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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)
International Finance Discussion Papers
Disaster Risk and Asset Returns : An International Perspective
Karen K. Lewis
Edith X. Liu
Abstract

Recent studies have shown that disaster risk can generate asset return moments similar to those observed in the U.S. data. However, these studies have ignored the cross-country asset pricing implications of the disaster risk model. This paper shows that standard U.S.-based disaster risk model assumptions found in the literature lead to counterfactual international asset pricing implications. Given consumption pricing moments, disaster risk cannot explain the range of equity premia and government bill rates nor the high degree of equity return correlation found in the data. Moreover, the independence of disasters presumed in some studies generates counterfactually low cross-country correlations in equity markets. Alternatively, if disasters are all shared, the model generates correlations that are excessively high. We show that common and idiosyncratic components of disaster risk are needed to explain the pattern in consumption and equity co-movements.


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Karen K. Lewis & Edith X. Liu, Disaster Risk and Asset Returns : An International Perspective, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), International Finance Discussion Papers 1199, Feb 2017.
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Keywords: Rare disaster ; Asset returns ; International correlations
DOI: 10.17016/IFDP.2017.1199
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