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Title: Essays on the pricing of financial and human wealth
Author: Brusa, Francesca
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 4575
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis presents three empirical analyses on the systematic risk exposure that global and domestic asset holders face. Each paper investigates a distinct source of macroeconomic risk, but they all stem from the premise that holding human capital and financial assets is risky. This ultimately affects agents' optimal consumption choices. The first paper, The International CAPM Redux, proposes a novel empirical model to price international assets. Building on recent advances in asset pricing research on currency markets, it documents that investors are compensated for bearing exposure to currency risk when investing in foreign equity, either directly or via delegated portfolios of international assets. The second paper, One Central Bank To Rule Them All, shows that while global investors demand a premium to bear risks associated with Federal Reserve decisions, there is no comparable result for other major central banks. This puzzling finding points to the uniqueness of the Federal Reserve for global investors, that does not simply stem from the size and importance of the U.S. economy. The third paper, Human Capital, Unemployment Risk and Asset Prices, relates the riskiness of human capital to uncertainty in the labour market and documents a role for unemployment as a determinant of human wealth. Sorting U.S. industry-level portfolios by differential exposure to unemployment risk yields a novel cross-section of average excess returns. High risk-premia are consistent with less income-constrained highly educated workers willing to take financial risk beyond hedging their labour income risk. Taken together, these three studies contribute to the empirical asset pricing literature and open the door to further theoretical and empirical research in the field.
Supervisor: Ramadorai, Tarun Sponsor: Oxford Man Institute of Quantitative Finance
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Finance ; Asset-liability management ; Pricing ; Human capital ; Risk management