The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Asset Pricing

  • Thomas E. Copeland
  • J. Fred Weston
Reference work entry


In the early 1950s Harry Markowitz developed a theory of portfolio selection which has resulted in a revolution in the theory of finance leading to the development of modern capital market theory (1952, 1959). He formulated a theory of investor investment selection as a problem of utility maximization under conditions of uncertainty. Markowitz discusses mainly the special case in which investors’ preferences are assumed to be defined over the mean and variance of the probability distribution of single-period portfolio returns, but he also treated most issues developed more fully in the subsequent literature.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas E. Copeland
    • 1
  • J. Fred Weston
    • 1
  1. 1.