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Land of Addicts? An Empirical Investigation of Habit-Based Asset Pricing Behavior


  • Xiaohong Chen
  • Sydney C. Ludvigson


This paper studies the ability of a general class of habit-based asset pricing models to match the conditional moment restrictions implied by asset pricing theory. We treat the functional form of the habit as unknown, and to estimate it along with the rest of the model's finite dimensional parameters. Using quarterly data on consumption growth, assets returns and instruments, our empirical results indicate that the estimated habit function is nonlinear, the habit formation is better described as internal rather than external, and the estimated time-preference parameter and the power utility parameter are sensible. In addition, the estimated habit function generates a positive stochastic discount factor (SDF) proxy and performs well in explaining cross-sectional stock return data . We find that an internal habit SDF proxy can explain a cross-section of size and book-market sorted portfolio equity returns better than (i) the Fama and French (1993) three-factor model, (ii) Lettau and Ludvigson (2001) scaled consumption CAPM model, (iii) an external habit SDF proxy, (iv) the classic CAPM, and (v) the classic consumption CAPM.

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  • Xiaohong Chen & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Land of Addicts? An Empirical Investigation of Habit-Based Asset Pricing Behavior," NBER Working Papers 10503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10503
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Kareen Rozen, 2010. "Foundations of Intrinsic Habit Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1341-1373, July.
    2. Xiaohong Chen & Demian Pouzo, 2008. "Estimation of Nonparametric Conditional Moment Models With Possibly Nonsmooth Generalized Residuals," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1650R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 2009.
    3. Xiaohong Chen & Demian Pouzo, 2008. "Estimation of nonparametric conditional moment models with possibly nonsmooth moments," CeMMAP working papers CWP12/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Alonso, Francisco & Blanco, Roberto & Rubio Irigoyen, Gonzalo, 2005. "Option-Implied Preferences Adjustments and Risk-Neutral Density Forecasts," DFAEII Working Papers 2005-10, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    5. Edward R. Lawrence & John Geppert & Arun J. Prakash, 2009. "An Empirical Investigation of the Campbell-Cochrane Habit Utility Model," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(5-6), pages 774-791.
    6. Chen, Xiaohong & Pouzo, Demian, 2008. "Estimation of Nonparametric Conditional Moment Models with Possibly Nonsmooth Moments," Working Papers 47, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    7. Aase, Knut K. & Lillestøl, Jostein, 2015. "Beyond the local mean-variance analysis in continuous time: The problem of non-normality," Discussion Papers 2015/11, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    8. Xiaohong Chen & Demian Pouzo, 2008. "Estimation of Nonparametric Conditional Moment Models with Possibly Nonsmooth Moments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1650, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Oct 2008.

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    JEL classification:

    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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