The 6d Bias and the Equity Premium Puzzle

47 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2002

See all articles by Xavier Gabaix

Xavier Gabaix

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

David Laibson

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2001

Abstract

If decision costs lead agents to update consumption every D periods, then econometricians will find an anomalously low correlation between equity returns and consumption growth (Lynch 1996). We analytically characterize the dynamic properties of an economy composed of consumers who have such delayed updating. In our setting, an econometrician using an Euler equation procedure would infer a coefficient of relative risk aversion biased up by a factor of 6D. Hence with quarterly data, if agents adjust their consumption every D = 4 quarters, the imputed coefficient of relative risk aversion will be 24 times greater than the true value. High levels of risk aversion implied by the equity premium and violations of the Hansen-Jagannathan bounds cease to be puzzles. The neoclassical model with delayed adjustment explains the consumption behavior of shareholders. Once limited participation is taken into account, the model matches most properties of aggregate consumption and equity returns, including new evidence that the covariance between lnC(t+h)/lnC(t) and R(t+1) slowly rises with h.

Keywords: 6D, bounded rationality, decision costs, delayed adjustment, equity premium puzzle

JEL Classification: E44, G1

Suggested Citation

Gabaix, Xavier and Laibson, David I., The 6d Bias and the Equity Premium Puzzle (June 2001). Harvard Institute of Economic Research Paper No. 1947; MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 02-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=297165 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.297165

Xavier Gabaix

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

David I. Laibson (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Room M-14
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-3402 (Phone)
617-495-8570 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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