IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Implications of First-Order Risk Aversion for Asset Market Risk Premiums

  • Geert Bekaert
  • Robert J. Hodrick
  • David A. Marshall

Existing general equilibrium models based on traditional expected utility preferences have been unable to explain the excess return predictability observed in equity markets, bond markets, and foreign exchange markets. In this paper, we abandon the expected-utility hypothesis in favor of preferences that exhibit first-order risk aversion. We incorporate these preferences into a general equilibrium two-country monetary model, solve the model numerically, and compare the quantitative implications of the model to estimates obtained from U.S. and Japanese data for equity, bond and foreign exchange markets. Although increasing the degree of first-order risk aversion substantially increases excess return predictability, the model remains incapable of generating excess return predictability sufficiently large to match the data. We conclude that the observed patterns of excess return predictability are unlikely to be explained purely by time-varying risk premiums generated by highly risk averse agents in a complete markets economy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4624.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 1994
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 40 (September 1997): 3-39.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4624
Note: AP
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1988. "The information in forward rates : Implications for models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 41-70, May.
  2. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bekaert, G.R.J. & Hodrick, R. & Marshall, D., 1997. "The implications of first-order risk aversion for asset market risk premiums," Discussion Paper 1997-07, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick, 1991. "Characterizing Predictable Components in Excess Returns on Equity and Foreign Exchange Markets," NBER Working Papers 3790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  6. Hung, Mao-Wei, 1994. " The Interaction between Nonexpected Utility and Asymmetric Market Fundamentals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 325-43, March.
  7. Kandel, Shmuel & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1991. "Asset returns and intertemporal preferences," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 39-71, February.
  8. Tiff Macklem, R., 1991. "Forward exchange rates and risk premiums in artificial economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 365-391, September.
  9. Marco Bonomo & René Garcia, 1994. "Disappointment Aversion as a Solution to the Equity Premium and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzles," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-14, CIRANO.
  10. Larry G. Epstein & Stanley E. Zin, 1991. "The Independence Axiom and Asset Returns," NBER Technical Working Papers 0109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
  12. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  13. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J., 1993. "On biases in the measurement of foreign exchange risk premiums," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 115-138, April.
  14. David K. Backus & Allan W. Gregory & Chris I. Telmer, 1990. "Accounting for Forward Rates in Markets for Foreign Currency," Working Papers 792, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  15. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 4088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Solnik, Bruno, 1993. "The performance of international asset allocation strategies using conditioning information," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 33-55, June.
  17. Segal, Uzi & Spivak, Avia, 1990. "First order versus second order risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 111-125, June.
  18. Canova, Fabio & Marrinan, Jane, 1993. "Profits, risk, and uncertainty in foreign exchange markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 259-286, November.
  19. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Clark, 1991. "The Equity Premium and the Risk Free Rate: Matching the Moments," NBER Working Papers 3752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
  21. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
  22. 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.
  23. Bansal, Ravi & Gallant, A. Ronald & Hussey, Robert & Tauchen, George, 1995. "Nonparametric estimation of structural models for high-frequency currency market data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1-2), pages 251-287.
  24. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  25. Marshall, David A, 1992. " Inflation and Asset Returns in a Monetary Economy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1315-42, September.
  26. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
  27. Epstein, Larry G. & Zin, Stanley E., 1990. "'First-order' risk aversion and the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 387-407, December.
  28. Bekaert, Geert, 1994. "Exchange rate volatility and deviations from unbiasedness in a cash-in-advance model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 29-52, February.
  29. Feenstra, Robert C., 1986. "Functional equivalence between liquidity costs and the utility of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 271-291, March.
  30. Harvey, Campbell R, 1991. " The World Price of Covariance Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 111-57, March.
  31. Heaton, John, 1995. "An Empirical Investigation of Asset Pricing with Temporally Dependent Preference Specifications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 681-717, May.
  32. Benninga, Simon & Protopapadakis, Aris, 1990. "Leverage, time preference and the 'equity premium puzzle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 49-58, January.
  33. Engel, Charles, 1992. "On the foreign exchange risk premium in a general equilibrium model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3-4), pages 305-319, May.
  34. Bossaerts, Peter & Hillion, Pierre, 1991. "Market Microstructure Effects of Government Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(3), pages 513-41.
  35. Bera, Anil K. & Jarque, Carlos M., 1982. "Model specification tests : A simultaneous approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 59-82, October.
  36. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4624. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.