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Asset Prices in a Lifecycle Economy

  • Farmer, Roger E A

The representative agent model (RA) has dominated macroeconomics for the last thirty years. This model does a reasonably good job of explaining the co-movements of consumption, investment, GDP and employment during normal times. But it cannot easily explain movements in asset prices. Two facts are hard to understand 1) The return to equity is highly volatile and 2) The premium for holding equity, over a safe government bond, is large. The equity premium has two parts; a risk premium and a term premium. This paper constructs a lifecycle model in which agents of different generations have different savings rates and I use this model to account for a high term premium and a volatile stochastic discount factor. The fact the term premium is large, accounts for a substantial part of the observed equity premium.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9897.

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Date of creation: Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9897
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  1. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Roger Farmer & Carine Nourry & Alain Venditti, 2014. "The Inefficient Markets Hypothesis: Why Financial Markets Do Not Work Well in the Real World," 2014 Meeting Papers 516, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  4. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Xavier Gabaix, 2007. "Linearity-Generating Processes: A Modelling Tool Yielding Closed Forms for Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 13430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jessica Wachter, 2008. "Can time-varying risk of rare disasters explain aggregate stock market volatility?," 2008 Meeting Papers 944, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Christian Julliard & Anisha Ghosh, 2012. "Can Rare Events Explain the Equity Premium Puzzle?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(10), pages 3037-3076.
  8. Balasko, Yves & Cass, David, 1989. "The Structure of Financial Equilibrium with Exogenous Yields: The Case of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(1), pages 135-62, January.
  9. Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 421-36, June.
  10. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
  11. Azariadis, Costas, 1981. "Self-fulfilling prophecies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 380-396, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  14. Felix KUBLER & Karl SCHMEDDERS, 2010. "Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice, the Wealth Distribution and Asset Prices," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 10-21, Swiss Finance Institute.
  15. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  16. G. Constantinides, 1990. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1397, David K. Levine.
  17. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
  18. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-40, April.
  19. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1481-1509, 08.
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