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Asset pricing with uncertain betas: A long-term perspective

  • Gollier, Christian

How should one evaluate investment projects whose CCAPM betas are uncertain? This question is particularly crucial for projects yielding long-lasting impacts on the economy, as is the case for example for many green investment projects. We defined the notion of a certainty equivalent beta. We characterize it as a function of the characteristics of the uncertainties affecting the asset’s beta and the economy as a whole. We show that its term structure is not constant and that, for short maturities, it equals the expected beta. If the expected beta is larger than a threshold (which is negative and large in absolute value in all realistic calibrations), the term structure of the certainty equivalent beta is increasing and tends to its largest plausible value. In the benchmark case in which the asset’s beta is normally distributed, the certainty equivalent beta becomes infinite for finite maturities.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 752.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:26544
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  1. Traeger, Christian P, 2007. "Sustainability, limited substitutability and non-constant social discount rates," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1045, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  2. Martin L. Weitzman, 2012. "Rare Disasters, Tail-Hedged Investments, and Risk-Adjusted Discount Rates," NBER Working Papers 18496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christian Gollier, 2012. "Pricing the Planet's Future: The Economics of Discounting in an Uncertain World," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 9894.
  4. Gollier, Christian, 2010. "Ecological discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 812-829, March.
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  10. Martin L. Weitzman, 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
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  12. Gollier, Christian & Weitzman, Martin L., 2010. "How should the distant future be discounted when discount rates are uncertain?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 350-353, June.
  13. Christian Gollier, 2008. "Discounting with fat-tailed economic growth," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 171-186, December.
  14. Gollier, Christian, 2012. "Evaluation of long-dated investments under uncertain growth trend, volatility and catastrophes," IDEI Working Papers 754, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Sep 2015.
  15. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  16. Ian Martin, 2010. "Consumption-Based Asset Pricing with Higher Cumulants," NBER Working Papers 16153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Gollier, Christian, 2012. "Evaluation of long-dated assets : The role of parameter uncertainty," TSE Working Papers 12-361, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Sep 2015.
  19. Krüger, Philipp & Landier, Augustin & Thesmar, David, 2011. "The WACC Fallacy: The Real Effects of Using a Unique Discount Rate," TSE Working Papers 11-222, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  20. Roger Guesnerie, 2004. "Calcul économique et développement durable," DELTA Working Papers 2004-02, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  21. Thomas Sterner & U. Martin Persson, 2008. "An Even Sterner Review: Introducing Relative Prices into the Discounting Debate," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 61-76, Winter.
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