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By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior

  • Cochrane, John H.
  • Campbell, John

We present a consumption†based model that explains a wide variety of dynamic asset pricing phenomena, including the procyclical variation of stock prices, the long†horizon predictability of excess stock returns, and the countercyclical variation of stock market volatility. The model captures much of the history of stock prices from consumption data. It explains the short†and long†run equity premium puzzles despite a low and constant risk†free rate. The results are essentially the same whether we model stocks as a claim to the consumption stream or as a claim to volatile dividends poorly corelated with consumption. The model is driven by an independently and identically distributed consumption growth process and adds a slow †moving external habit to the standard power utility function. These features generate slow countercyclical variation in risk premia. The model posits a fundamentally novel description of risk premia. Investors fear stocks primarily because they do poorly in recessions unrelated to the risks of long†run average consumption growth.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3119444.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3119444
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  1. Mankiw, N Gregory & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1986. "Risk and Return: Consumption Beta versus Market Beta," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 452-59, August.
  2. Cochrane, John H., 1991. "Volatility tests and efficient markets : A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 463-485, June.
  3. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 667, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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  5. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  6. Campbell, J.Y. & Shiller, R.J., 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings And Expected Dividends," Papers 334, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  7. Ravi Jagannathan & Zhenyu Wang, 1993. "The CAPM is alive and well," Staff Report 165, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. John Y. Campbell, 1985. "Stock Returns and the Term Structure," NBER Working Papers 1626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
  10. Bollerslev, Tim & Chou, Ray Y. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1992. "ARCH modeling in finance : A review of the theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 5-59.
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  12. 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 519-43, June.
  13. Rubinstein, Mark, 1976. "The Strong Case for the Generalized Logarithmic Utility Model as the Premier Model of Financial Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 551-71, May.
  14. John Y. Campbell & John Ammer, 1991. "What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," NBER Working Papers 3760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
  16. Alan J. Marcus, 1989. "An Equilibrium Theory of Excess Volatility and Mean Reversion in Stock Market Prices," NBER Working Papers 3106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Keim, Donald B. & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1986. "Predicting returns in the stock and bond markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 357-390, December.
  18. John Y. Campbell, 1993. "Understanding Risk and Return," NBER Working Papers 4554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Robert B. Barsky & J. Bradford De Long, 1993. "Why Does the Stock Market Fluctuate?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 291-311.
  20. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
  21. Wilcox, David W, 1992. "The Construction of U.S. Consumption Data: Some Facts and Their Implications for Empirical Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 922-41, September.
  22. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, May.
  23. John H. Cochrane, 1994. "Permanent and Transitory Components of GNP and Stock Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 241-265.
  24. Chen, Nai-Fu & Roll, Richard & Ross, Stephen A, 1986. "Economic Forces and the Stock Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 383-403, July.
  25. 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.
  26. Fama, Eugene F, 1990. " Stock Returns, Expected Returns, and Real Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1089-1108, September.
  27. John Y. Campbell & Albert S. Kyle, 1993. "Smart Money, Noise Trading and Stock Price Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 1-34.
  28. Harvey, Campbell R., 1989. "Time-varying conditional covariances in tests of asset pricing models," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 289-317.
  29. 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.
  30. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," NBER Working Papers 0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. West, Kenneth D, 1988. "Dividend Innovations and Stock Price Volatility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 37-61, January.
  32. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell, 1986. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 812, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  33. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-79, March.
  34. Ferson, Wayne E. & Merrick, John Jr., 1987. "Non-stationarity and stage-of-the-business-cycle effects in consumption-based asset pricing relations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 127-146, March.
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  37. repec:hrv:faseco:3221490 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Sundaresan, Suresh M, 1989. "Intertemporally Dependent Preferences and the Volatility of Consumption and Wealth," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 73-89.
  39. 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.
  40. Kandel, Shmuel & Stambaugh, Robert F, 1990. "Expectations and Volatility of Consumption and Asset Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(2), pages 207-32.
  41. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  42. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
  43. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  44. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-70, March.
  45. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  46. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  47. G. William Schwert, 1988. "Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change Over Time?," NBER Working Papers 2798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1990. "On the 'discount' factor in growth economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 43-47, January.
  49. Kandel, Shmuel & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1991. "Asset returns and intertemporal preferences," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 39-71, February.
  50. John Y. Campbell & Andrew W. Lo & A. Craig MacKinlay, 1994. "Models of the term structure of interest rates," Working Papers 94-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  51. Cochrane, John H, 1991. " Production-Based Asset Pricing and the Link between Stock Returns and Economic Fluctuations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 209-37, March.
  52. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1989. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," NBER Working Papers 3153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  53. Detemple, Jerome B & Zapatero, Fernando, 1991. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy with Habit Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1633-57, November.
  54. Harvey, Campbell R, 1991. " The World Price of Covariance Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 111-57, March.
  55. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
  56. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-74, May.
  57. Fama, Eugene F & Bliss, Robert R, 1987. "The Information in Long-Maturity Forward Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 680-92, September.
  58. Fama, Eugene F, 1975. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Predictors of Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 269-82, June.
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