Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=261226
 
 

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Inflation Risk and Capital Market Equilibrium


Zvi Bodie


Boston University - Department of Finance & Economics

July 1979

NBER Working Paper No. w0373

Abstract:     
This paper investigates the effect of inflation uncertainty on the portfolio behavior of households and the equilibrium structure of capitol market rates. The principal findings regarding portfolio behavior are: (1.) In the presence of inflation uncertainty, households will have an inflation-hedging demand for assets other than riskless nominal bonds, which will be directly proportional to the covariance between the rate of inflation and the nominal rates of return on these other assets. (2.) An asset is a perfect inflation hedge if and only if its nominal return is perfectly correlated with the rate of inflation. The principal findings regarding capital market rates are: (1.) The equilibrium real yield spread between any risky security and riskless nominal bonds is directly proportional to the difference between the covariance of the security's nominal rate of return with the market portfolio and its covariance with the rate of inflation. (2.) As long as the net supply of monetary assets in the economy is greater than zero, an increase in inflation uncertainty will lower the risk premia on all real assets. (3.) A preliminary empirical test of the theory using rates of return on common stocks, long-term bonds, real estate and commodity futures contracts yields mixed results. The risk premia on long-term bonds and futures have the "wrong" signs.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 38

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Date posted: May 28, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Bodie, Zvi, Inflation Risk and Capital Market Equilibrium (July 1979). NBER Working Paper No. w0373. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=261226

Contact Information

Zvi Bodie (Contact Author)
Boston University - Department of Finance & Economics ( email )
595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-4160 (Phone)
617-353 6667 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://smgnet.bu.edu/mgmt/profiles/BodieZvi.html
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