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The Spirit of Capitalism and Asset Pricing: an Empirical Investigation

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  • Qiang Zhang

    (Department of Economics, Fogelman College of Business & Economics, University of Memphis)

Abstract

We extend and test two models of aggregate asset pricing that feature status-seeking through accumulation of not only financial assets but also human capital. We use weak-identification robust tests to confront these models with U.S. data. Contrary to previous results, we find that the spirit of capitalism hypothesis, modeled as either direct preference for wealth or pursuit of relative wealth status, is rejected in the aggregate data. Therefore, adding status motive alone to an otherwise standard model may not be sufficient to resolve the equity premium puzzle.

Suggested Citation

  • Qiang Zhang, 2006. "The Spirit of Capitalism and Asset Pricing: an Empirical Investigation," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-428, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2006cf428
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    File URL: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/dp/2006/2006cf428.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jagannathan, Ravi & Wang, Zhenyu, 1996. " The Conditional CAPM and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 3-53, March.
    2. Gong, Liutang & Zou, Heng-fu, 2002. "Direct preferences for wealth, the risk premium puzzle, growth, and policy effectiveness," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 247-270, February.
    3. Smith, William T, 2001. "How Does the Spirit of Capitalism Affect Stock Market Prices?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 1215-1232.
    4. Martin Lettau, 2001. "Consumption, Aggregate Wealth, and Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(3), pages 815-849, June.
    5. Zou, Heng-fu, 1994. "'The spirit of capitalism' and long-run growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 279-293, July.
    6. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Understanding Trend and Cycle in Asset Values: Reevaluating the Wealth Effect on Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 276-299, March.
    7. Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2006. "Empirical Proxies for the Consumption-Wealth Ratio," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 34-51, January.
    8. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-286, April.
    9. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-262, April.
    10. Martin Lettau, 2000. "Cross-variable restrictions in Euler equations and risk premia," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 99-101.
    11. Zhang, Qiang, 2006. "Human Capital, Weak Identification, and Asset Pricing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 873-899, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Smoluk, H.J. & Voyer, John, 2014. "The spirit of capitalism among the income classes," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-9.
    2. Dreyer, Johannes K. & Schneider, Johannes & Smith, William T., 2013. "Saving-based asset-pricing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3704-3715.

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