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Pricing Risk in Economies with Heterogenous Agents and Incomplete Markets

  • Josep Pijoan-Mas

    (CEMFI)

Habit formation has been proposed as a possible solution for explaining the equity premium puzzle. This paper extends the class of models that support the habits explanation in order to account for heterogeneity in earnings, wealth, habits and consumption. I find that habit formation increases the equity premium. However, contrary to the earlier results in the literature, the habit hypothesis does not imply a price for risk much higher than the one implied by models with intertemporally separable preferences. The main reasons for this are general equilibrium ones. First, with just two assets available, households can smooth out consumption fluctuations very well. Therefore, the higher utility losses of uncertainty imposed by habits will not command a high price of risk because households manage to avoid this risk. Second, the composition of the set of agents pricing the assets is sensitive to changes in the model. In an economy with habits, pricing agents turn out to be households facing very small consumption fluctuations. In addition I characterize three important properties of the model economy that relate to portfolio choice: willingness to hold risky assets (1) increases with wealth, (2) decreases with labor earnings and (3) decreases with habit stock.

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File URL: http://www.ssc.upenn.edu/~vr0j/caerp/WPapers/HabAssPr_CAERP.pdf
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Paper provided by Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Perez (CAERP) in its series Centro de Alti­simos Estudios Ri­os Pe©rez(CAERP) with number 3.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cae:caerpp:3
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  1. 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 225-62, April.
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  3. Boldrin, Michele & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Fisher, Jonas D.M., 1997. "Habit Persistence And Asset Returns In An Exchange Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 312-332, June.
  4. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations," Seminar Papers 703, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  7. Lettau, Martin & Uhlig, Harald, 1997. "Preferences, Consumption Smoothing, and Risk Premia," CEPR Discussion Papers 1678, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2000. "Is the stock market overvalued?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 20-40.
  9. Castaneda, Ana & Diaz-Gimenez, Javier & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1998. "Exploring the income distribution business cycle dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 93-130, June.
  10. 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 443-87, June.
  11. Díaz, Antonia & Ríos Rull, José Víctor & Pijoan Mas, Josep, 2001. "Habit formation: implications for the wealth distribution," UC3M Working papers. Economics we015114, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  12. repec:cup:macdyn:v:1:y:1997:i:2:p:387-422 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
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  18. João Cocco & Francisco Gomes & Pascal Maenhout, 1998. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle," Working Papers Department of Economics ces9805, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  19. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  20. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
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  23. Judd, Kenneth L., 1992. "Projection methods for solving aggregate growth models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 410-452, December.
  24. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
  25. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
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  27. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  28. Santiago Budria Rodriguez & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2002. "Updated facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 2-35.
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