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Consumption Risk And Expected Stock Returns

  • Jonathan A. Parker

    (Princeton University and NBER)

Following the textbook CCAPM, the consumption risk of an asset is typically measured as the contemporaneous covariance of the marginal utility of consumption and the return on that asset. When measured this way, consumption risk is too small to explain the observed equity premium, is negatively related to expected excess returns over time, and fails to explain the cross-sectional differences in average returns of the Fama and French (25) portfolios. This paper evaluates the central insight of the CCAPM — that consumption risk determines returns — but take the model less literally by allowing the possibility that households do not instantaneously and completely adjust consumption to the news revealed about wealth in a period. The long-term consumption risk of the aggregate market is signficantly larger than the contemporaneous risk and is positively related to expected excess returns over time. The long-term consumption risk of different portfolios largely explains the observed differences in average returns.

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Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics. in its series Working Papers with number 144.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:wwseco:dp223
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  1. Matthew D. Shapiro & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Risk and Return: Consumption Beta Versus Market Beta," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 738, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
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  11. Martin Lettau & Sydney Ludvigson, 1999. "Resurrecting the (C)CAPM: a cross-sectional test when risk premia are time-varying," Staff Reports 93, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. Mark Rubinstein, 1976. "The Valuation of Uncertain Income Streams and the Pricing of Options," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 407-425, Autumn.
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