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Substitution and Risk Aversion: Is Risk Aversion Important for Understanding Asset Prices?

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  • Benjamin Eden

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

This paper uses a recursive time-non-separable expected utility function to separate between the intertemporal elasticity of substitution (IES) and a measure of relative risk aversion to bets in terms of money (RAM). Risk premium does not require risk aversion. Changes in IES have large effects on asset prices but changes in risk aversion have only a small effect on asset prices. Assuming IES = 1 and allowing a wide range for the RAM coefficient (say between 0 and 10) is consistent with the cross-countries observation made by Lucas (2003) and the net of taxes and net of frictions rates of return estimated by McGrattan and Prescott (2003).

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Eden, 2004. "Substitution and Risk Aversion: Is Risk Aversion Important for Understanding Asset Prices?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0422, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0422
    as

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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu04-w22.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Average Debt and Equity Returns: Puzzling?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 392-397, May.
    2. Philippe Weil, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42.
    3. Eden, Benjamin, 1977. "The role of insurance and gambling in allocating risk over time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 228-246, December.
    4. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-357, April.
    5. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-467, June.
    6. 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 937-969, July.
    7. Selden, Larry, 1978. "A New Representation of Preferences over "Certain A Uncertain" Consumption Pairs: The "Ordinal Certainty Equivalent" Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1045-1060, September.
    8. Jerusalem D. Levhari & T. N. Srinivasan, 1969. "Optimal Savings under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 153-163.
    9. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    10. Beaudry, Paul & van Wincoop, Eric, 1996. "The Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution: An Exploration Using a US Panel of State Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(251), pages 495-512, August.
    11. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asset pricing; intertemporal elasticity of substitution; risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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