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Pricing Risk in Economies with Heterogenous Agents and Incomplete Markets

  • Pijoan-Mas, Josep

Habit formation has been proposed as a possible solution to 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 does indeed increase the equity premium. However, contrary to earlier results, the habit hypothesis does not imply a price for risk as big as the one measured in the data. There are three reasons for this. First, households in a habits economy modify their consumption/savings decision. Second, they modify their portfolio choice. These two changes in behavior diminish the consumption fluctuations faced by households. And third, the composition of the set of agents pricing risk in the economy changes so that relatively better self-insured households end up pricing risk.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5602.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5602
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  1. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. 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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  6. 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.
  7. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2001. "Asset Pricing with Idiosyncratic Risk and Overlapping Generations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3065, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. Krusell, Per & Smith, Anthony A., 1997. "Income And Wealth Heterogeneity, Portfolio Choice, And Equilibrium Asset Returns," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 387-422, June.
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  14. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
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  27. 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.
  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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