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Consumption Risk and Cross-Sectional Returns


  • Jonathan A. Parker
  • Christian Julliard


This paper evaluates the central insight of the Consumption Capital Asset Pricing Model (C-CAPM) that an asset's expected return is determined by its equilibrium risk to consumption. Rather that measure the risk of a portfolio by the contemporaneous covariance of its return and consumption growth -- as done in the previous literature on the C-CAPM and the pattern of cross-sectional returns -- we measure the risk of a portfolio by its ultimate consumption risk defined as the covariance of its return and consumption growth over the quarter of the return and many following quarters. While contemporaneous consumption risk has little predictive power for explaining the pattern of average returns across the Fama and French (25) portfolios, ultimate consumption risk is highly statistically significant in explaining average returns and explains a large fraction of the variation in average returns. Aditionally, estimates of the average risk-free real rate of interest and the coefficient of relative risk aversion of the representative household based on ultimate consumption risk are more reasonable than those obtained using contemporaneous consumption risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan A. Parker & Christian Julliard, 2003. "Consumption Risk and Cross-Sectional Returns," NBER Working Papers 9538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9538
    Note: EFG ME AP

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    12. Douglas T. Breeden & Michael R Gibbons & Robert H. Litzenberger, "undated". "Empirical Tests of the Consumption-Oriented CAPM," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 7-89, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kalyvitis Sarantis & Panopoulou Ekaterini, 2013. "Estimating C-CAPM and the equity premium over the frequency domain," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(5), pages 551-571, December.
    2. repec:pri:wwseco:dp229 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jesper Rangvid & Maik Schmeling & Andreas Schrimpf, 2009. "Global Asset Pricing: Is There a Role for Long-run Consumption Risk?," CREATES Research Papers 2009-57, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    4. Beeler, Jason & Campbell, John Y., 2012. "The Long-Run Risks Model and Aggregate Asset Prices: An Empirical Assessment," Critical Finance Review, now publishers, vol. 1(1), pages 141-182, January.
    5. Ravi Jagannathan & Srikant Marakani, 2011. "Price Dividend Ratio Factors : Proxies for Long Run Risk," NBER Working Papers 17484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Julliard, Christian, 2007. "Labor income risk and asset returns," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4811, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Kang, Jangkoo & Kim, Tong Suk & Lee, Changjun & Min, Byoung-Kyu, 2011. "Macroeconomic risk and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3158-3173.
    8. Matthew D. Merritt & Shaun K. Roache, 2006. "Currency Risk Premia in Global Stock Markets," IMF Working Papers 06/194, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Pakos, Michal, 2004. "Asset Pricing with Durable Goods and Nonhomothetic Preferences," MPRA Paper 26167, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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