Standard asset pricing theories have difficulty explaining episodes that are
not simply linked to fundamentals. Notable examples in the dynamics of capital
markets are the equity premium puzzle or the excess volatility puzzle.
These puzzles have motivated an increasingly large literature over the last
couple of decades that explores the general equilibrium implications of
uncertainty for asset prices. This paper studies the importance of
heterogeneous beliefs for the dynamics of asset prices.
The focus here is on currency markets, where the absence of short-selling
constraints allowed the researchers to perform sharper tests of theoretical
predictions. Both option and underlying markets were examined so that a richer
array of empirical implications can be studied, including volatility risk
premia and expected returns.
Using a unique data set with detailed information on the foreign-exchange
forecasts of about 50 market participants over more than ten years, an
empirical proxy for differences in beliefs was constructed. The evidence
demonstrates that a process related to the uncertainty about fundamentals has
important asset pricing implications.
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