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On the Consequences of State Dependent Preferences for the Pricing of Financial Assets

  • Jean-Pierre Danthine

    (Université de Lausanne, FAME and CEPR)

  • John B. Donaldson

    (Columbia University)

  • Christos Giannikos

    (Baruch College, City University of New York)

  • Hany Guirguis

    (Manhattan College)

This paper introduces state dependent utility into the standard Mehra and Prescott (1985) economy by allowing the representative agent’s coefficient of relative risk aversion to vary with the underlying economy’s growth rate. Existence of equilibrium is proved and its asymptotic properties analyzed. This generalization leads to level dependent marginal rates of substitution, a property that sharply distinguishes this model from the standard construct. For very low coefficients of relative risk aversion, the equilibrium risk free and risky security returns are demonstrated to have volatilities and an associated equity premium that substantially exceed what is found in the data. This provides a contrasting perspective on the classic “equity premium puzzle.”

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Paper provided by International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering in its series FAME Research Paper Series with number rp73.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fam:rpseri:rp73
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  1. Phillippe Weil, 1997. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1833, David K. Levine.
  2. Isen, Alice M. & Geva, Nehemia, 1987. "The influence of positive affect on acceptable level of risk: The person with a large canoe has a large worry," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 145-154, April.
  3. Falato, Antonio, 2009. "Happiness maintenance and asset prices," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1247-1262, June.
  4. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  5. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
  6. Gordon, Stephen & St-Amour, Pascal, 2003. "Asset Returns and State-Dependent Risk Preferences," Cahiers de recherche 0316, CIRPEE.
  7. 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.
  8. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Angelo Melino & Alan X. Yang, 2003. "State Dependent Preferences Can Explain the Equity Premium Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 806-830, October.
  10. Jean-Pierre Danthine & John B. Donaldson & Christos Giannikos & Hany Guirguis, 2002. "On the Consequences of State Dependent Preferences for the Pricing of Financial Assets," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 02.17, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  11. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  12. Mehra, Rajnish & Sah, Raaj, 2002. "Mood fluctuations, projection bias, and volatility of equity prices," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 869-887, May.
  13. Bosch-Domenech, Antoni & Silvestre, Joaquim, 1999. "Does risk aversion or attraction depend on income? An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 265-273, December.
  14. Nygren, Thomas E. & Isen, Alice M. & Taylor, Pamela J. & Dulin, Jessica, 1996. "The Influence of Positive Affect on the Decision Rule in Risk Situations: Focus on Outcome (and Especially Avoidance of Loss) Rather Than Probability," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 59-72, April.
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