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The Inefficient Markets Hypothesis: Why Financial Markets Do Not Work Well in the Real World

  • Farmer, Roger E A
  • Nourry, Carine
  • Venditti, Alain

Existing literature continues to be unable to offer a convincing explanation for the volatility of the stochastic discount factor in real world data. Our work provides such an explanation. We do not rely on frictions, market incompleteness or transactions costs of any kind. Instead, we modify a simple stochastic representative agent model by allowing for birth and death and by allowing for heterogeneity in agents' discount factors. We show that these two minor and realistic changes to the timeless Arrow-Debreu paradigm are sufficient to invalidate the implication that competitive financial markets efficiently allocate risk. Our work demonstrates that financial markets, by their very nature, cannot be Pareto efficient, except by chance. Although individuals in our model are rational; markets are not.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9283.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9283
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  9. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
  10. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2006. "Bubbles and capital flow volatility: Causes and risk management," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 35-53, January.
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  13. Malinvaud, Edmond, 1987. "The Overlapping Generations Model in 1947," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 103-05, March.
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  15. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  17. Martin, Alberto & Ventura, Jaume, 2010. "Theoretical Notes on Bubbles and the Current Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 8038, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Jess Benhabib & Pengfei Wang & Yi Wen, 2012. "Sentiments and aggregate demand fluctuations," Working Papers 2012-039, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  19. Roger E.A. Farmer & Carine Nourry & Alain Venditti, 2009. "Debt, deficits and finite horizons: the stochastic case," Working Papers halshs-00439336, HAL.
  20. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
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  22. Futia, Carl A, 1982. "Invariant Distributions and the Limiting Behavior of Markovian Economic Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 377-408, March.
  23. 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.
  24. Roger E.A. Farmer & Jang Ting Guo, 1992. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," UCLA Economics Working Papers 680, UCLA Department of Economics.
  25. Shell, Karl, 1971. "Notes on the Economics of Infinity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(5), pages 1002-11, Sept.-Oct.
  26. Christopher J. Malloy & Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2009. "Long-Run Stockholder Consumption Risk and Asset Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(6), pages 2427-2479, December.
  27. Eugene F. Fama, 1963. "Mandelbrot and the Stable Paretian Hypothesis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 420.
  28. Robert B. Barsky & J. Bradford De Long, 1993. "Why Does the Stock Market Fluctuate?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 291-311.
  29. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "Presidential Address: Discount Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(4), pages 1047-1108, 08.
  30. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Woodford, Michael, 1997. "Self-Fulfilling Prophecies And The Business Cycle," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(04), pages 740-769, December.
  31. Wen, Yi, 1998. "Capacity Utilization under Increasing Returns to Scale," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 7-36, July.
  32. John Geanakoplos & Ana Fostel, 2008. "Leverage Cycles and the Anxious Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1211-44, September.
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