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On the impact of leverage constraints on asset prices and trading volume
Marín, José M.; Olivier, Jacques P.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
Researchers have used stylized facts on asset prices and trading volumein stock markets (in particular, the mean reversion of asset returnsand the correlations between trading volume, price changes and pricelevels) to support theories where agents are not rational expected utilitymaximizers. This paper shows that this empirical evidence is in factconsistent with a standard infite horizon perfect information expectedutility economy where some agents face leverage constraints similar tothose found in todays financial markets. In addition, and in sharpcontrast to the theories above, we explain some qualitative differencesthat are observed in the price-volume relation on stock and on futuresmarkets. We consider a continuous-time economy where agents maximize theintegral of their discounted utility from consumption under both budgetand leverage con-straints. Building on the work by Vila and Zariphopoulou(1997), we find a closed form solution, up to a negative constant, for theequilibrium prices and demands in the region of the state space where theconstraint is non-binding. We show that, at the equilibrium, stock holdingsvolatility as well as its ratio to stock price volatility are increasingfunctions of the stock price and interpret this finding in terms of theprice-volume relation.
Finance and Accounting
trading volume
asset prices
mean reversion
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