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Sources of Entropy in Representative Agent Models

  • David Backus
  • Mikhail Chernov
  • Stanley Zin

We propose two metrics for asset pricing models and apply them to representative agent models with recursive preferences, habits, and jumps. The metrics describe the pricing kernel’s dispersion (the entropy of the title) and dynamics (time dependence, a measure of how entropy varies over different time horizons). We show how each model generates entropy and time dependence and compare their magnitudes to estimates derived from asset returns. This exercise--and transparent loglinear approximations--clarifies the mechanisms underlying these models. It also reveals, in some cases, tension between entropy, which should be large enough to account for observed excess returns, and time dependence, which should be small enough to account for mean yield spreads.

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File URL: http://web-docs.stern.nyu.edu/old_web/economics/docs/workingpapers/2011/Backus11Jul2011.pdf
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Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11-21.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:11-21
Contact details of provider: Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/

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