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A Theory of Asset Prices based on Heterogeneous Information

  • Albagli, Elias
  • Hellwig, Christian
  • Tsyvinski, Aleh

With only minimal restrictions on security payoffs and trader preferences, noisy aggregation of heterogeneous information drives a systematic wedge between the impact of fundamentals on the price of a security, and the corresponding impact on cash flow expectations. From an ex ante perspective, this information aggregation wedge leads to a systematic gap between an asset's expected price and its expected dividend. The sign and magnitude of this expected wedge depend on the asymmetry between upside and downside payoff risks and on the importance of information heterogeneity. We consider three applications of our theory. We first show that predictions of our model provide a novel theoretical justification and are quantitatively consistent with documented empirical regularities on negative relationship between returns and skewness. Second, we illustrate how heterogeneous information leads to systematic departures from the Modigliani-Miller theorem and provide a new theory of debt versus equity. Third, we provide conditions under which permanent over- or under-pricing of assets is sustainable in a dynamic version of our model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9291.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9291
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  1. Albagli, Elias & Hellwig, Christian & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Information Aggregation, Investment, and Managerial Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 8539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Aleh Tsyvinski & Arijit Mukherji & Christian Hellwig, 2006. "Self-Fulfilling Currency Crises: The Role of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1769-1787, December.
  3. Harrison Hong & Jeremy C. Stein, 2007. "Disagreement and the Stock Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 109-128, Spring.
  4. Masahiro Watanabe, 2008. "Price Volatility and Investor Behavior in an Overlapping Generations Model with Information Asymmetry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(1), pages 229-272, 02.
  5. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Volume, Volatility, Price and Profit When All Traders Are Above Average," Finance 9803001, EconWPA.
  6. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Volume, Volatility, Price, and Profit When All Traders Are Above Average," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1887-1934, December.
  7. Laura L. Veldkamp, 2011. "Information Choice in Macroeconomics and Finance," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9621, 01-2013.
  8. T. Clifton Green & Byoung-Hyoun Hwang, 2012. "Initial Public Offerings as Lotteries: Skewness Preference and First-Day Returns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(2), pages 432-444, February.
  9. Kathy Yuan, 2005. "Asymmetric Price Movements and Borrowing Constraints: A Rational Expectations Equilibrium Model of Crises, Contagion, and Confusion," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 379-411, 02.
  10. Harrison Hong & David Sraer, 2012. "Quiet Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 18547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Xavier Vives, 2007. "Information and Learning in Markets," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001520, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2001. "Asset Pricing under Asymmetric Information: Bubbles, Crashes, Technical Analysis, and Herding," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296980, December.
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