Economic Quarterly

Winter 2008

A Quantitative Study of the Role of Wealth Inequality on Asset Prices

Juan Carlos Hatchondo

This article studies the equilibrium properties of asset prices in a Lucas tree model when agents display a concave coefficient of absolute risk tolerance. This preference specification introduces a role for wealth inequality even under the presence of complete markets. The article finds evidence suggesting that the role of wealth inequality on asset prices may be non-negligible. The equity premium in the unequal economy is between 24 and 47 basis points larger than the equity premium displayed in an egalitarian economy.

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