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Title: Essays in asset price bubbles
Author: Ramanan, Sisir
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 0514
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis studies the field of asset price bubbles. It is comprised of three independent chapters. Each of these chapters either directly or indirectly analyse the existence or implications of asset price bubbles. The type of bubbles assumed in each of these chapters is consistent with rational expectations. Thus, the kind of price bubbles investigated here are known as rational bubbles in the literature. The following describes the three chapters. Chapter 1: This chapter attempts to explain the recent US housing price bubble by developing a heterogeneous agent endowment economy asset pricing model with risky housing, endogenous collateral and defaults. Investment in housing is subject to an idiosyncratic risk and some mortgages are defaulted in equilibrium. We analytically derive the leverage or the endogenous loan to value ratio. This variable comes from a limited participation constraint in a one period mortgage contract with monitoring costs. Our results show that low values of housing investment risk produces a credit easing effect encouraging excess leverage and generates credit driven rational price bubbles in the housing good. Conversely, high values of housing investment risk produces a credit crunch characterized by tight borrowing constraints, low leverage and low house prices. Furthermore, the leverage ratio was found to be procyclical and the rate of defaults countercyclical consistent with empirical evidence. Chapter 2: It is widely believed that financial assets have considerable persistence and are susceptible to bubbles. However, identification of this persistence and potential bubbles is not straightforward. This chapter tests for price bubbles in the United States housing market accounting for long memory and structural breaks. The intuition is that the presence of long memory negates price bubbles while the presence of breaks could artificially induce bubble behaviour. Hence, we use procedures namely semi-parametric Whittle and parametric ARFIMA procedures that are consistent for a variety of residual biases to estimate the value of the long memory parameter, d, of the log rent-price ratio. We find that the semi-parametric estimation procedures robust to non-normality and heteroskedasticity errors found far more bubble regions than parametric ones. A structural break was identified in the mean and trend of all the series which when accounted for removed bubble behaviour in a number of regions. Importantly, the United States housing market showed evidence for rational bubbles at both the aggregate and regional levels. In the third and final chapter, we attempt to answer the following question: To what extend should individuals participate in the stock market and hold risky assets over their lifecycle? We answer this question by employing a lifecycle consumption-portfolio choice model with housing, labour income and time varying predictable returns where the agents are constrained in the level of their borrowing. We first analytically characterize and then numerically solve for the optimal asset allocation on the risky asset comparing the return predictability case with that of IID returns. We successfully resolve the puzzles and find equity holding and participation rates close to the data. We also find that return predictability substantially alter both the level of risky portfolio allocation and the rate of stock market participation. High factor (dividend-price ratio) realization and high persistence of factor process indicative of stock market bubbles raise the amount of wealth invested in risky assets and the level of stock market participation, respectively. Conversely, rare disasters were found to bring down these rates, the change being severe for investors in the later years of the life-cycle. Furthermore, investors following time varying returns (return predictability) hedged background risks significantly better than the IID ones.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory ; HG Finance