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Agents’ Preferences, the Equity Premium, and the Consumption-Saving Trade-Off; An Application to French Data


  • Aude Pommeret
  • Anne Epaulard


This paper aims to measure the risk premium on French equities during 1960-92 and to evaluate how well theoretical models based on various representations of agents' preferences can explain it. Aside from the standard, time-additive utility function with constant relative risk aversion, three other utility functions are reviewed: a recursive utility function, a habit formation utility function, and a utility function that accounts for the interdependence of preferences. Both calibration and econometric estimations show that none of the studied marginal changes in the representation of agents' preferences are sufficient to solve both the equity premium puzzle and the risk-free rate puzzle.

Suggested Citation

  • Aude Pommeret & Anne Epaulard, 2001. "Agents’ Preferences, the Equity Premium, and the Consumption-Saving Trade-Off; An Application to French Data," IMF Working Papers 01/117, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/117

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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. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
    3. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
    4. Lettau, M. & Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 1997. "Preferences, Consumption Smoothing and Risk Premia," Discussion Paper 1997-60, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. 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.
    6. Lund, Jesper & Engsted, Tom, 1996. "GMM and present value tests of the C-CAPM: evidence from the Danish, German, Swedish and UK stock markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 497-521, August.
    7. Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. " The Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(2), pages 129-148.
    8. 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.
    9. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
    10. 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 519-543, June.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Philippe Jorion & William N. Goetzmann, 1999. "Global Stock Markets in the Twentieth Century," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 953-980, June.
    14. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
    15. Koskievic, Jean-Max, 1999. "An intertemporal consumption-leisure model with non-expected utility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 285-289, September.
    16. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guy M Meredith, 2001. "Why Has the Euro Been so Weak?," IMF Working Papers 01/155, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Epaulard, Anne & Pommeret, Aude, 2003. "Optimally eating a stochastic cake: a recursive utility approach," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 129-139, May.


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