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Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics

  • John H. Cochrane
  • Lars Peter Hansen

In this paper we argue that financial data are a useful proving ground for macroeconomic models, and we explore the channels that link asset market data to such models. We use Hansen and Jagannathan's bounds on the mean and standard deviation of discount factors to survey several asset pricing puzzles. We then extend the bounds to reflect the correlation of discount factors with asset returns and to characterize conditional moments of discount factors. These characterizations help us to understand the behavior of a variety of models studied in the literature. We also incorporate borrowing constraints into the calculations. The borrowing constraints loosen the required properties of aggregate measurements of intertemporal marginal rates of substitution, but also sharpen the implications of asset market data for the marginal rates of substitution of unconstrained individuals.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4088.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4088.

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Date of creation: Jun 1992
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Publication status: published as Blanchard, Olivier Jean and Stanley Fischer (eds.) NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4088
Note: EFG AP
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


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  7. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
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  12. Bewley, Truman, 1977. "The permanent income hypothesis: A theoretical formulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 252-292, December.
  13. Cochrane, John H, 1991. " Production-Based Asset Pricing and the Link between Stock Returns and Economic Fluctuations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 209-37, March.
  14. Luttmer, Erzo G J, 1996. "Asset Pricing in Economies with Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1439-67, November.
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  16. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
  17. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. " Characterizing Predictable Components in Excess Returns on Equity and Foreign Exchange Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 467-509, June.
  18. Philippe Weil, 1989. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 2829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Phelan, Christopher & Townsend, Robert M, 1991. "Computing Multi-period, Information-Constrained Optima," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 853-81, October.
  20. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  21. Runkle, David E., 1991. "Liquidity constraints and the permanent-income hypothesis : Evidence from panel data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 73-98, February.
  22. Angus Deaton, 1989. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Roll, Richard, 1977. "A critique of the asset pricing theory's tests Part I: On past and potential testability of the theory," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 129-176, March.
  24. Prisman, Eliezer Z, 1986. " Valuation of Risky Assets in Arbitrage Free Economies with Frictions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 545-57, July.
  25. Connor, Gregory, 1984. "A unified beta pricing theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 13-31, October.
  26. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
  27. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  28. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Equity Premium and the Concentration of Aggregate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 1788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Scheinkman, Jose A & Weiss, Laurence, 1986. "Borrowing Constraints and Aggregate Economic Activity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 23-45, January.
  30. Kreps, David M., 1981. "Arbitrage and equilibrium in economies with infinitely many commodities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 15-35, March.
  31. Manuelli, Rodolfo & Sargent, Thomas J., 2010. "Alternative Monetary Policies In A Turnpike Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(05), pages 727-762, November.
  32. Gallant, A. Ronald & Hansen, Lars Peter & Tauchen, George, 1990. "Using conditional moments of asset payoffs to infer the volatility of intertemporal marginal rates of substitution," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 141-179.
  33. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1994. "Assessing Specification Errors in Stochastic Discount Factor Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  35. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-617, December.
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