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Why Surplus Consumption in the Habit Model May be Less Persistent than You Think

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  • Anthony W. Lynch
  • Oliver Randall

Abstract

In U.S. data, value stocks have higher expected excess returns and higher CAPM alphas than growth stocks. We find the external-habit model of Campbell and Cochrane (1999) can generate a value premium in both CAPM alpha and expected excess return so long as the persistence of the log surplus-consumption ratio is not too high. In contrast, Lettau and Wachter (2007) find that when the log surplus-consumption ratio is assumed to be highly persistent as in Campbell and Cochrane, the external-habit model generates a growth premium in expected excess return. However, the micro evidence favors a less persistent log surplus-consumption ratio. We choose a value for this persistence which is sufficiently low that the most recent 2 years of log consumption contribute over 98% of all past consumption to log habit, which is a much more reasonable number than the 25% contribution generated by the Lettau-Wachter value. In our model, expected consumption is slowly mean-reverting, as in the long-run risk model of Bansal and Yaron (2004), which is why our model is able to generate a price-dividend ratio for aggregate equity that exhibits the high autocorrelation found in the data, despite the very low persistence of the price-of-risk state variable. Our results suggest that an external habit model in the spirit of Campbell and Cochrane can deliver an empirically sensible value premium once the persistence of the surplus consumption ratio is calibrated to the micro evidence rather than set to a value close to one. When we allow the conditional volatility of consumption growth to also be slowly mean reverting as in the long-run risk model of Bansal and Yaron, our model is also able to generate empirically sensible predictability of long-horizon returns using the price-dividend ratio, without eroding the value premium. Our results also suggest that models with fast-moving habit can deliver several empirical properties of aggregate dividend strips that have been recently documented.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony W. Lynch & Oliver Randall, 2011. "Why Surplus Consumption in the Habit Model May be Less Persistent than You Think," NBER Working Papers 16950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16950
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lynch, Anthony W. & Wachter, Jessica A., 2013. "Using Samples of Unequal Length in Generalized Method of Moments Estimation," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 277-307, February.
    2. Roussanov, Nikolai, 2014. "Composition of wealth, conditioning information, and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 352-380.
    3. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2008. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-Varying Risk Aversion? Micro-evidence on Individuals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 713-736, June.
    4. Geert Bekaert & Eric Engstrom, 2009. "Asset Return Dynamics under Bad Environment Good Environment Fundamentals," NBER Working Papers 15222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Martin Lettau & Jessica A. Wachter, 2007. "Why Is Long-Horizon Equity Less Risky? A Duration-Based Explanation of the Value Premium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 55-92, February.
    6. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2006. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-varying Risk Aversion? Micro-Evidence on Individuals' Asset Allocation," NBER Working Papers 12809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Curatola, Giuliano, 2015. "Loss aversion, habit formation and the term structures of equity and interest rates," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 103-122.
    2. van Binsbergen, Jules & Hueskes, Wouter & Koijen, Ralph & Vrugt, Evert, 2013. "Equity yields," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 503-519.
      • Jules H. van Binsbergen & Wouter Hueskes & Ralph Koijen & Evert B. Vrugt, 2011. "Equity Yields," NBER Working Papers 17416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. J. David Lopez-Salido & Francisco Vazquez-Grande & Pierlauro Lopez, 2015. "Macro-Finance Separation by Force of Habit," 2015 Meeting Papers 980, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Curatola, Giuliano, 2016. "Optimal consumption and portfolio choice with loss aversion," SAFE Working Paper Series 130, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    5. van Binsbergen, Jules H. & Koijen, Ralph S.J., 2017. "The term structure of returns: Facts and theory," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 1-21.
    6. Jules H. van Binsbergen & Wouter Hueskes & Ralph Koijen & Evert B. Vrugt, 2011. "Equity Yields," NBER Working Papers 17416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Jules Vanbinsbergen & Wouter H. Hueskes & Ralph Koijen & Evert B Vrugt, 2012. "Equity Yields," Working Papers 2012-007, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    7. Koijen, Ralph & van Binsbergen, Jules H., 2015. "The Term Structure of Returns: Facts and Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 10633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Roussanov, Nikolai, 2014. "Composition of wealth, conditioning information, and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 352-380.
    9. Lopez, Pier & Lopez-Salido, J. David & Vazquez-Grande, Francisco, 2015. "Nominal Rigidities and the Term Structures of Equity and Bond Returns," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-64, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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