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Risk Based Explanations of the Equity Premium

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  • John Donaldson
  • Rajnish Mehra

Abstract

This essay reviews the family of models that seek to provide aggregate risk based explanations for the empirically observed equity premium. Theories based on non-expected utility preference structures, limited financial market participation, model uncertainty and the small probability of enormous losses are detailed. We impose the additional requirements that candidate models yield consistent inter temporal portfolio choice and that a representative agent can be constructed which is independent of the underlying heterogeneous economy's initial wealth distribution. While many models are able to replicate a wide variety of financial statistics including the premium, few satisfy these latter criteria as well.

Suggested Citation

  • John Donaldson & Rajnish Mehra, 2007. "Risk Based Explanations of the Equity Premium," NBER Working Papers 13220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13220
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    Cited by:

    1. Gabe de Bondt & Tuomas Peltonen & Daniel Santabarbara, 2011. "Booms and busts in China's stock market: estimates based on fundamentals," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 287-300.
    2. Yongli Zhang, 2010. "Fluctuations of Real Interest Rates and Business Cycles," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 11(1), pages 185-208, May.
    3. Azeredo, Francisco, 2007. "The Equity Premium: A Deeper Puzzle," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6ks5p6v5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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