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Risk Aversion and Determinants of Stock Market Behavior

  • Robert S. Pindyck

A simple model of equity pricing is developed to address two related questions. First, to what extent can unanticipated changes in such"fundamental" variables as profitability, real interest rates, inflation, and the variance of returns account for the observed behavior of the stockmarket? Second, how risk averse are investors in the aggregate?We find that the pretax profit rate and the variance of returns are both significant explanators of the market, and interest rates somewhat less so. Estimates of the index of relative risk aversion are obtained that put that parameter in the range of 3 to 4.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1921.

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Date of creation: May 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 70, no. 2, pp. 183-190, May 1988.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1921
Note: ME
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  1. Mervyn A. King & Jonathan I. Leape, 1984. "Wealth and Portfolio Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Zvi Bodie & Alex Kane & Robert L. McDonald, 1983. "Why Are Real Interest Rates So High?," NBER Working Papers 1141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Persistence of Volatility and Stock Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1142-51, December.
  4. Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J & Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "The Determinants of the Variability of Stock Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 222-27, May.
  6. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Inflation, Tax Rules, and the Stock Market," NBER Chapters, in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 199-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Pindyck, Robert S., 1983. "Risk, inflation, and the stock market," Working papers 1423-83., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  8. Fischer, Stanley & Merton, Robert C., 1984. "Macroeconomics and finance: The role of the stock market," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 57-108, January.
  9. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1985. "Crowding Out or Crowding In? Evidence on Debt-Equity Substitutability," NBER Working Papers 1565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert C. Merton, 1980. "On Estimating the Expected Return on the Market: An Exploratory Investigation," NBER Working Papers 0444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1983. "A Test of Portfolio Crowding-Out and Related Issues in Finance," NBER Working Papers 1205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Martin Feldstein, 1978. "Inflation and the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 0276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mankiw, N Gregory & Rotemberg, Julio J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 225-51, February.
  14. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  15. Feldstein, Martin & Dicks-Mireaux, Louis & Poterba, James, 1983. "The effective tax rate and the pretax rate of return," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 129-158, July.
  16. Officer, R R, 1973. "The Variability of the Market Factor of the New York Stock Exchange," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 434-53, July.
  17. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
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