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A Preference Regime Model of Bull and Bear Markets

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  • Gordon, Stephen

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  • St-Amour, Pascal

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Abstract

This paper develops a consumption-based asset pricing model in which attitudes towards risk are contingent upon the state of the world. For a low (high) level of consumption relative to a subjective metric, counter-cyclical (pro-cyclical) risk aversion implies that consumption shocks generate larger fluctuations in marginal utility, against which the agent will hedge in choosing his optimal portfolio. Asset prices are studied using two-state Markov preference regimes where bull and bear markets reflect alternating periods of low and high risk aversion. Joint estimation of bond and stock prices highlights moderate and infrequent movements in risk aversion, and a marked improvement on the model's ability to capture the cyclical nature of observed asset prices. Résumé: Ce papier développe un modèle d'agent représentatif de valorisation des actifs dans lequel les préférences sont contingentes à l'état du monde. Lorsque la consommation est basse (élevée) par rapport à un niveau subjectif, une aversion contra- (pro-) cyclique implique que des chocs à la consommation se traduisent par des fluctuations accentuées de l'utilité marginale que l'agent désirera lisser lors de son choix du portefeuille optimal. Les prix des actifs sont étudiés dans le cadre d'un modèle markovien à deux états où les marchés haussiers ou baissiers reflètent des périodes alternatives de basse et de haute aversion pour le risque. L'estimation conjointe des prix des bons et des actions mettent en évidence des mouvements modérés et peu fréquents dans l'aversion au risque ainsi qu'une amélioration nette du modèle en ce qui a trait aux mouvements cycliques des prix.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon, Stephen & St-Amour, Pascal, 1999. "A Preference Regime Model of Bull and Bear Markets," Cahiers de recherche 9906, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:laeccr:9906
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    File URL: http://www.ecn.ulaval.ca/w3/recherche/cahiers/1999/9906.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Breeden, Douglas T., 1979. "An intertemporal asset pricing model with stochastic consumption and investment opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 265-296, September.
    2. Bakshi, Gurdip S & Chen, Zhiwu, 1996. "The Spirit of Capitalism and Stock-Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 133-157, March.
    3. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    4. Abel, Andrew B, 1994. "Exact Solutions for Expected Rates of Return under Markov Regime Switching: Implications for the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(3), pages 345-361, August.
    5. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Lam, Pok-sang & Mark, Nelson C, 1990. "Mean Reversion in Equilibrium Asset Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 398-418, June.
    6. John Y. Campbell, 1996. "Consumption and the Stock Market: Interpreting International Experience," NBER Working Papers 5610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Gordon, Stephen & St-Amour, Pascal, 1997. "Estimating a Continuous-Time Asset Pricing Model with State-Dependent Risk Aversion," Cahiers de recherche 9711, Université Laval - Département d'économique, revised 08 Jun 1998.
    8. Albert, James H & Chib, Siddhartha, 1993. "Bayes Inference via Gibbs Sampling of Autoregressive Time Series Subject to Markov Mean and Variance Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(1), pages 1-15, January.
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    10. Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 421-436, June.
    11. Karni, Edi, 1983. "Risk Aversion for State-Dependent Utility Functions: Measurement and Applications," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 637-647, October.
    12. Ray Chou & Robert F. Engle & Alex Kane, 1991. "Measuring Risk Aversion From Excess Returns on a Stock Index," NBER Working Papers 3643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Constantinides, George M, 1982. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers and without Demand Aggregation," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 253-267, April.
    14. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-574, May.
    15. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asset pricing models; Bayesian analysis; Excess volatility; Markov chain; Regime switching; Risk aversion; State-dependent preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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