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Asset Prices in a Lifecycle Economy

  • Roger Farmer

The representative agent model (RA) has dominated macroeconomics for the last thirty years. This model does a reasonably good job of explaining the co-movements of consumption, investment, GDP and employment during normal times. But it cannot easily explain movements in asset prices. Two facts are hard to understand 1) The return to equity is highly volatile and 2) The premium for holding equity, over a safe government bond, is large. The equity premium has two parts; a risk premium and a term premium. This paper constructs a lifecycle model in which agents of different generations have different savings rates and I use this model to account for a high term premium and a volatile stochastic discount factor. The fact the term premium is large, accounts for a substantial part of the observed equity premium.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19958.

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Date of creation: Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19958
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  1. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Roger E.A. Farmer & Carine Nourry & Alain Venditti, 2012. "The Inefficient Markets Hypothesis: Why Financial Markets Do Not Work Well in the Real World," NBER Working Papers 18647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Felix KUBLER & Karl SCHMEDDERS, 2010. "Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice, the Wealth Distribution and Asset Prices," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 10-21, Swiss Finance Institute.
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