IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations

  • Kjetil Storesletten
  • Chris Telmer
  • Amir Yaron

A number of existing studies have concluded that risk sharing allocations supported by competitive, incomplete markets equilibria are quantitatively close to first-best. Equilibrium asset prices in these models have been difficult to distinguish from those associated with a complete markets model, the counterfactual features of which have been widely documented. This paper asks if life cycle considerations, in conjunction with persistent idiosyncratic shocks which become more volatile during aggregate downturns, can reconcile the quantitative properties of the competitive asset pricing framework with those of observed asset returns. We begin by arguing that data from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics support the plausibility of such a shock process. Our estimates suggest a high degree of persistence as well as a substantial increase in idiosyncratic conditional volatility coincident with periods of low growth in U.S. GNP. When these factors are incorporated in a stationary overlapping generations framework, the implications for the returns on risky assets are substantial. Plausible parameterizations of our economy are able to generate Sharpe ratios which match those observed in U.S. data. Our economy cannot, however, account for the level of variability of stock returns, owing in large part to the specification of its production technology.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Whole Paper
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 405.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 1996
Date of revision: Jul 1999
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:405
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ravi Jagannathan & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Why should older people invest less in stock than younger people?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 11-23.
  2. Mark Gertler, 1997. "Government Debt and Social Security in a Life-Cycle Economy," NBER Working Papers 6000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Telmer, Chris I, 1993. " Asset-Pricing Puzzles and Incomplete Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1803-32, December.
  4. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2000. "Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycle," Staff Report 280, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2005. "Does income inequality lead to consumption inequality? Evidence and theory," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  6. Storesletten, Kjetil, 1998. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy Through Immigration," Seminar Papers 664, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1991. "The consumption of stockholders and nonstockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, March.
  8. Zhang, H.H., 1995. "Endogenous Borrowing Constraints with Incomplete Markets," GSIA Working Papers 1995-25, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  9. Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992. "Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
  10. Alon Brav & George M. Constantinides & Christopher C. Geczy, 2002. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers and Limited Participation: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 793-824, August.
  11. Gomes, Francisco J & Michaelides, Alexander, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Limited Risk Sharing and Heterogeneous Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 6136, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
  13. Sumru Altug & Robert Miller, . "Household Choices in Equilibrium," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  14. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-67, June.
  15. Philippe Weil, 1992. "Equilibrium Asset Prices With Undiversifiable Labor Income Risk," NBER Working Papers 3975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity, Portfolio Choice, and Equilibrium Asset Returns," GSIA Working Papers 1997-45, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  17. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-87, June.
  18. Deaton, A., 1989. "Saving And Liquidity Constraints," Papers 153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  19. Sergei Sarkissian, 2003. "Incomplete Consumption Risk Sharing and Currency Risk Premiums," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 983-1005, July.
  20. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, . "Quantitative Asset Pricing Implications of Endogenous Solvency Constraints," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 10-99, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  21. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  22. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J Jermann, 2010. "Asset Pricing When Risk Sharing is Limited by Default," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1898, David K. Levine.
  23. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
  24. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
  25. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 2000. "Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices: The Importance of Entrepreneurial Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1163-1198, 06.
  26. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  27. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  28. Fumio Hayashi & Joseph Altonji & Laurence Kotlikoff, 1991. "Risk-sharing, altruism, and the factor structure of consumption," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 48, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  29. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  30. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  31. S. Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1990. "Asset Returns with Transactions Cost and Uninsured Risk: A Stage III Exercise," NBER Working Papers 3481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Marcet, Albert & Singleton, Kenneth J., 1999. "Equilibrium Asset Prices And Savings Of Heterogeneous Agents In The Presence Of Incomplete Markets And Portfolio Constraints," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 243-277, June.
  33. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
  34. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  35. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-45, March.
  36. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  37. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Equity Premium and the Concentration of Aggregate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 1788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. George M. Constantinides & John B. Donaldson & Rajnish Mehra, . "Junior Can't borrow: A New Perspective on the Equity Premium Puzzle."," CRSP working papers 457, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  39. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  40. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "Two Views of Inequality Over the Life-Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4728, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  41. Fatih Guvenen, 2005. "A Parsimonious Macroeconomic Model for Asset Pricing: Habit Formation of Cross-sectional Heterogeneity?," Finance 0507009, EconWPA.
  42. Timothy Cogley, 1998. "Idiosyncratic risk and the equity premium: evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  43. Faini,Riccardo C. & de Melo,Jaime & Zimmermann,Klaus (ed.), 1999. "Migration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662338.
  44. Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:269-296 is not listed on IDEAS
  46. Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord86-1, December.
  47. Den Haan, Wouter J., 1997. "Solving Dynamic Models With Aggregate Shocks And Heterogeneous Agents," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 355-386, June.
  48. Hubbard, R. Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1994. "The importance of precautionary motives in explaining individual and aggregate saving," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 59-125, June.
  49. Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1994. "On the quantitative importance of market completeness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 463-496, December.
  50. repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:3:p:659-84 is not listed on IDEAS
  51. Brown, David P, 1990. "Age Clienteles Induced by Liquidity Constraints," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(4), pages 891-912, November.
  52. S Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Asset Returns with transaction costs and uninsured individual risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 648, David K. Levine.
  53. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:269-296 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:405. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.