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On the Consequences of State Dependent Preferences for the Pricing of Financial Assets

  • Jean-Pierre Danthine
  • John B. Donaldson
  • Christos Giannikos
  • Hany Guirguis

This paper introduces state dependent utility into the standard Mehra and Prescott (1985) economy by allowing the representative agent's coefficient of relative risk aversion to vary with the underlying economy's growth rate. Existence of equilibrium is proved and its asymptotic properties analyzed. This generalization leads to level dependent marginal rates of substitution, a property that sharply distinguishes this model from the standard construct. For very low coefficients of relative risk aversion, the equilibrium risk free and risky security returns are demonstrated to have volatilities and an associated equity premium that substantially exceed what is found in the data. This provides a contrasting perspective on the classic "equity premium puzzle."

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File URL: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/textes/02.17.pdf
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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 02.17.

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Length: 33 pp.
Date of creation: Oct 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:02.17
Contact details of provider: Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.20
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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  1. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 1999. "Does risk aversion or attraction depend on income? An experiment," Economics Working Papers 361, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 1999.
  2. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B & Giannikos, Chrisos & Guirguis, Hany, 2003. "On the Consequences of State Dependent Preferences for the Pricing of Financial Assets," CEPR Discussion Papers 3697, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gordon, Stephen & St-Amour, Pascal, 2003. "Asset Returns and State-Dependent Risk Preferences," Cahiers de recherche 0316, CIRPEE.
  4. 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.
  5. Antonio Falato, 2008. "Happiness maintenance and asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. 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.
  7. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  8. Nygren, Thomas E. & Isen, Alice M. & Taylor, Pamela J. & Dulin, Jessica, 1996. "The Influence of Positive Affect on the Decision Rule in Risk Situations: Focus on Outcome (and Especially Avoidance of Loss) Rather Than Probability," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 59-72, April.
  9. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  10. Angelo Melino & Alan X. Yang, 2003. "State Dependent Preferences Can Explain the Equity Premium Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 806-830, October.
  11. Rajnish Mehra & Raaj Sah, 1999. "Can Small Fluctuations in Investors' Subjective Preferences Induce Large Volatility in Equity Prices?," Working Papers 9917, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, 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 937-69, July.
  14. Isen, Alice M. & Geva, Nehemia, 1987. "The influence of positive affect on acceptable level of risk: The person with a large canoe has a large worry," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 145-154, April.
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