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A quantitative study of the role of wealth inequality on asset prices


  • Juan Carlos Hatchondo


This paper studies the equilibrium properties of asset prices in a Lucas-tree model when agents display a concave coefficient of absolute risk tolerance. The latter introduces a role for wealth inequality, even under the presence of complete markets. The paper finds evidence suggesting that the role of wealth inequality on asset prices may be non-negligible. For the baseline calibration, the equity premium in the unequal economy is half a percentage point larger than the equity premium displayed by an egalitarian economy. The difference increases to one percentage point once we allow for the fact that agents tend to hold highly concentrated portfolios.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Hatchondo, 2005. "A quantitative study of the role of wealth inequality on asset prices," Working Paper 05-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:05-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2000. "Entrepreneurship, Saving and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, January.
    3. Krusell, Per & Smith, Anthony A., 1997. "Income And Wealth Heterogeneity, Portfolio Choice, And Equilibrium Asset Returns," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 387-422, June.
    4. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1991. "The consumption of stockholders and nonstockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, March.
    5. Ivković, Zoran & Sialm, Clemens & Weisbenner, Scott, 2008. "Portfolio Concentration and the Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(03), pages 613-655, September.
    6. Barberis, Nicholas & Thaler, Richard, 2003. "A survey of behavioral finance," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1053-1128 Elsevier.
    7. Christian Gollier, 2001. "Wealth Inequality and Asset Pricing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 181-203.
    8. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-487, June.
    9. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    10. Campbell, John Y., 2003. "Consumption-based asset pricing," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 803-887 Elsevier.
    11. repec:cup:macdyn:v:1:y:1997:i:2:p:387-422 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Walentin Karl, 2010. "Earnings Inequality and the Equity Premium," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-23, November.

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    Wealth ; Asset pricing;

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