that estimates are surprisingly similar. We explain this result by proving that, under a certain condition, the RAI can approximate the risk aversion parameter of a CAPM. This occurs if the ratio between the variance of the returns on assets and the variance of the riskiness of assets is sufficiently small�a condition that is met in our sample.

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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 586.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_586_06
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  1. Miroslav Misina, 2006. "Benchmark Index of Risk Appetite," Working Papers 06-16, Bank of Canada.
  2. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  5. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1982. "On the exclusion of assets from tests of the two-parameter model : A sensitivity analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 237-268, November.
  6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:28:y:2003:i:6:p:a6 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Miroslav Misina, 2003. "What does the risk-appetite index measure?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 28(6), pages A6.
  8. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
  9. Schwert, G. William, 1983. "Size and stock returns, and other empirical regularities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 3-12, June.
  10. Kumar, Manmohan S & Persaud, Avinash, 2002. "Pure Contagion and Investors' Shifting Risk Appetite: Analytical Issues and Empirical Evidence," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 401-36, Winter.
  11. Manmohan S. Kumar & Avinash Persaud, 2001. "Pure Contagion and Investors Shifting Risk Appetite; Analytical Issues and Empirical Evidence," IMF Working Papers 01/134, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
  13. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
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