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A Critique of the Stochastic Discount Factor Methodology

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  • Raymond Kan

    (University of Toronto)

  • Guofu Zhou

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

Abstract

In this paper, we point out that the widely used stochastic discount factor (SDF) methodology ignores a fully specified model for asset returns. As a result, it suffers from two potential problems when asset returns follow a linear factor model. The first problem is that the risk premium estimate from the SDF methodology is unreliable. The second problem is that the specification test under the SDF methodology has very low power in detecting misspecified models. Traditional methodologies typically incorporate a fully specified model for asset returns, and they can perform substantially better than the SDF methodology.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymond Kan & Guofu Zhou, 1999. "A Critique of the Stochastic Discount Factor Methodology," CEMA Working Papers 12, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cuf:wpaper:12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Peter & Wickens, Michael, 2002. " Asset Pricing with Observable Stochastic Discount Factors," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 397-446, July.
    2. Eric Jondeau & Michael Rockinger, 2006. "Optimal Portfolio Allocation under Higher Moments," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 12(1), pages 29-55.
    3. ROCKINGER, Michael & JONDEAU, Eric, 2000. "Conditional Volatility, Skewness, and Kurtosis : Existence and Persistence," Les Cahiers de Recherche 710, HEC Paris.
    4. Khan, Mozaffar, 2008. "Are accruals mispriced Evidence from tests of an Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 55-77, March.
    5. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2005:i:10:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ahmed, Shamim & Liu, Xiaoquan & Valente, Giorgio, 2016. "Can currency-based risk factors help forecast exchange rates?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 75-97.
    7. Jondeau, Eric & Rockinger, Michael, 2003. "Conditional volatility, skewness, and kurtosis: existence, persistence, and comovements," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(10), pages 1699-1737, August.
    8. Shanken, Jay & Zhou, Guofu, 2007. "Estimating and testing beta pricing models: Alternative methods and their performance in simulations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 40-86, April.
    9. Ravi Jagannathan & Zhenyu Wang, 2002. "Empirical Evaluation of Asset-Pricing Models: A Comparison of the SDF and Beta Methods," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2337-2367, October.
    10. Kan, Raymond & Robotti, Cesare, 2008. "Specification tests of asset pricing models using excess returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 816-838, December.
    11. Heber Farnsworth & Wayne E. Ferson & David Jackson & Steven Todd, 2002. "Performance Evaluation with Stochastic Discount Factors," NBER Working Papers 8791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Cai, Zongwu & Hong, Yongmiao, 2003. "Nonparametric Methods in Continuous-Time Finance: A Selective Review," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,15, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    13. John H. Cochrane, 2001. "A Rehabilitation of Stochastic Discount Factor Methodology," NBER Working Papers 8533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Driessen, Joost & Melenberg, Bertrand & Nijman, Theo, 2005. "Testing affine term structure models in case of transaction costs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 201-232, May.
    15. Bartram, Söhnke M. & Bodnar, Gordon M., 2012. "Crossing the lines: The conditional relation between exchange rate exposure and stock returns in emerging and developed markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 766-792.
    16. Lozano, Martín & Rubio, Gonzalo, 2011. "Evaluating alternative methods for testing asset pricing models with historical data," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 136-146, January.
    17. Smith, Daniel R., 2007. "Conditional coskewness and asset pricing," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 91-119, January.
    18. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Robotti, Cesare, 2008. "Mimicking Portfolios, Economic Risk Premia, and Tests of Multi-Beta Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 354-368.
    19. 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.
    20. Ayadi, Mohamed A. & Kryzanowski, Lawrence, 2005. "Portfolio performance measurement using APM-free kernel models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 623-659, March.
    21. Ahn, Seung C. & Gadarowski, Christopher, 2004. "Small sample properties of the GMM specification test based on the Hansen-Jagannathan distance," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 109-132, January.
    22. Abel, Ernest & Fletcher, Jonathan, 2004. "An empirical examination of UK emerging market unit trust performance," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 389-408, December.
    23. repec:kap:rqfnac:v:50:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11156-017-0627-z is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Guermat, Cherif & Freeman, Mark C., 2010. "A net beta test of asset pricing models," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-9, January.
    25. Bessler, Wolfgang & Drobetz, Wolfgang & Zimmermann, Heinz, 2007. "Conditional Performance Evaluation for German Mutual Equity Funds," Working papers 2007/22, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

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