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Idiosyncratic risk and volatility bounds, or can models with idiosyncratic risk solve the equity premium puzzle?

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  • Martin Lettau

Abstract

This paper uses Hansen and Jagannathan's (1991) volatility bounds to evaluate models with idiosyncratic consumption risk. I show that idiosyncratic risk does not change the volatility bounds at all when consumers have CRRA preferences and the distribution of the idiosyncratic shock is independent of the aggregate state. Following Mankiw (1986), I then show that idiosyncratic risk can help to enter the bounds when idiosyncratic uncertainty depends on the aggregate state of the economy. Since individual consumption data are not reliable, I compute an upper bound of the volatility bounds using individual income data and assume that agents have to consume their endowment. I find that the model does not pass the Hansen and Jagannathan test even for very volatile idiosyncratic income data.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Lettau, 2001. "Idiosyncratic risk and volatility bounds, or can models with idiosyncratic risk solve the equity premium puzzle?," Staff Reports 130, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:130
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. YiLi Chien & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "The Market Price of Aggregate Risk and the Wealth Distribution," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1596-1650, April.
    2. Paul Söderlind, 2006. "C-CAPM Refinements and the Cross-Section of Returns," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 20(1), pages 49-73, April.
    3. Andrei Semenov, 2004. "High-Order Consumption Moments and Asset Pricing," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 130, Econometric Society.
    4. Söderlind, Paul, 2003. "C-CAPM and the Cross-Section of Sharpe Ratios," SIFR Research Report Series 18, Institute for Financial Research.
    5. Hanno Lustig, "undated". "When is Market Incompleteness Irrelevant for the Price of Aggregate Risk (joint with Dirk Krueger, UPenn)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 380, UCLA Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk ; Income ; Econometric models ; Consumption (Economics) ; Asset pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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