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The Stochastic Discount Factor: Extending the Volatility Bound and a New Approach to Portfolio Selection with Higher-Order Moments

  • Fousseni Chabi-Yo
  • René Garcia
  • Eric Renault

The authors extend the well-known Hansen and Jagannathan (HJ) volatility bound. HJ characterize the lower bound on the volatility of any admissible stochastic discount factor (SDF) that prices correctly a set of primitive asset returns. The authors characterize this lower bound for any admissible SDF that prices correctly both primitive asset returns and quadratic payoffs of the same primitive assets. In particular, they aim at pricing derivatives whose payoffs are defined as non-linear functions of the underlying asset payoffs. The authors construct a new volatility surface frontier in a three-dimensional space by considering not only the expected asset payoffs and variances, but also asset skewness. The intuition behind the authors' portfolio selection is motivated by the duality between the HJ mean-variance frontier and the Markowitz mean-variance portfolio frontier. The authors' approach consists of minimizing the portfolio risk subject not only to portfolio cost and expected return, as usual, but also subject to an additional constraint that depends on the portfolio skewness. In this sense, the authors shed light on portfolio selection when asset returns exhibit skewness.

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Staff Working Papers with number 05-2.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:05-2
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  1. Peñaranda, Francisco & Sentana, Enrique, 2004. "Spanning Tests in Return and Stochastic Discount Factor Mean Variance Frontiers: A Unifying Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 4422, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. DeRoon, Frans A. & Nijman, Theo E., 2001. "Testing for mean-variance spanning: a survey," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 111-155, May.
  3. Geert Bekaert, 2004. "Conditioning Information and Variance Bounds on Pricing Kernels," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 339-378.
  4. Hansen, Lars Peter & Richard, Scott F, 1987. "The Role of Conditioning Information in Deducing Testable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 587-613, May.
  5. Raymond Kan & Guofu Zhou, 2006. "A New Variance Bound on the Stochastic Discount Factor," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(2), pages 941-962, March.
  6. Giovanni Barone Adesi & Patrick Gagliardini & Giovanni Urga, 2004. "Testing Asset Pricing Models With Coskewness," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22, pages 474-485, October.
  7. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1990. "Implications of security market data for models of dynamic economies," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 29, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Robert F. Dittmar, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing Kernels, Kurtosis Preference, and Evidence from the Cross Section of Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 369-403, 02.
  9. Angelo Melino & Alan X. Yang, 2003. "State Dependent Preferences Can Explain the Equity Premium Puzzle," Working Papers melino-03-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Campbell R. Harvey & Akhtar Siddique, 2000. "Conditional Skewness in Asset Pricing Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1263-1295, 06.
  11. Gordon, Stephen & St-Amour, Pascal, 1999. "A Preference Regime Model of Bull and Bear Markets," Cahiers de recherche 9906, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  12. Nijman, T.E. & de Roon, F.A., 2001. "Testing for mean-variance spanning : A survey," Other publications TiSEM 0159f80a-c61b-4519-b004-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  13. Andrea Gamba & Francesco Rossi, 1998. "A three-moment based portfolio selection model," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, June.
  14. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
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