In this paper we revisit the equity premium puzzle reported in 1985 by Mehra and Prescott. We show that the large equity premium that they report can be explained by choosing a more appropriate distribution for the return data. We demonstrate that the high-risk aversion value observed by Mehra and Prescott may be attributable to the problem of fitting a proper distribution to the historical returns and partly caused by poorly fitting the tail of the return distribution. We describe a new distribution that better fits the return distribution and when used to describe historical returns can explain the large equity risk premium and thereby explains the puzzle.
- Equity premium puzzle
- Normal compound inverse Gaussian distribution
- Rational finance