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Rare Events, Financial Crises, and the Cross-Section of Asset Returns

  • Francesco Bianchi

This paper shows that rare events are important in explaining the cross section of asset returns because of their role in shaping agents' expectations. I reconsider the "bad beta, good beta" ICAPM proposed by Campbell and Vuolteenaho and I point out that the explanatory power of the model relies on including the stock market crash that opened the Great Depression. When using a Markov-switching VAR, a '30s regime is identified. This regime receives a large weight when forming expectations consistent with the ICAPM, suggesting that the way agents think about financial markets is shaped by what happens during extreme circumstances. From a technical point of view, the paper extends the present value decomposition of Campbell and Shiller to allow for Markov-switching dynamics in the law of motion of the state variables. This approach could shed new light on the sensitivity of the present value decomposition methodology to the sample choice.

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Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 10-40.

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Length: 46
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:10-40
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  1. 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.
  2. Long Chen & Xinlei Zhao, 2009. "Return Decomposition," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 5213-5249, December.
  3. Xavier Gabaix, 2008. "Variable Rare Disasters: An Exactly Solved Framework for Ten Puzzles in Macro-Finance," NBER Working Papers 13724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jacquier, Eric & Polson, Nicholas G & Rossi, Peter E, 1994. "Bayesian Analysis of Stochastic Volatility Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 371-89, October.
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  9. Campbell, John, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207695, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Bianchi, Francesco & Mumtaz, Haroon & Surico, Paolo, 2009. "The great moderation of the term structure of UK interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 856-871, September.
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  17. Sims, Christopher A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2008. "Methods for inference in large multiple-equation Markov-switching models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 255-274, October.
  18. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2009. "Understanding Markov-switching rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1849-1867, September.
  19. Christopher A. Sims, 2006. "Rational Inattention: Beyond the Linear-Quadratic Case," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 158-163, May.
  20. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2005. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 92, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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  23. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
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