# Essays in equilibrium asset pricing

### Details

Serval ID

serval:BIB_D5131DB20FEA

Type

**PhD thesis**: a PhD thesis.

Collection

Publications

Fund

Title

Essays in equilibrium asset pricing

Director(s)

Danthine J.-P.

Institution

Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales

Publication state

Accepted

Issued date

07/2009

Language

english

Abstract

Introduction

This dissertation consists of three essays in equilibrium asset pricing.

The first chapter studies the asset pricing implications of a general equilibrium model in which real investment is reversible at a cost. Firms face higher costs in contracting than in expanding their capital stock and decide to invest when their productive capital is scarce relative to the overall capital of the economy. Positive shocks to the capital of the firm increase the size of the firm and reduce the value of growth options. As a result, the firm is burdened with more unproductive capital and its value lowers with respect to the accumulated capital. The optimal consumption policy alters the optimal allocation of resources and affects firm's value, generating mean-reverting dynamics for the M/B ratios. The model (1) captures convergence of price-to-book ratios -negative for growth stocks and positive for value stocks - (firm migration), (2) generates deviations from the classic CAPM in line with the cross-sectional variation in expected stock returns and (3) generates a non-monotone relationship between Tobin's q and conditional volatility consistent with the empirical evidence.

The second chapter proposes a standard portfolio-choice problem with transaction costs and mean reversion in expected returns. In the presence of transactions costs, no matter how small, arbitrage activity does not necessarily render equal all riskless rates of return. When two such rates follow stochastic processes, it is not optimal immediately to arbitrage out any discrepancy that arises between them. The reason is that immediate arbitrage would induce a definite expenditure of transactions costs whereas, without arbitrage intervention, there exists some, perhaps sufficient, probability that these two interest rates will come back together without any costs having been incurred. Hence, one can surmise that at equilibrium the financial market will permit the coexistence of two riskless rates that are not equal to each other. For analogous reasons, randomly fluctuating expected rates of return on risky assets will be allowed to differ even after correction for risk, leading to important violations of the Capital Asset Pricing Model. The combination of randomness in expected rates of return and proportional transactions costs is a serious blow to existing frictionless pricing models.

Finally, in the last chapter I propose a two-countries two-goods general equilibrium economy with uncertainty about the fundamentals' growth rates to study the joint behavior of equity volatilities and correlation at the business cycle frequency. I assume that dividend growth rates jump from one state to other, while countries' switches are possibly correlated. The model is solved in closed-form and the analytical expressions for stock prices are reported. When calibrated to the empirical data of United States and United Kingdom, the results show that, given the existing degree of synchronization across these business cycles, the model captures quite well the historical patterns of stock return volatilities. Moreover, I can explain the time behavior of the correlation, but exclusively under the assumption of a global business cycle.

This dissertation consists of three essays in equilibrium asset pricing.

The first chapter studies the asset pricing implications of a general equilibrium model in which real investment is reversible at a cost. Firms face higher costs in contracting than in expanding their capital stock and decide to invest when their productive capital is scarce relative to the overall capital of the economy. Positive shocks to the capital of the firm increase the size of the firm and reduce the value of growth options. As a result, the firm is burdened with more unproductive capital and its value lowers with respect to the accumulated capital. The optimal consumption policy alters the optimal allocation of resources and affects firm's value, generating mean-reverting dynamics for the M/B ratios. The model (1) captures convergence of price-to-book ratios -negative for growth stocks and positive for value stocks - (firm migration), (2) generates deviations from the classic CAPM in line with the cross-sectional variation in expected stock returns and (3) generates a non-monotone relationship between Tobin's q and conditional volatility consistent with the empirical evidence.

The second chapter proposes a standard portfolio-choice problem with transaction costs and mean reversion in expected returns. In the presence of transactions costs, no matter how small, arbitrage activity does not necessarily render equal all riskless rates of return. When two such rates follow stochastic processes, it is not optimal immediately to arbitrage out any discrepancy that arises between them. The reason is that immediate arbitrage would induce a definite expenditure of transactions costs whereas, without arbitrage intervention, there exists some, perhaps sufficient, probability that these two interest rates will come back together without any costs having been incurred. Hence, one can surmise that at equilibrium the financial market will permit the coexistence of two riskless rates that are not equal to each other. For analogous reasons, randomly fluctuating expected rates of return on risky assets will be allowed to differ even after correction for risk, leading to important violations of the Capital Asset Pricing Model. The combination of randomness in expected rates of return and proportional transactions costs is a serious blow to existing frictionless pricing models.

Finally, in the last chapter I propose a two-countries two-goods general equilibrium economy with uncertainty about the fundamentals' growth rates to study the joint behavior of equity volatilities and correlation at the business cycle frequency. I assume that dividend growth rates jump from one state to other, while countries' switches are possibly correlated. The model is solved in closed-form and the analytical expressions for stock prices are reported. When calibrated to the empirical data of United States and United Kingdom, the results show that, given the existing degree of synchronization across these business cycles, the model captures quite well the historical patterns of stock return volatilities. Moreover, I can explain the time behavior of the correlation, but exclusively under the assumption of a global business cycle.

Create date

15/07/2010 10:50

Last modification date

03/03/2018 20:44