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Is There Evidence of Pessimism and Doubt in Subjective Distributions? A Comment on Abel

Author

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  • Giordani, Paolo
  • Söderlind, Paul

Abstract

Abel (2002) shows that pessimism and doubt in the subjective distribution of the growth rate of consumption reduce the risk-free rate puzzle and the equity premium puzzle. We quantify the amount of pessimism and doubt in survey data on US consumption and income. Individual forecasters are, in fact, pessimistic, but show marked overconfidence rather than doubt. Whether this implies that overconfidence should be built into Abel’s model depends on how the empirically heterogeneous subjective distributions are mapped into the distribution of a fictitious representative agent. We work out the form of this mapping in an Arrow-Debreu economy and show that the equity premium increases with the dispersion of beliefs. We then estimate this aggregate distribution and find little evidence of either overconfidence or doubt.

Suggested Citation

  • Giordani, Paolo & Söderlind, Paul, 2003. "Is There Evidence of Pessimism and Doubt in Subjective Distributions? A Comment on Abel," CEPR Discussion Papers 4068, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4068
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2003. "Inflation forecast uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1037-1059, December.
    2. Abel, Andrew B., 2002. "An exploration of the effects of pessimism and doubt on asset returns," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 1075-1092, July.
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    8. Rubinstein, Mark, 1974. "An aggregation theorem for securities markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 225-244, September.
    9. Detemple Jerome & Murthy Shashidhar, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 294-320, April.
    10. David Hirshleifer, 2001. "Investor Psychology and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1533-1597, August.
    11. Christoffersen, Peter F, 1998. "Evaluating Interval Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 841-862, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2012. "Information Disclosure and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 195-234, February.
    2. Engelberg, Joseph & Manski, Charles F. & Williams, Jared, 2009. "Comparing the Point Predictions and Subjective Probability Distributions of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 30-41.
    3. Jouini, E. & Napp, C., 2008. "On Abel's concept of doubt and pessimism," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3682-3694, November.
    4. Rydqvist, Kristian, 2010. "Tax Arbitrage with Risk and Effort Aversion - Swedish Lottery Bonds 1970-1990," SIFR Research Report Series 70, Institute for Financial Research.
    5. Jouini, Elyes & Napp, Clotilde, 2006. "Heterogeneous beliefs and asset pricing in discrete time: An analysis of pessimism and doubt," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1233-1260, July.
    6. Verma, Rahul & Soydemir, Gökçe, 2009. "The impact of individual and institutional investor sentiment on the market price of risk," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 1129-1145, August.
    7. Dreber, Anna & Rand, David G. & Garcia, Justin R. & Wernerfelt, Nils & Lum, J. Koji & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2010. "Dopamine and Risk Preferences in Different Domains," Working Paper Series rwp10-012, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    8. Olivier Armantier & Nicolas Treich, 2006. "Overbidding in Independant Private-Values Auctions and Misperception of Probabilities," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-15, CIRANO.
    9. repec:dau:papers:123456789/198 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    aggregation of beliefs; C42; equity premium; livingston survey; risk-free rate; survey of professional forecasters;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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