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Asset Prices and Risk Aversion

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  • Dominique Pepin

    () (CRIEF - Centre de Recherche sur l'Intégration Economique et Financière - Université de Poitiers)

Abstract

The standard asset pricing models (the CCAPM and the Epstein-Zin non-expected utility model) counterintuitively predict that equilibrium asset prices can rise if the representative agent's risk aversion increases. If the income effect, which implies enhanced saving as a result of an increase in risk aversion, dominates the substitution effect, which causes the representative agent to reallocate his portfolio in favour of riskless assets, the demand for securities increases. Thus, asset prices are forced to rise when the representative agent is more risk adverse. By disentangling risk aversion and intertemporal substituability, we demonstrate that the risky asset price is an increasing function of the coefficient of risk aversion only if the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS) exceeds unity. This result, which was first proved par Epstein (1988) in a stationary economy setting with a constant risk aversion, is shown to hold true for non-stationary economies with a variable or constant risk aversion coefficient. The conclusion is that the EIS probably exceeds unity.

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  • Dominique Pepin, 2014. "Asset Prices and Risk Aversion," Working Papers hal-00955590, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00955590
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00955590
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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.
    2. Motohiro Yogo, 2004. "Estimating the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution When Instruments Are Weak," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 797-810, August.
    3. Philippe Weil, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42.
    4. R. Anton Braun & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2011. "Making the Case for a Low Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution," KIER Working Papers 788, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-357, April.
    6. Mark Rubinstein, 1976. "The Valuation of Uncertain Income Streams and the Pricing of Options," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 407-425, Autumn.
    7. Epstein, Larry G., 1988. "Risk aversion and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-192, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Masao Ogaki & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Role of Durable Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1078-1098, October.
    10. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-286, April.
    11. John B. Donaldson & Rajnish Mehra, 1984. "Comparative Dynamics of an Equilibrium Intertemporal Asset Pricing Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 491-508.
    12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    13. 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.
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    Keywords

    risk aversion; elasticity of intertemporal substitution; CCAPM; asset prices;

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