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Asset Pricing in the Frequency Domain: Theory and Empirics

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  • Ian Dew-Becker
  • Stefano Giglio

Abstract

In affine asset pricing models, the innovation to the pricing kernel is a function of innovations to current and expected future values of an economic state variable, for example consumption growth, aggregate market returns, or short-term interest rates. The impulse response of this priced variable to fundamental shocks has a frequency (Fourier) decomposition, which captures the fluctuations induced in the priced variable at different frequencies. We show that the price of risk for a given shock can be represented as a weighted integral over that spectral decomposition. The weight assigned to each frequency then represents the frequency-specific price of risk, and is entirely determined by the preferences of investors. For example, standard Epstein-Zin preferences imply that the weight of the pricing kernel lies almost entirely at extremely low frequencies, most of it on cycles longer than 230 years; internal habit-formation models imply that the weight is shifted to high frequencies. We estimate the frequency-specific risk prices for the equity market, focusing on economically interesting frequencies. Most of the pricing weight falls on low frequencies - corresponding to cycles longer than 8 years - broadly consistent with Epstein-Zin preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Dew-Becker & Stefano Giglio, 2013. "Asset Pricing in the Frequency Domain: Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 19416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19416
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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