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Ambiguity and Asset Markets

  • Larry G. Epstein
  • Martin Schneider

The Ellsberg paradox suggests that people behave differently in risky situations -- when they are given objective probabilities -- than in ambiguous situations when they are not told the odds (as is typical in financial markets). Such behavior is inconsistent with subjective expected utility theory (SEU), the standard model of choice under uncertainty in financial economics. This article reviews models of ambiguity aversion. It shows that such models -- in particular, the multiple-priors model of Gilboa and Schmeidler -- have implications for portfolio choice and asset pricing that are very different from those of SEU and that help to explain otherwise puzzling features of the data.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16181.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Publication status: published as Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2010. "Ambiguity and Asset Markets," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 315-346, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16181
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  1. Ju, Nengjiu & Miao, Jianjun, 2009. "Ambiguity, Learning, and Asset Returns," MPRA Paper 14737, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2009.
  2. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Dynamic Variational Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 1, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. Epstein, Larry G. & Schneider, Martin, 2003. "Recursive multiple-priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 1-31, November.
  4. Isaac Kleshchelski & Nicolas Vincent, 2007. "Robust Equilibrium Yield Curves," Cahiers de recherche 08-02, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  5. Mukerji, Sujoy & Tallon, Jean-Marc, 2003. "Ellsberg's two-color experiment, portfolio inertia and ambiguity," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 299-316, June.
  6. Epstein, Larry G. & Miao, Jianjun, 2003. "A two-person dynamic equilibrium under ambiguity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1253-1288, May.
  7. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2000. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Financial Markets," Economics Series Working Papers 46, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Bryan Routledge & Stanley Zin, 2009. "Model Uncertainty and Liquidity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 543-566, October.
  9. Patrick Gagliardini & Paolo Porchia & Fabio Trojani, 2007. "Ambiguity Aversion and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-29, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  10. Campbell, John & Viceira, Luis, 1999. "Consumption and Portfolio Decisions When Expected Returns are Time Varying," Scholarly Articles 3163266, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. David Ahn & Syngjoo Choi & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2008. "Estimating Ambiguity Aversion in a Portfolio Choice Experiment," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001989, David K. Levine.
  12. Larry Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2006. "Learning Under Ambiguity," RCER Working Papers 527, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. Pierpaolo Benigno & Salvatore Nistic�, 2012. "International Portfolio Allocation under Model Uncertainty," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 144-89, January.
  14. David A. Chapman & Valery Polkovnichenko, 2009. "First-Order Risk Aversion, Heterogeneity, and Asset Market Outcomes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1863-1887, 08.
  15. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2004. "Ambiguity aversion and the absence of indexed debt," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 665-685, October.
  16. Gajdos, T. & Hayashi, T. & Tallon, J.-M. & Vergnaud, J.-C., 2008. "Attitude toward imprecise information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 27-65, May.
  17. Antonio Mele & Francesco Sangiorgi, 2009. "Ambiguity, Information Acquisition and Price Swings in Asset Markets," FMG Discussion Papers dp633, Financial Markets Group.
  18. Uppal, Raman & Wang, Tan, 2002. "Model Misspecification and Under-Diversification," CEPR Discussion Papers 3304, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Peter Bossaerts & Paolo Ghirardato & Serena Guarnaschelli & William R. Zame, 2010. "Ambiguity in Asset Markets: Theory and Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1325-1359, April.
  20. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
  21. Sbuelz, Alessandro & Trojani, Fabio, 2008. "Asset prices with locally constrained-entropy recursive multiple-priors utility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3695-3717, November.
  22. Larry Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2005. "Ambiguity, Information Quality and Asset Pricing," RCER Working Papers 519, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  23. Massimo Guidolin & Francesca Rinaldi, 2010. "A simple model of trading and pricing risky assets under ambiguity: any lessons for policy-makers?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1-2), pages 105-135.
  24. David Easley & Maureen O'Hara, 2009. "Ambiguity and Nonparticipation: The Role of Regulation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(5), pages 1817-1843, May.
  25. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2006. "Recursive Smooth Ambiguity Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 17, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2008.
  26. Trojani, Fabio & Vanini, Paolo, 2002. "A note on robustness in Merton's model of intertemporal consumption and portfolio choice," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 423-435, March.
  27. Fabio Trojani & Paolo Vanini, 2004. "Robustness and Ambiguity Aversion in General Equilibrium," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 279-324.
  28. Han Ozsoylev & Jan Werner, 2011. "Liquidity and asset prices in rational expectations equilibrium with ambiguous information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 469-491, October.
  29. Baillon, Aurélien & Driesen, Bram & Wakker, Peter P., 2012. "Relative concave utility for risk and ambiguity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 481-489.
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