Year of publication
- 2011 (3) (remove)
- Asset pricing under rational learning about rare disasters : [Version 28 Juli 2011] (2011)
- This paper proposes a new approach for modeling investor fear after rare disasters. The key element is to take into account that investors’ information about fundamentals driving rare downward jumps in the dividend process is not perfect. Bayesian learning implies that beliefs about the likelihood of rare disasters drop to a much more pessimistic level once a disaster has occurred. Such a shift in beliefs can trigger massive declines in price-dividend ratios. Pessimistic beliefs persist for some time. Thus, belief dynamics are a source of apparent excess volatility relative to a rational expectations benchmark. Due to the low frequency of disasters, even an infinitely-lived investor will remain uncertain about the exact probability. Our analysis is conducted in continuous time and offers closed-form solutions for asset prices. We distinguish between rational and adaptive Bayesian learning. Rational learners account for the possibility of future changes in beliefs in determining their demand for risky assets, while adaptive learners take beliefs as given. Thus, risky assets tend to be lower-valued and price-dividend ratios vary less under adaptive versus rational learning for identical priors. Keywords: beliefs, Bayesian learning, controlled diffusions and jump processes, learning about jumps, adaptive learning, rational learning. JEL classification: D83, G11, C11, D91, E21, D81, C61
- Saving rates and portfolio choice with subsistence consumption (2011)
- We analytically show that a common across rich/poor individuals Stone-Geary utility function with subsistence consumption in the context of a simple two-asset portfolio-choice model is capable of qualitatively and quantitatively explaining: (i) the higher saving rates of the rich, (ii) the higher fraction of personal wealth held in risky assets by the rich, and (iii) the higher volatility of consumption of the wealthier. On the contrary, time-variant “keeping-up-with-the-Joneses” weighted average consumption which plays the role of moving benchmark subsistence consumption gives the same portfolio composition and saving rates across the rich and the poor, failing to reconcile the model with what micro data say. JEL Classification: G11, D91, E21, D81, D14, D11
- Reforms or bankruptcy? (2011)
- Almost 20 Greek academic economists from renowned universities in Europe and the US have prepared a one-page statement regarding the Greek crisis. In their statement the economic experts call upon the Greek public to accept the economic program of structural reforms, privatization, efficient tax collection, and shrinking of the public sector proposed and financed by the EU partners and the IMF. Among the signatories are this year's Nobel Prize winner Christopher Pissarides and Michalis Haliassos, Director of the Center for Financial Studies and Professor for Macroeconomics and Finance at the House of Finance.