Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control
Experiments on decision-making show that, when people evaluate risk, they often engage in "narrow framing": that is, in contrast to the prediction of traditional utility functions defined over wealth or consumption, they often evaluate risks in isolation, separately from other risks they are already facing. While narrow framing has many potential real-world applications, there are almost no tractable preference specifications that incorporate it into the standard framework used by economists. In this paper, we propose such a specification and demonstrate its tractability in both portfolio choice and equilibrium settings.
We study the asset pricing implications of Tversky and Kahneman’s (1992) cumulative prospect theory, with a particular focus on its probability weighting component. Our main result, derived from a novel equilibrium with nonunique global optima, is that, in contrast to the prediction of a standard expected utility model, a security’s own skewness can be priced: a positively skewed security can be “overpriced” and can earn a negative average excess return. We argue that our analysis offers a unifying way of thinking about a number of seemingly unrelated financial phenomena.