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"Overreaction" of Asset Prices in General Equilibrium

  • S. Rao Aiyagari
  • Mark Gertler

We attempt to explain the overreaction of asset prices to movements in short-term interest rates, dividends, and asset supplies. The key element of our explanation is a margin constraint that traders face which limits their leverage to a fraction of the value of their assets. Traders may lever themselves further, either directly by borrowing short term or indirectly by engaging in futures and options trading, so that the scenario is relevant to contemporary financial markets. When some shock pushes asset prices to a low enough level at which the margin constraint binds, traders are forced to liquidate assets. This drives asset prices below what they would be with frictionless markets. Also, a shock which simply increases the likelihood that the margin constraint will bind can have a very similar effect on asset prices. We construct a general equilibrium model with margin constrained traders and derive some qualitative properties of asset prices. We present an analytical solution for a deterministic version of the model and a simple numerical computation of the stochastic version.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6747.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6747.

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Date of creation: Oct 1998
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Publication status: published as Review of Economic Dynamics, Vol. 2, no. 1 (January 1999): 3-35
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6747
Note: AP
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  1. A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
  2. Eden, Benjamin & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1988. "Asymmetric Information And The Excess Volatility Of Stock Prices," Working Papers 88-31, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Gale, D. & Allen, F., 1991. "Limited Market Participation and Volatility of Asset Prices," Weiss Center Working Papers 14-91, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  4. Kandel, Shmuel & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1991. "Asset returns and intertemporal preferences," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 39-71, February.
  5. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. G. Constantinides, 1990. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1397, David K. Levine.
  7. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stein, Jeremy, 1988. "The Task Force Report: The Reasoning behind the Recommendations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 3-23, Summer.
  8. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 1993. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 4249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gikas A. Hardouvelis, 1988. "Margin requirements and stock market volatility," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sum, pages 80-89.
  10. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1713, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. S. Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1990. "Asset Returns with Transactions Cost and Uninsured Risk: A Stage III Exercise," NBER Working Papers 3481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Leland, Hayne & Rubinstein, Mark, 1988. "Comments on the Market Crash: Six Months After," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 45-50, Summer.
  13. Cutler, David M & Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1990. "Speculative Dynamics and the Role of Feedback Traders," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 63-68, May.
  14. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
  15. S Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Asset Returns with transaction costs and uninsured individual risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 648, David K. Levine.
  16. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
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