Too Good to Be True: Asset Pricing Implications of Pessimism
We evaluate whether the introduction of pessimistic homogeneous beliefs in the frictionless Lucas-Mehra-Prescott model and the Kehoe-Levine-Alvarez-Jermann model with endogenous borrowing constraints, helps explain the equity premium, the risk-free rate and the equity volatility puzzles as well as the short-term momentum and long-term reversal of excess returns. We calibrate the model to U.S. data as in Alvarez and Jermann  and we find that the data does not contradict the qualitative predictions of the models. When the preferences parameters are disciplined to match both the average annual risk-free rate and equity premium, the Lucas-Mehra-Prescott model gives a more quantitatively accurate explanation for short-term momentum than the Kehoe-Levine-Alvarez-Jermann model but the latter gives a more quantitatively accurate explanation for the equity volatility puzzle. Long-term reversal remains quantitatively unexplained in both models.
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