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High equity premia and crash fears. Rational foundations

  • Massimo Guidolin

We show that when in Lucas trees model the process for dividends is described by a lattice tree subject to infrequent but observable structural breaks, in equilibrium recursive rational learning may inflate the equity risk premium and reduce the risk-free interest rate for low levels of risk aversion. The key condition for these results to obtain is the presence of sufficient initial pessimism. The relevance of these findings is magnified by the fact that under full information our artificial economy cannot generate asset returns matching the empirical evidence for any positive relative risk aversion.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2005-011.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economic Theory, October 2006, 28(3), pp. 693-708
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2005-011
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  1. Timmermann, Allan, 2001. "Structural Breaks, Incomplete Information, and Stock Prices," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 299-314, July.
  2. Robert B. Barsky & J. Bradford De Long, 1992. "Why Does the Stock Market Fluctuate?," NBER Working Papers 3995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Guidolin, Massimo & Timmermann, Allan, 2003. "Option prices under Bayesian learning: implied volatility dynamics and predictive densities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 717-769, March.
  4. Mordecai Kurz & Hehui Jin & Maurizio Motolese, 2005. "Determinants of stock market volatility and risk premia," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 109-147, 07.
  5. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  6. Guidolin, Massimo, 2006. "Pessimistic beliefs under rational learning: Quantitative implications for the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 85-118.
  7. Mordecai Kurz & Maurizio Motolese, . "Endogenous Uncertainty and Market Volatility," Working Papers 99005, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  8. Andrew B. Abel, 2001. "An Exploration of the Effects of Pessimism and Doubt on Asset Returns," NBER Working Papers 8132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Brennan, Michael J. & Xia, Yihong, 2001. "Stock price volatility and equity premium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 249-283, April.
  10. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Mark, 1998. "Asset Pricing with Distorted Beliefs: Are Equity Returns Too Good To Be True?," NBER Working Papers 6354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Guidolin, Massimo & Timmermann, Allan, 2007. "Properties of equilibrium asset prices under alternative learning schemes," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 161-217, January.
  12. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B, 1999. "Non-falsified Expectations and General Equilibrium Asset Pricing: The Power of the Peso," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 607-35, October.
  13. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
  14. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1988. "The equity risk premium: A solution?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 133-136, July.
  15. Kurz, Mordecai, 1994. "On the Structure and Diversity of Rational Beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(6), pages 877-900, October.
  16. Carsten Krabbe Nielsen, 1996. "Rational belief structures and rational belief equilibria (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(3), pages 399-422.
  17. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  18. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
  19. Allan G. Timmermann, 1993. "How Learning in Financial Markets Generates Excess Volatility and Predictability in Stock Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1135-1145.
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