Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2005:11: Myopic Loss Aversion, the Equity Premium Puzzle, and GARCH

Martin Ågren
Additional contact information
Martin Ågren: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: This paper concerns the distributional assumptions made on stock returns in the myopic loss aversion (MLA) proposed explanation to the equity premium puzzle. While Benartzi and Thaler (1995) assume temporal independence in these returns, we introduce a more realistic assumption incorporating conditional heteroskedasticity. This involves the work on temporal aggregation of GARCH processes of Drost and Nijman (1993). Using Swedish data, our estimation method produces an overall larger evaluation period than the one originally obtained by Benartzi and Thaler, e.g., over the sample period July 1961 through December 2003 the evaluation period increases from 12 to 17. This shows that MLA indeed can explain a large equity premium but, also, that the model is sensitive to the distributional assumption made on stock returns.

Keywords: Prospect theory; loss aversion; equity premium; GARCH

JEL-codes: C22; G11

34 pages, January 21, 2005

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