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Estimating the stochastic discount factor without a utility function

Listed author(s):
  • Araújo, Fabio
  • Issler, João Victor
  • Fernandes, Marcelo

Using the Pricing Equation in a panel-data framework, we construct a novel consistent estimator of the stochastic discount factor (SDF) which relies on the fact that its logarithm is the serial-correlation ìcommon featureîin every asset return of the economy. Our estimator is a simple function of asset returns, does not depend on any parametric function representing preferences, is suitable for testing di§erent preference speciÖcations or investigating intertemporal substitution puzzles, and can be a basis to construct an estimator of the risk-free rate. For post-war data, our estimator is close to unity most of the time, yielding an average annual real discount rate of 2.46%. In formal testing, we cannot reject standard preference speciÖcations used in the literature and estimates of the relative risk-aversion coe¢ cient are between 1 and 2, and statistically equal to unity. Using our SDF estimator, we found little signs of the equity-premium puzzle for the U.S.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 583.

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Date of creation: 14 Mar 2005
Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:583
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