Finance and Economics Discussion Series (FEDS)
April 2016 (Revised September 2016)
From Which Consumption-Based Asset Pricing Models Can Investors Profit? Evidence from Model-Based Priors
This paper compares consumption-based asset pricing models based on the forecasting performance of investors who use economic constraints derived from the models to predict the equity premium. Three prominent asset pricing models are considered: Habit Formation, Long Run Risk, and Prospect Theory. I propose a simple Bayesian framework through which the investors impose the economic constraints as model-based priors on the parameters of their predictive regressions. An investor whose prior beliefs are rooted in the Long Run Risk model achieves more accurate forecasts overall. The greatest difference in performance occurs during the bull market of the late 1990s. During this period, the weak predictability of the equity premium implied by the Long Run Risk model helps the investor to not prematurely anticipate falling stock prices.
Keywords: Bayesian econometrics, consumption-based asset pricing, return predictability
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