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State Dependent Preferences Can Explain the Equity Premium Puzzle

  • Angelo Melino
  • Alan X. Yang

We introduce state dependent recursive preferences into the Mehra-Prescott economy. We show that such preferences can match the historical first two moments of the returns on equity and the risk free rate. Other authors have reported similar results using state dependent expected utility preferences. These authors have tended to emphasize the importance of countercyclical risk aversion in explaining the equity premium puzzle. We find that countercyclical risk aversion plays an important role but only when combined with modest cyclical variation in intertemporal substitution.

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File URL: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/UT-ECIPA-MELINO-03-01.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number melino-03-01.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:melino-03-01
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  1. 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 263-86, April.
  2. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Clark, 1991. "The Equity Premium and the Risk Free Rate: Matching the Moments," NBER Working Papers 3752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kocherlakota, N., 1995. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Working Papers 95-05, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  4. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  5. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  6. Breeden, Douglas T., 1979. "An intertemporal asset pricing model with stochastic consumption and investment opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 265-296, September.
  7. L. Epstein & S. Zin, 2010. "First order risk aversion and the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1400, David K. Levine.
  8. Gordon S. & St-Amour P., 2004. "Asset Returns and State-Dependent Risk Preferences," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22, pages 241-252, July.
  9. Gordon, Stephen & St-Amour, Pascal, 1999. "A Preference Regime Model of Bull and Bear Markets," Cahiers de recherche 9906, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  10. 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.
  11. John H Cochrane, 2003. "Where is the Market Going: Uncertain Facts and Novel Theories," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000762, David K. Levine.
  12. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
  13. Epstein, Larry G & Melino, Angelo, 1995. "A Revealed Preference Analysis of Asset Pricing under Recursive Utility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 597-618, October.
  14. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "The equity premium puzzle and the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 401-421, November.
  15. Hansen, Lars Peter & Richard, Scott F, 1987. "The Role of Conditioning Information in Deducing Testable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 587-613, May.
  16. Martin Lettau, 2001. "Consumption, Aggregate Wealth, and Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(3), pages 815-849, 06.
  17. Epstein, Larry G. & Zin, Stanley E., 2001. "The independence axiom and asset returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(5), pages 537-572, December.
  18. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
  19. 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.
  20. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1990. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," NBER Technical Working Papers 0089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  22. John Y. Campbell, 1996. "Consumption and the Stock Market: Interpreting International Experience," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1763, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  23. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  24. Epstein, Larry G., 1988. "Risk aversion and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-192, September.
  25. Kubler, Felix, 2004. "Is intertemporal choice theory testable?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-2), pages 177-189, February.
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