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Long-Run Risk is the Worst-Case Scenario

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  • Ian Dew-Becker

    (Northwestern University)

  • Rhys Bidder

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

Abstract

We study an investor who is unsure of the dynamics of the economy. Not only are parameters unknown, but the investor does not even know what order model to estimate. She estimates her consumption process non-parametrically and prices assets using a pessimistic model that minimizes lifetime utility subject to a constraint on statistical plausibility. The equilibrium is exactly solvable and we show that the pricing model always includes long run risks. With a single free parameter determining risk preferences, the model generates high and volatile risk premia, excess volatility in stock returns, return predictability, interest rates that are uncorrelated with expected consumption growth, and investor expectations that are consistent with survey evidence. Risk aversion is equal to 4.8, there is no stochastic volatility or disasters, and the pricing model is statistically nearly indistinguishable from the true data-generating process. The analysis yields a general characterization of behavior under a very broad form of model uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Dew-Becker & Rhys Bidder, 2015. "Long-Run Risk is the Worst-Case Scenario," 2015 Meeting Papers 490, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed015:490
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    Cited by:

    1. Rhys Bidder & Ian Dew-Becker, 2016. "Long-Run Risk Is the Worst-Case Scenario," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2494-2527, September.
    2. repec:eee:finmar:v:37:y:2018:i:c:p:97-119 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bidder, R.M. & Smith, M.E., 2018. "Doubts and variability: A robust perspective on exotic consumption series," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 689-712.
    4. repec:eee:corfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:608-631 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Barunik, Jozef & Vacha, Lukas, 2018. "Do co-jumps impact correlations in currency markets?," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 97-119.
    6. Alexander Meyer-Gohde, 2017. "Generalized Entropy and Model Uncertainty," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2017-017, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    7. Guihai Zhao, 2018. "Ambiguity, Nominal Bond Yields and Real Bond Yields," Staff Working Papers 18-24, Bank of Canada.
    8. Bidder, Rhys, 2016. "Worst-case scenarios and asset prices," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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