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Disaster Risk and Asset Returns: An International Perspective

Listed author(s):
  • Karen K. Lewis
  • Edith X. Liu

Recent studies have shown that disaster risk can generate asset return moments similar to those observed in the U.S. data. However, these studies have ignored the cross-country asset pricing implications of the disaster risk model. This paper shows that standard U.S.-based disaster risk model assumptions found in the literature lead to counterfactual international asset pricing implications. Given consumption pricing moments, disaster risk cannot explain the range of equity premia and government bill rates nor the high degree of equity return correlation found in the data. Moreover, the independence of disasters presumed in some studies generates counterfactually low cross-country correlations in equity markets. Alternatively, if disasters are all shared, the model generates correlations that are excessively high. We show that common and idiosyncratic components of disaster risk are needed to explain the pattern in consumption and equity co-movements.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23065.

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Date of creation: Jan 2017
Publication status: published as Disaster Risk and Asset Returns: An International Perspective , Karen K. Lewis, Edith X. Liu. in NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2016 , Clarida and Reichlin. 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23065
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