Important features of certain economic models may be revealed by studying positive eigenfunctions of appropriately chosen linear operators. Examples include long-run risk-return relationships in dynamic asset pricing models and components of marginal utility in external habit formation models. This paper provides identification conditions for positive eigenfunctions in nonparametric models. Identification is achieved if the operator satisfies two mild positivity conditions and a power compactness condition. Both existence and identication are achieved under a further non-degeneracy condition. The general results are applied to obtain new identification conditions for external habit formation models and for positive eigenfunctions of pricing operators in dynamic asset pricing models.
4 September 2014
Working Paper (CWP37/14)