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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 21 692.33.20
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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  1. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Is the Stock Market Overvalued?," NBER Working Papers 8077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. William N. Goetzmann & Philippe Jorion, 1997. "A Century of Global Stock Markets," NBER Working Papers 5901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  4. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B. & Mehra, Rajnish, 1992. "The equity premium and the allocation of income risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 509-532.
  5. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2000. "Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycle," Staff Report 280, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  7. Michele Boldrin & Adrian Peralta-Alva, 2009. "What happened to the US stock market? Accounting for the last 50 years," Working Papers 2009-042, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-40, April.
  10. 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.
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  12. repec:oup:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:3:p:767-796 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  14. 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.
  15. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Taxes, Regulations, and the Value of U.S. and U.K. Corporations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000715, UCLA Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
  20. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  21. 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.
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