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The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle

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  • Philippe Weil

Abstract

This paper studies the implications for general equilibrium asset pricing of a recently introduced class of Kreps-Porteus non-expected utility preferences, which is characterized by a constant intertemporal elasticity of substitution and a constant, but unrelated, coefficient of relative risk aversion. It is shown that the solution to the "equity premium puzzle" documented by Mehra and Prescott [19851 cannot be found, for plausibly calibrated parameter values, by simply separating risk aversion from intertemporal substitution. Rather, relaxing the parametric restriction on tastes implicit in the time-addictive expected utility specification and adopting Kreps-Porteus preferences in the direction of "more realism" is likely to add a "riskfree rate puzzle" to Mehra's and Prescott's "equity premium puzzle."

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Weil, 1989. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 2829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2829
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Mankiw, N Gregory & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1986. "Risk and Return: Consumption Beta versus Market Beta," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 452-459, August.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Laroque, Guy, 1990. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 25-51, January.
    4. Larry G. Epstein & Stanley E. Zin, 2013. "Substitution, risk aversion and the temporal behavior of consumption and asset returns: A theoretical framework," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Leonard C MacLean & William T Ziemba (ed.), HANDBOOK OF THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DECISION MAKING Part I, chapter 12, pages 207-239, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Kahn, James A., 1990. "Moral hazard, imperfect risk-sharing, and the behavior of asset returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 27-44, August.
    6. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1979. "Dynamic Choice Theory and Dynamic Programming," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 91-100, January.
    7. Farmer, Roger, 1987. "Closed-Form Solutions to Dynamic Stochastic Choice Problems," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 282, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    8. Epstein, Larry G., 1988. "Risk aversion and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-192, September.
    9. David M. Kreps & Evan L. Porteus, 2013. "Temporal von Neumann—Morgenstern and Induced Preferences," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Leonard C MacLean & William T Ziemba (ed.), HANDBOOK OF THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DECISION MAKING Part I, chapter 11, pages 181-206, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. Dreze, Jacques H. & Modigliani, Franco, 1972. "Consumption decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 308-335, December.
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    12. Larry G. Epstein & Stanley E. Zin, 1987. "Substitution, Risk Aversion and the Temporal Behaviour of Consumption and Asset Returns II: An Empirical Analysis," Working Paper 698, Economics Department, Queen's University.
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