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Risk Aversion and Intertemporal Substitution in the Capital Asset Pricing Model

  • Alberto Giovannini
  • Philippe Weil

When tastes are represented by a class of generalized preferences which -- unlike traditional Von-Neumann preferences -- do not confuse behavior towards risk with attitudes towards intertemporal substitution, the true beta of an asset is, in general, an average of its consumption and market betas. We show that the two parameters measuring risk aversion and intertemporal substitution affect consumption and portfolio allocation decisions in symmetrical ways. A unit elasticity of intertemporal substitution gives rise to myopia in consumption-savings decisions (the future does not affect the optimal consumption plan), while a unit coefficient of relative risk aversion gives rise to myopia in portfolio allocation (the future does not affect optimal portfolio allocation). The empirical evidence is consistent with the behavior of intertemporal maximizers who have a unit coefficient of relative risk aversion and an elasticity of intertemporal substitution different from 1.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2824.

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Date of creation: Jan 1989
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2824
Note: ME
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  1. Epstein, Larry G., 1988. "Risk aversion and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-192, September.
  2. Kreps, David M. & Porteus, Evan L., 1979. "Temporal von neumann-morgenstern and induced preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 81-109, February.
  3. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  4. 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.
  5. David M Kreps & Evan L Porteus, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000009, David K. Levine.
  6. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-46, May.
  7. Larry G. Epstein & Stanley E. Zin, 1987. "Substitution, Risk Aversion and the Temporal Behaviour of Consumption and Asset Returns I: A Theoretical Framework," Working Papers 699, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  8. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
  9. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  10. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1990. " Disentangling the Coefficient of Relative Risk Aversion from the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: An Irrelevance Result," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 175-90, March.
  11. Fama, Eugene F, 1975. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Predictors of Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 269-82, June.
  12. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Larry G. Epstein & Stanley E. Zin, 1987. "Substitution, Risk Aversion and the Temporal Behaviour of Consumption and Asset Returns II: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 698, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  14. Matthew D. Shapiro & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Risk and Return: Consumption Beta Versus Market Beta," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 738, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Bergman, Yaacov Z., 1985. "Time preference and capital asset pricing models," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 145-159, March.
  16. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1979. "Dynamic Choice Theory and Dynamic Programming," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 91-100, January.
  17. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
  18. Selden, Larry, 1978. "A New Representation of Preferences over "Certain A Uncertain" Consumption Pairs: The "Ordinal Certainty Equivalent" Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1045-60, September.
  19. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  20. Miller, Merton H & Scholes, Myron S, 1982. "Dividends and Taxes: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1118-41, December.
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