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Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses

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  • Andrew B. Abel

Abstract

This paper introduces a utility function that nests three classes of utility functions: (1) time-separable utility functions; (2) "catching up with the Joneses" utility functions that depend on the consumer's level of consumption relative to the lagged cross-sectional average level of consumption; and (3) utility functions that display habit formation. Closed-form solutions for equilibrium asset prices are derived under the assumption that consumption growth is i.i.d. The equity premia under catching up with the Joneses and under habit formation are, for some parameter values, as large as the historically observed equity premium in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3279
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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. Sundaresan, Suresh M, 1989. "Intertemporally Dependent Preferences and the Volatility of Consumption and Wealth," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 73-89.
    3. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    4. James M. Nason, 1988. "The equity premium and time-varying risk behavior," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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