34 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2009
Date Written: August 2009
The heavy-tailed distribution of firm sizes first discovered by Zipf (1949) is one of the best established empirical facts in economics. We show that it has strong implications for asset pricing. Due to the concentration of the market portfolio when the distribution of the capitalization of firms is sufficiently heavy-tailed, an additional risk factor generically appears even for very large economies. Our two-factor model is as successful empirically as the three-factor Fama-French model.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Malevergne, Yannick and Santa-Clara, Pedro and Sornette, Didier, Professor Zipf Goes to Wall Street (August 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15295. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1463888
By N. Mankiw
By John Shea