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Risk Aversion, the Labor Margin, and Asset Pricing in DSGE Models

  • Eric Swanson

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

In dynamic equilibrium models, the household's labor margin has dramatic effects on risk aversion, and hence asset prices, even when utility is additively separable between consumption and labor. This paper derives simple, closed-form expressions for risk aversion that take into account the household's labor margin. Ignoring the labor margin can wildly overstate the household's true aversion to risk. Risk premia on assets priced with the stochastic discount factor increase essentially linearly with risk aversion, so measuring risk aversion correctly is crucial for asset pricing in the model. Closed-form expressions for risk aversion in DSGE models with generalized recursive preferences and internal and external habits are also derived.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 138.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:138
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. Boldrin, Michele & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Fisher, Jonas D.M., 1997. "Habit Persistence And Asset Returns In An Exchange Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 312-332, June.
  2. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  3. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Thomas Tallarini, . "Risk-Sensitive Real Business Cycles," GSIA Working Papers 1997-35, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  5. 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.
  6. Benveniste, L M & Scheinkman, J A, 1979. "On the Differentiability of the Value Function in Dynamic Models of Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 727-32, May.
  7. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  8. Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Examining the bond premium puzzle with a DSGE model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages S111-S126, October.
  9. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Behavior Towards Risk with Many Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 660-67, October.
  10. Philippe Weil, 1989. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 2829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
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