IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Risk aversion, the labor margin, and asset pricing in DSGE models


  • Eric T. Swanson


In dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models, the household's labor margin as well as consumption margin affects Arrow-Pratt risk aversion. This paper derives simple, closed-form expressions for risk aversion that take into account the household's labor margin. Ignoring the labor margin can lead to wildly inaccurate measures of the household's true attitudes toward risk. We show that risk premia on assets computed using the stochastic discount factor are proportional to Arrow-Pratt risk aversion, so that measuring risk aversion correctly is crucial for understanding asset prices. Closed-form expressions for risk aversion in DSGE models with generalized recursive preferences and internal and external habits are also derived.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric T. Swanson, 2009. "Risk aversion, the labor margin, and asset pricing in DSGE models," Working Paper Series 2009-26, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2009-26

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benveniste, L M & Scheinkman, J A, 1979. "On the Differentiability of the Value Function in Dynamic Models of Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 727-732, May.
    2. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
    3. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
    5. Boldrin, Michele & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Fisher, Jonas D.M., 1997. "Habit Persistence And Asset Returns In An Exchange Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 312-332, June.
    6. Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Examining the bond premium puzzle with a DSGE model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages 111-126, October.
    7. 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 519-543, June.
    8. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
    9. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "The equity premium puzzle and the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 401-421, November.
    10. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
    11. 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 937-969, July.
    12. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Behavior Towards Risk with Many Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 660-667, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ferman, Marcelo, 2011. "Switching Monetary Policy Regimes and the Nominal Term Structure," Dynare Working Papers 5, CEPREMAP.
    2. van Binsbergen, Jules H. & Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Koijen, Ralph S.J. & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan, 2012. "The term structure of interest rates in a DSGE model with recursive preferences," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 634-648.
    3. Gourio, François & Siemer, Michael & Verdelhan, Adrien, 2013. "International risk cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 471-484.
    4. Hakon Tretvoll, 2012. "Real exchange rate variability in a two country business cycle model," 2012 Meeting Papers 911, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Gourio, François, 2012. "Macroeconomic implications of time-varying risk premia," Working Paper Series 1463, European Central Bank.

    More about this item


    Financial risk management ; Asset pricing;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2009-26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Research Library). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.