The Case Against Power Utility and a Suggested Alternative: Resurrecting Exponential Utility
Utility modeled as a power function is commonly used in the literature despite the fact that it is unbounded and generates asset pricing puzzles. The unboundedness property leads to St. Petersburg paradox issues and indifference to compound gambles, but these problems have largely been ignored. The asset pricing puzzles have been solved by introducing habit formation to the usual power utility. Given these issues, we believe it is time re-examine exponential utility. Exponential utility was abandoned largely because it implies increasing relative risk aversion in a cross-section of individuals and nonstationarity of the aggregate consumption to wealth ratio, contradicting macroeconomic data. We propose an alternative preference specification with exponential utility and relative habit formation. We show that this utility function is bounded, consistent with asset pricing facts, generates near-constant relative risk aversion in a cross-section of individuals and a stationary ratio of aggregate consumption to wealth.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Andrew B. Abel, .
"Asset Prices Under Habit Formation and Catching Up With the Jones,"
Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers
01-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
- Andrew B. Abel, . "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation and Catching Up With the Jones," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
- Abel, A.B., 1990. "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation And Catching Up With The Joneses," Weiss Center Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
- 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.
- G. Constantinides, 1990.
"Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1397, David K. Levine.
- Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
- R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010.
"The equity premium: a puzzle,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1401, David K. Levine.
- Meyer, Donald J. & Meyer, Jack, 2005. "Risk preferences in multi-period consumption models, the equity premium puzzle, and habit formation utility," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1497-1515, November.
- Gali, J., 1992.
"Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices,"
92-22, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
- Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
- Morris A. Davis & Robert F. Martin, 2005. "Housing, house prices, and the equity premium puzzle," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-13, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Philippe Weil, 1989.
"The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle,"
NBER Working Papers
2829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Weil, Philippe, 1989. "The equity premium puzzle and the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 401-421, November.
- Phillippe Weil, 1997. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1833, David K. Levine.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5897. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.