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Temporal Risk Aversion and Asset Prices

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  • Skander J. Van den Heuvel

    (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

Agents with standard, time-separable preferences do not care about the temporal distribution of risk. This is a strong assumption. For example, it seems plausible that a consumer may find persistent shocks to consumption less desirable than uncorrelated fluctuations. Such a consumer is said to exhibit temporal risk aversion. This paper examines the implications of temporal risk aversion for asset prices. The innovation is to work with expected utility preferences that (i) are not time-separable, (ii) exhibit temporal risk aversion, (iii) separate risk aversion from the intertemporal elasticity of substitution, (iv) separate short-run from long-run risk aversion and (v) yield stationary asset pricing implications in the context of an endowment economy. Closed form solutions are derived for the equity premium and the risk free rate. The equity premium depends only on a parameter indexing long-run risk aversion. The risk-free rate instead depends primarily on a separate parameter indexing the desire to smooth consumption over time and the rate of time preference.

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  • Skander J. Van den Heuvel, 2008. "Temporal Risk Aversion and Asset Prices," 2008 Meeting Papers 46, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:46
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stanislav Khrapov, 2012. "Risk Premia: Short and Long-term," Working Papers w0169, New Economic School (NES).
    2. Antoine Bommier, Francois Le Grand, "undated". "Too Risk Averse to Purchase Insurance? A Theoretical Glance at the Annuity Puzzle," Working Papers ETH-RC-12-002, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
    3. Ton S van den Bremer & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2013. "Managing and Harnessing Volatile Oil Windfalls," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(1), pages 130-167, April.
    4. Kihlstrom, Richard, 2009. "Risk aversion and the elasticity of substitution in general dynamic portfolio theory: Consistent planning by forward looking, expected utility maximizing investors," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(9-10), pages 634-663, September.
    5. Antoine Bommier & François Grand, 2014. "Too risk averse to purchase insurance?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 135-166, April.

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