On asset pricing and the equity premium puzzle
Presented here are consumption and production related asset pricing models which seek to explain stock market behaviour through the stock premium over risk-free bonds and to do so using parameter values consistent with theory. Our results show that there are models capable of explaining stock market behaviour. For the consumption-based model, we avoid many of the suggestions to artificially boost the predicted stock premium such as modelling consumption as leverage claims; instead we use the notion of surplus consumption. We find that with surplus consumption, there are models including the much-maligned power utility model, capable of yielding theory consistent estimates for the discount rate, risk-free rate as well as the coefficient of relative risk aversion, y. Since real business cycle theory assumes a risk aversion coefficient of 1, we conclude that our model which gives a value close to but not equal to 1, provides an indication of the impact of market imperfections. For production, we present many of the existing models which seek to explain stock market behaviour using production data which we find to be generally incapable of explaining stock market behaviour. We conclude by presenting a profit based formulation which uses deviations of actual from expected profits and dividends via stock price reaction parameters to successfully explain stock market behaviour. We also conclude that the use of a profit based formulation allows for a link to investment, output and pricing decisions and hence link consumption and production.