Uncertainty Shocks, Asset Supply and Pricing Over the Business Cycle

Sunday, April 1, 2018
Francesco Bianchi
Cosmin L. Ilut
Martin Schneider

Abstract

This article estimates a business cycle model with endogenous financial asset supply and ambiguity averse investors. Firms’ shareholders choose not only production and investment, but also capital structure and payout policy subject to financial frictions. An increase in uncertainty about profits lowers stock prices and leads firms to substitute away from debt as well as reduce shareholder payout. This mechanism parsimoniously accounts for the postwar comovement in investment, stock prices, leverage, and payout, at both business cycle and medium term cycle frequencies. Ambiguity aversion permits a Markov-switching VAR representation of the model, while preserving the effect of uncertainty shocks on the time variation in the equity premium.

Citation: 

Bianchi, Francesco, Cosmin L. Ilut, and Martin Schneider. "Uncertainty Shocks, Asset Supply and Pricing Over the Business Cycle." The Review of Economic Studies 85, no. 2 (2017): 810-854.

The Review of Economic Studies