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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. 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.
  2. Mukerji, S. & Tallon, J.-M., 2000. "Ambiguity Aversion and the Absence of Indexed Debt," Economics Series Working Papers 9928, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Bryan Routledge & Stanley Zin, . "Model Uncertainty and Liquidity," GSIA Working Papers 2001-E17, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. 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.
  5. Peter Bossaerts & Paolo Ghirardato & Serena Guarnaschelli & William R. Zame, 2006. "Ambiguity in Asset Markets: Theory and Experiment," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 27, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2009.
  6. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2007. "Learning Under Ambiguity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1275-1303.
  7. David Ahn & Syngjoo Choi & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2014. "Estimating ambiguity aversion in a portfolio choice experiment," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 195-223, 07.
  8. Mukerji, Sujoy & Tallon, Jean-Marc, 2001. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Financial Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 883-904, 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. Raman Uppal & Tan Wang, 2003. "Model Misspecification and Underdiversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2465-2486, December.
  11. John Y. Campbell & Luis M. Viceira, 1998. "Consumption and Portfolio Decisions When Expected Returns Are Time Varying," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1835, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2001. "Recursive Multiple-Priors," RCER Working Papers 485, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. Ju, Nengjiu & Miao, Jianjun, 2009. "Ambiguity, Learning, and Asset Returns," MPRA Paper 14737, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2009.
  14. Isaac Kleshchelski & Nicolas Vincent, 2009. "Robust Equilibrium Yield Curves," Cahiers de recherche 0907, CIRPEE.
  15. Larry G. Epstein & JianJun Miao, 2001. "A Two-Person Dynamic Equilibrium under Ambiguity," RCER Working Papers 478, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo & Rustichini, Aldo, 2006. "Dynamic variational preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 4-44, May.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Antonio Mele & Francesco Sangiorgi, 2009. "Ambiguity, information acquisition and price swings in asset markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24424, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  24. 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.
  25. Fabio Trojani & Paolo Vanini, 2004. "Robustness and Ambiguity Aversion in General Equilibrium," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 279-324.
  26. Larry Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2004. "Ambiguity, Information Quality and Asset Pricing," RCER Working Papers 507, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  27. Klibanoff, Peter & Marinacci, Massimo & Mukerji, Sujoy, 2009. "Recursive smooth ambiguity preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 930-976, May.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
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