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Another Look at the Equity Risk Premium Puzzle

Günter Bamberg and Sebastian Heiden

German Economic Review, 2015, vol. 16, issue 4, 490-501

Abstract: type="main" xml:id="geer12078-abs-0001"> The model of Mehra and Prescott (1985, J. Econometrics, 22, 145–161) implies that reasonable coefficients of risk-aversion of economic agents cannot explain the equity risk premium generated by financial markets. This discrepancy is hitherto regarded as a major financial puzzle. We propose an alternative model to explain the equity premium. For normally distributed returns and for returns far away from normality (but still light tailed), realistic equity risk premia do not imply puzzlingly high risk aversions. Following our approach, the ‘equity premium puzzle’ does not exist. We also consider fat-tailed return distributions and show that Pareto tails are incompatible with constant relative risk aversion.

Date: 2015
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German Economic Review is currently edited by Bernhard Felderer, Joseph F. Francois, Ivo Welch, Urs Schweizer and David E. Wildasin

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