Restrictions that general equilibrium theory place upon average returns are found to be strongly violated by the U.S. data in the 1889–1978 period. This result is robust to model specification and measurement problems. We conclude that equilibrium models which are not Arrow-Debreu economies are needed to rationalize the large average equity premium that prevailed during the last 90 years.
General competitive analysis is extended to cover a dynamic, pure-exchange economy with privately observed shocks to preferences. In the linear, infinite-dimensional space containing lotteries we establish the existence of optima, the existence of competitive equilibria, and that every competitive equilibrium is an optimum. An example illustrates that rationing and securities with contrived risk have an equilibrium interpretation.
This paper studies an environment in which the investment opportunities of agents are private information and shows that financial intermediaries arise endogenously within that environment. It establishes that financial intermediaries are part of an efficient arrangement in the sense that they are needed to support the authors’ private information core allocations. These intermediaries, which are coalitions of agents, exhibit the following characteristics in equilibrium: they borrow from and lend to large groups of agents; they produce information about investment projects; and they issue claims that have different state contingent payoffs than claims issued by ultimate borrowers.