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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
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Handle: RePEc:fam:rpseri:rp73
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  1. 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.
  2. Antonio Falato, 2008. "Happiness maintenance and asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  4. 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.
  5. Gordon, Stephen & St-Amour, Pascal, 2003. "Asset Returns and State-Dependent Risk Preferences," Cahiers de recherche 0316, CIRPEE.
  6. Philippe Weil, 1989. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 2829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. G. Constantinides, 1990. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1397, David K. Levine.
  10. 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.
  11. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 1999. "Does risk aversion or attraction depend on income? An experiment," Economics Working Papers 361, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 1999.
  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. 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.
  14. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
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