Ambiguity, Learning, and Asset Returns
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Department of Finance
Boston University - Department of Economics
April 21, 2009
AFA 2009 San Francisco Meetings Paper
We propose a novel generalized recursive smooth ambiguity model which allows a three-way separation among risk aversion, ambiguity aversion, and intertemporal substitution. We apply this utility to a consumption-based asset pricing model in which consumption and dividends follow hidden Markov regime-switching processes. Our calibrated model can match the mean equity premium, the mean riskfree rate, and the volatility of the equity premium observed in the data. In addition, our model can generate a variety of dynamic asset pricing phenomena, including the procyclical variation of price-dividend ratios, the countercyclical variation of equity premia and equity volatility, and the mean reversion of excess returns. The key
intuition is that an ambiguity averse agent behaves pessimistically by attaching more weight to the pricing kernel in bad times when his continuation values are low.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: ambiguity aversion, learning, pessimism, asset pricing puzzles
JEL Classification: G12, D81, D83working papers series
Date posted: September 26, 2007 ; Last revised: December 29, 2009
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