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Distribution Risk and Equity Returns

  • Jean-Pierre Danthine
  • John B. Donaldson
  • Paolo Siconolfi

In this paper we entertain the hypothesis that observed variations in income shares are the result of changes in the balance of power between workers and capital owners in labor relations. We show that this view implies that income share variations represent a risk factor of ¯rst-order importance for the owners of capital and, consequently, are a crucial determinant of the return to equity. When both risks are calibrated to observations, this distribution risk dominates in importance the usual systematic risk for the pricing of assets. We also show that distribution risks may originate in non-traded idiosyncratic income shocks.

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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 05.10.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in The Equity Risk Premium, R. Mehra, ed., North Holland Handbook of Finance Series, Elsevier, North Holland, Amsterdam, 2008
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:05.10
Contact details of provider: Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
Email:


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  1. M. Fatih Guvenen, 2003. "A Parsimonious Macroeconomic Model for Asset Pricing: Habit Formation or Cross-sectional Heterogeneity?," RCER Working Papers 499, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Michele Boldrin & Michael Horvath, 1994. "Labor Contracts and Business Cycles," Discussion Papers 1068, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Abel, A.B., 1990. "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation And Catching Up With The Joneses," Weiss Center Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  4. Danthine, J.P. & Donaldson, J.B. & Mehra, R., 1992. "The Equity Premium and the Allocation of Income Risk," Papers 92-09, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  5. Michele Boldrin & Adrian Peralta-Alva, 2009. "What happened to the U.S. stock market? accounting for the past 50 years," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 627-646.
  6. Eugene Fama & F. & Kenneth R. French, . "The Equity Premium."," CRSP working papers 522, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
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  8. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Taxes, regulations, and the value of U.S. and U.K. corporations," Staff Report 309, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
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  12. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  13. Jean-Pierre Danthine & John B. Donaldson, 2002. "Labour Relations and Asset Returns," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 41-64.
  14. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1995. "The equity premium: it's still a puzzle," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Philippe Jorion & William N. Goetzmann, 2000. "A Century of Global Stock Markets," NBER Working Papers 7565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  17. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Is the Stock Market Overvalued?," NBER Working Papers 8077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  19. Dow, James Jr., 1995. "Real business cycles and labor markets with imperfectly flexible wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1683-1696, December.
  20. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
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