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1.

Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model

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1. Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model


1.1 Basic Asset Pricing Equation
1.2 Inter-temporal Marginal Rate/Stochastic Discount Factor
1.3 Prices, Payoffs, and Returns
1. 4 Classical Issues in Finance
1.4.1 Risk Adjustment of Prices and Returns
1.4.2 Systematic vs. Unsystematic (Idiosyncratic) Risk
1.4.3 Beta-Representation of Expected Return
1.4.4 Mean-Variance Frontier
1.4.5 Random Walk and Time Varying Expected Returns
1.4.6 Present Value Statements

Central assumptions of the Consumption Based Asset Pricing Models


- Rational Investors
- Expected Utility Hypothesis
- Time Separable Preferences on Consumption
- Macro-Structure: Representative Individual
- Linear Transformation Curve between present and future consumption
- Normal distributed Returns

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 1


1. Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model
The Consumption Based Capital Asset Pricing Model (CCAPM) presented below depends on
a number of assumptions regarding the model structure:
- Inter-temporal, two-period model, where t and t+1 indicate the present and the future
period
- The real endowment, i.e. the level of consumption of the representative individual
without inter-temporal transfer, is indicated with et and et+1 . You can think of the real
endowment as the real non-capital market income.
- Real consumption streams are present consumption, ct and future (state contingent)
consumption ct+1 ( s ) .

- Deviations between the consumption streams and the endowment have to be equalized
by inter-temporal transfers of funds.
- Inter-temporal transfers can be realized through long and short sales of a
representative asset with (present) price pt , and the (future) value xt +1 including the
(future) price and dividend, i.e. xt +1 = pt +1 + dt +1 . Further on we can expand the model
to a big number of assets indicated by i = 1,2…,N .

- The behavior of the representative individual can be described by a time-additive, and


therefore non-recursive von Neumann/Morgenstern utility function.

1.1 Basic Pricing Equation


The decision problem of the investor can be described by a simple inter-temporal utility
function to be maximized given the sources restricted by present and future budget
constraints. The inter-temporal transfer of funds is managed via short and long positions in
stocks.
The calculus of the investor is thus:

( )
Max u ct + Et ⎡⎣ β u ct+1 ⎤⎦
ct , ct+1 ,ξt
( )
s.t. et = ct + pt ξt (1.1a)

et +1 + xt +1ξt = ct +1 (1.1b)

The solution to the optimization problem can be found by maximizing the Lagrange function

( ) ( )
L = u ct + Et ⎡⎣ β u ct +1 ⎤⎦ + λt ⎡⎣ et − ct − ptξt ⎤⎦ + λt +1 ⎡⎣ et +1 + xt +1ξt − ct +1 ⎤⎦ .

The first order conditions are

t
( )
Lc = u′ ct − λt = 0 , (1.2a)

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 2


t+1
( )
Lc = Et ⎡⎣ β u′ ct +1 ⎤⎦ − λt +1 = 0 , (1.2b)

Lξ = − λt pt + λt +1 xt +1 = 0 . (1.2c)
t

The optimal inter-temporal allocation is determined by the first order conditions (1.2a) –
(1.2c) and the budget restrictions (1.1a), (1.1b).
If we eliminate the Lagrange-multipliers from (1.2a) and (1.2b) we receive a first-order
condition for an inter-temporal optimum

( ) ( )
pt u′ ct = Et ⎡⎣ β u′ ct +1 xt +1 ⎤⎦ . (1.3)

Together with the budget equations (1.1a) and (1.1b), (1.3) forms first order conditions for
optimal consumption streams and optimal investment. The concavity of the felicity function
assures sufficiency.
Taking into account the definition of the (gross rate of) return
xt +1
Rt +1 ≡ ,
pt

one receives the well known relation between the Lagrange-multipliers (shadow prices)
associated with two subsequent budget restrictions
λt = λt +1 Rt +1 . (1.4)

There is another way to derive (1.3) by substituting the consumption streams in the utility
function yields from the budget restrictions. In doing this we reduce the constrained
optimization into an unconstrained optimization problem in a single variable

( ) (
Max u et − ptξt + Et ⎡⎣ β u et+1 + xt+1ξt ⎤⎦ .
ξt
) (1.5)

If we derive with respect to ξt we receive directly the first order condition (1.3). From the
budget constraints we can determine the optimal consumption streams.
Condition (1.3) can be written as
⎡ β u′ ct +1
pt = Et ⎢
( ) ⎤
xt +1 ⎥ . (1.6)
⎢⎣ u′ ct ( ) ⎥⎦

This is the kernel of the CCAPM. The fraction within the squared bracket defines the Inter-
temporal Marginal Rate of Substitution. To be more precisely, it tells the amount of present
consumption the investor is willing to give up for a small unit of expected future
consumption, abbreviated as IMRSt +1t . Of course, IMRSt +1t is random.

In many microeconomic textbooks the IMRS is usually defined as

IMRStt +1 ≡ −
dct +1
=
( ) .
u′ ct
dct β E ⎡⎣u′ ( c ) ⎤⎦
t +1

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 3


According to this definition, the IMRS specifies the quantity of expected future consumption
ct +1 the investor is willing to give up for a small unit of present consumption ct .

However, this is a convention. We are free to define the IMRSt +1t as

IMRSt +1t ≡ −
dct
=
( )
β Et ⎡⎣u′ ct +1 ⎤⎦
.
dct +1 ( )
u′ ct

We distinguish the two versions by different indications.

1.2 Inter-temporal Marginal Rate/Stochastic Discount Factor


It is convenient to represent the stochastic IMRSt +1t by the stochastic discount mt +1 in order to
express (1.6) briefly as

(
pt = Et mt +1 xt +1 . ) (1.7)

We refer to this formula as the CCAPM. As we can see from formula (1.7) the stochastic
discount mt +1 plays a crucial role in the evaluation of future asset values (returns).

The application of the CCAPM:


- Conditions (1.3), (1.6) or (1.7) hold for every individual and every asset.
- From the law of one price follows immediately that the pricing equations (1.6) and
(1.7) have to be satisfied in every competitive asset market.
- The stochastic discount mt +1 is the same for all individuals.

- The concept can be expanded straight forward to a multi-asset multi-period model.

1.3 Prices, Payoffs, and Returns


Dividing equation (1.7) by pt and using the definition of cross return we receive

(
1 = Et mt+1 Rt+1 . ) (1.8)

This relation has to be satisfied in the case of a risk free asset as well. If we denote the return
of the risk free asset as Rt f+1 , equation (1.8) modifies to:

(
1 = Et mt+1 Rt+1
f
) (1.9)

Obviously, the inverse of the expected value of the discount equals the risk free rate.
Equations (1.6) and (1.7) can also be applied for the evaluation of self-financed portfolios. If
you take a credit of 1 € and buy a risky asset with a price of 1 € the present value of this
portfolio is 0 and the future return of this portfolio is Rt +1 − Rt f+1 . If we denote this excess

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 4


return (of the risky over the risk-free asset) as Rte+1 = Rt +1 − Rt f+1 the pricing equation of a self-
financed portfolio is

( )
0 = Et ⎡⎣ mt +1 Rt +1 − Rt f+1 ⎤⎦ = Et mt +1 Rte+1 . ( ) (1.10)

Finally we derive the so-called price dividend version of the CCAPM if we divide equation
(1.7) by the dividend dt and substituting xt +1 by pt +1 + dt +1 :

pt ⎡ d + pt +1 ⎤ ⎡ ⎛ pt +1 ⎞ dt +1 ⎤
= Et ⎢ mt +1 t +1 ⎥ = Et ⎢ mt +1 ⎜ 1 + ⎥ (1.11)
dt ⎣ dt ⎦ ⎢⎣ ⎝ dt +1 ⎟⎠ dt ⎥⎦

Given the stochastic discount the present price dividend ratio is determined by the expected
price dividend ratio and the growth rate of future dividends.

1. 4 Classical Issues in Finance


Since future payoffs are correlated with the discount and therefore with consumption (growth)
they have to be risk adjusted. Risk adjustments depend on the sign of the covariance of the
discount and consumption. From this follows that only the systematic risk has to be adjusted.
Systematic risk is the component of total risk that is perfectly correlated with the discount.

1.4.1 Risk Adjustment of Prices and Returns

( ) (
Using the definition of the covariance cov mt+1 xt+1 = E mt+1 xt+1 − E mt+1 E xt+1 we can ) ( ) ( )
decompose the pricing equation (1.7) in two parts, the discounted expected future returns on
the one hand and the risk adjustment term on the other hand. The CCAPM modifies to:

( ) ( ) ( )
pt = Et mt +1 xt +1 = Et mt +1 Et xt +1 + covt mt +1 ,xt +1 ( ) (1.12)

Because of (1.9) we can substitute Et mt +1 ( ) by the inverse of the risk-free return and thus
equation (1.12) can be expressed as

( ) + cov
Et xt +1
pt =
Rt f+1 t (m
t +1 )
,xt +1 . (1.13)

The first term is the discounted expected future return of the asset. This would be the price in
a world with risk neutral individuals. The second is a risk adjustment term that may be
positive or negative. The adjustment is positive if the future stock value is positively
correlated with the discount (marginal utility of future consumption), and vice versa.
Thus, the risk adjustment is positive if the covariance of future stock values and future
consumption is negative. To see this we express the stochastic discount in the more explicit
IMRS version:

( )
β covt ⎡⎣u′ ct +1 ,xt +1 ⎤⎦
(
covt mt +1 ,xt +1 = ) () ()
≥ ≤ 0 ⇔ covt ⎡⎣ ct +1 ,xt +1 ⎤⎦ ≤ ≥ 0 (1.14)
u′ ct ( )
Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 5
As the marginal utility decreases if consumption increases the covariance between the
stochastic discount and the future asset values has the opposite sign of the covariance between
the future consumption and the future asset values. Thus risk adjustment is positive if the
future value of the asset moves inverse with future consumption, and vice versa.
Investors are willing to overpay the assets’ present value of the expected future value if future
asset values move inverse to future consumption and they will underpay the assets discounted
expected return if future asset values are positively correlated to future consumption.
This procedure can be applied to the equation (1.8) as well:

( ) + cov ( m
Et Rt +1
( ) ( ) (
1 = Et mt +1 Et Rt +1 + covt mt +1 ,Rt +1 = ) Rt f+1 t t +1
,Rt +1 ) (1.15)

If we multiply equation (1.15) with Rt f+1 and rearrange the equation we receive the risk
premium version of equation (1.13)

(
covt mt +1 ,Rt +1 )
( ) ( )
Et Rt +1 − Rt f+1 = − Rt f+1 covt mt +1 ,Rt +1 = − (1.16)
(
E mt +1 )
The risk premium is positive if the stochastic discount - the marginal utility of future
consumption - is negatively correlated to the rate of return of an asset.
If one takes the definition of the stochastic discount into account one can express the risk
premium as

( ) β cov ⎡⎣u′ ( c ) ,R
u′ ct ⎤
( )
Et Rt +1 − Rt f+1 = −
β E ⎡⎣u′ ( c ) ⎤⎦ u′ ( c )
t t +1 t +1 ⎦
t +1 t
. (1.17)
cov ⎡⎣ mt +1 ,Rt +1 ⎤⎦
= − IMRStt +1 cov ⎡⎣ mt +1 ,Rt +1 ⎤⎦ = −
  IMRSt +1t
<0

If future consumption and assets returns are positively correlated the asset return contributes
to the volatility of future consumption, and thus the risk premium must be positive. (Keep in
mind that in this case the stochastic discount is negatively correlated to asset returns.)
Otherwise investors would not be willing to hold the asset. On the contrary, if the future
payoffs and future consumption are negatively correlated the risk premium is negative
because the asset return diminishes the volatility of future consumption.

1.4.2 Systematic vs. Unsystematic (Idiosyncratic) Risk


Equations (1.12) and (1.16) have important implications for the risk adjustment.
1. The deviation of asset prices and discounted expected future returns depends
according to (1.12) on the covariance of the discount and the stock value.
2. The excess return (risk premium) depends according to (1.16) on the covariance of the
discount and the asset return.

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 6


Thus, we can conclude that risk adjustments are based on the so-called covariance risk. Risk
corrections of the asset prices and expected return can only exist to the extent on which future
payoffs (returns) are correlated to the discount.

( )
If cov mt +1 ,xt +1 = 0 , equations (1.13) and (1.16) reduce to

pt =
Et xt +1( ) (1.18)
Rt f+1

( )
Et Rt+1 − Rt+1
f
=0 (1.19)

The relations (1.18) and (1.19) hold independently from the size of σ 2 xt+1 and the risk ( )
aversion of the investors. If you increase the investment in such an asset the variance of the
consumption streams are unaffected.
These arguments can be explicated from a different perspective if we divide the future payoff
in two parts, the systematic and the unsystematic (idiosyncratic) risk. The systematic risk
equals the component of the payoffs that are perfectly correlated with the discount. The
systematic risk can be comprehended by a projection of the payoffs on the discounts, i. e. a
regression of the payoffs on the discount through the origin. The unsystematic (idiosyncratic)
risk is uncorrelated with the discount.
Thus, we run a regression of the payoff against the discount:

( )
xt +1 = proj xt +1 mt +1 + ε t +1 = bt +1 mt +1 + ε t +1 (1.20)

From basic statistics we know

(
Et mt +1 xt +1 )m
(
1. proj xt +1 mt +1 = bt +1 mt +1 = ) (
Et mt +1 2
) t +1
(1.21a)

( ) ( ) ( )
2. Et mt +1ε t +1 = Et mt +1 Et ε t +1 + covt mt +1 ,ε t +1 = 0 .

    
( ) (1.21b)
=0 =0

( )
The latter implies p ε t+1 = 0 . If we apply the asset pricing formula (1.7) to equation (1.20)
we can decompose the asset price as

( ) ( ( )) ( )
p xt +1 = p proj xt +1 mt +1 + p ε t +1 = Et mt +1 proj xt +1 mt +1 + Et mt +1ε t +1 . ( ( )) ( ) (1.22)

Applying (1.21a) and (1.21b) on (1.22) yields


⎛ E m x ( ) ⎞⎟ = E ⎛⎜ m E ( m x ) ⎞⎟ = E
( )
p xt +1 = p ⎜ mt +1 t t +1 2 t +1 2 t t +1 t +1
(x )
mt +1 . (1.23)
⎜⎝ Et mt +1 ( ) ⎟⎠ t
⎜⎝ t +1
( )
Et mt2+1 ⎟⎠
t t +1

The price of the unsystematic risk component is zero since ε t +1 is orthogonal to mt +1 . Thus,
the price xt +1 reduces to the price of the projection.

Thus we conclude some central properties of asset prices and their risk premium:

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 7


1. Asset prices and their risk premium depend only on the component of x which is
perfectly correlated to m .
2. Asset prices do not dependent from the total risk of the payoffs and the asset returns as
the unsystematic risk is not priced.
3. Finally, asset prices are independent from the preferences (degree of risk aversion) of
the investors.
These effects depend on the following circumstances:
1. An increment of an asset whose returns are zero correlated with the discount
(consumption) does not affect the variance of the consumption streams.
2. Therefore it should not affect the decisions of the investors as long as the felicity
function depends only consumption streams.

1.4.3 Beta-Representation of Expected Return


The expected return equation (1.16) can be written as

Et R ( )− R
i f
=−
(
covt mt +1 ,Rti+1 ) = − cov ( m t t +1 ) ( )
,Rti+1 vart mt +1
(1.24)
t +1 t +1
Et mt +1 ( ) vart mt +1 ( ) E (m )
t t +1

or

( )
Et Rti+1 − Rt f+1 = β i ,m λm , (1.25)

with β i ,m =
(
covt mt +1 ,Rti+1 ) , and λ =−
( ).
vart mt +1
(
vart mt +1 ) m
E (m )t t +1

In the model (1.15), β i ,m is the regression coefficient of R i on m. λm is independent from the


assets and can be seen as the price of risk. The asset specific β im grasps the quantity of risk.
This is called a factor representation.

1.4.4 Mean Variance Frontier


Sometimes it is convenient to express the covariance in equation (1.15) in terms of the
correlation coefficients ρi,m :

( ) ( ) ( ) (
1 = Et mt +1 Et Rti+1 + covt mt +1 ,Rti+1 = Et mt +1 Et Rti+1 + ρi ,mσ t mt +1 σ t Rti+1 , ) ( ) ( ) ( )
or

( )σ R .
σ t mt +1
( )
Et Rti+1 − Rt f+1 = − ρi ,m
E (m )
( ) t
i
t +1
(1.15’)
t t +1

By definition, correlation coefficients are limited to the interval −1 ≤ ρi,m ≤ 1 . Therefore,


according to (1.15’) the risk premium of any asset has to satisfy the inequality

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 8


( )σ R .
σ t mt +1
( )
Et Rti+1 − Rt f+1 ≤
E (m )
( ) t
i
t +1
(1.26)
t t +1

From the inequality (1.26) we can derive several important conclusions:


1. The mean-variance combinations of all assets must lie in the wedge shaped region of
Fig. 1.1. This boundary of the feasible mean variance combinations is referred to as
mean-variance frontier (MVF). The MVF shows the maximal return one can get for a
certain level of the variance of returns. The mean and the standard deviation of all
assets priced by a discount factor mt +1 must lie within the MVF.

E(R)

Idiosyncratic Risk

α
Rf

σ(R) tg α =
( )
σ t mt +1
E (m )
t t +1

Figure 1.1: Mean Variance Frontier

2. All asset returns on the MVF are perfectly correlated to the discount. For any element
of the MVF we have ρi,m = 1 . If ρi,m = −1 the element lies on the increasing part of
the MVF, for ρi,m = 1 on the decreasing part. In case of ρi,m = −1 the asset returns are
negatively correlated to the discount, and thus positively correlated to future
consumption streams. Therefore these assets have to provide the highest return. The
opposite is true for the case of ρi,m = 1 , where the returns are negatively correlated to
future consumption streams.
From (1.15’) follows for the slope of the MVF:

( )
Et Rtmv
+1
− Rt f+1
=
( )
σ t mt +1
(1.27)
σ (R )
t
mv
t +1
E (m )
t t +1

3. We can go beyond perfect correlation. Consider a payoff mt +1 E mt +12 . This payoff ( )


must be a return because its price is E mt +12 ( ) E ( m ) = 1 . Moreover, it is an
t +1
2

element of the MVF. Thus, we can construct MVF-return, if we know the discount
mt +1 . (More in chapter 5.)

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 9


4. All asset returns on the mean-variance-frontier in Fig. 1.1 are perfectly correlated to
each other since they are all perfectly correlated to the discount. This fact implies that
we can span all MVF-returns from two elements of the MVF. Take any Rtm+1 ∈ MVF ,
then all elements Rtmv
+1
of the MVF can be expressed as

Rtmv
+1 (
= Rt f+1 + a Rtm+1 − Rt f+1 , ) (1.28)

for a numbers a.
5. Since each return of the MVF is perfectly correlated with the discount, we are able to
define constants a, b, d, e such that
mt +1 = a + bRtmv
+1
(1.29a)

Rtmv
+1
= d + emt +1 (1.29b)

Any mean-variance return carries all pricing information. If we know the risk free rate
and the asset return of any element of the MVF , Rtmv
+1
∈ MVF , we can construct a
discount factor that prices any arbitrary asset, and vice versa.
6. Given a discount factor, we can construct a single-beta representation. We can
describe expected returns as a single-beta representation from any arbitrary Rtmv
+1
:

( ) (
Et Rti+1 = Rt f+1 + β i ,mv Rtmv
+1
− Rt f+1 ) (1.30)

The essence of this representation is that even for an asset in the inner of the MVF a
graph of mean returns and betas should yield a straight line.
Since the beta-representation applies to any MVF-return Rtmv
+1
, and Rtmv
+1
has a beta of 1,
we can conclude that the price of risk equals
(
λm = Et Rtmv
+1
− Rt f+1 . ) (1.31)
On the relation of discount factors, beta-presentations and the MVF see chapter 5 and
6.
7. As shown in Fig. 1.1 we can decompose the risk of any asset return into the systematic
(priced) risk and the unsystematic (idiosyncratic, or un-priced) risk. The priced part is
perfectly correlated with the discount, or any other Rtmv
+1
∈ MVF . The residual,
unsystematic part of the risk generates no return. It is uncorrelated with the discount,
and any other Rtmv
+1
∈ MVF .

1.4.5 Random Walk and Time Varying Expected Returns


We start from the first order condition

( ) ( )( p
pt u′ ct = Et ⎡⎣ β u′ ct +1 t +1
+ dt +1 ⎤⎦) (1.3’)

If assume that investors are risk neutral the utility function is linear, and there is no variation
in consumption over time. If the firm pays no dividend equation (1.3’) reduces to

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 10


pt = Et pt +1 . ( ) (1.32)

In addition, we assume that the prices follow a random walk, i.e.


pt +1 = pt + ε t +1 , (1.33)

( )
where Et ε t +1 = 0 , and σ ε t+1 is constant. In this case we have ( )
⎛p ⎞
Et ⎜ t +1 ⎟ = 1 (1.34)
⎝ pt ⎠

If present prices are lower than expected future prices, investors buy the asset. And the asset
prices increase until they equal the expected future price.

1.4.6 Present Value Statements


So far we concentrated on the two-period case. However, we use models with (infinitely)
many periods. The time separable consumption based utility function can be written as

(
U ct ,ct +1 …ct +τ … = ∑ β τ u ct +τ ) ( ) (1.35)
τ =0

{ }

Next we assume that an investor can buy a stream of dividends dt +τ τ =1
for the price pt .
Applying the first order condition analogously yields the pricing equation

( )d
({ d } ) u′ ct +τ
∞ ∞
= Et ∑ β τ = Et ∑ mt +τ dt +τ .

pt (1.36)
t +τ τ =1
τ =1 u′ ( c ) t
t +τ
τ =1

If this equation holds at time t and t+1 we can derive

(
pt − E mt +1 pt +1 = Et ∑ β τ )

( )d
u′ ct +τ ∞
− Et ∑ β τ
( )d
u′ ct +τ
τ =1 u′ ( c ) t
t +τ
τ =2 u′ ( c )
t
t +τ

∞ ∞
= Et ∑ mt +τ dt +τ − Et ∑ mt +τ dt +τ (1.37)
τ =1 τ =2

(
= Et mt +1 dt +1 )
From (1.12) we can determine risk adjustment of (1.36) as we did in the two-period case:

pt = Et ∑ mt +τ dt +τ
τ =1
∞ ∞

( ) ( )
= ∑ Et mt +τ Et dt +τ + ∑ covt mt +τ ,dt +τ ( ) (1.38)
τ =1 τ =1
∞ ∞
dt + τ
= Et ∑
Rt f,t +τ
+ ∑ covt mt +τ ,dt +τ( )
τ =1 τ =1

Financial Theory, js Consumption Based Asset Pricing Model 11