IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Stochastic Discount Factor Models and the Equity Premium Puzzle

  • Otrok, Christopher
  • Ravikumar, B
  • Whiteman, Charles

One view of the equity premium puzzle is that in the standard asset-pricing model with time-separable preferences, the volatility of the stochastic discount factor, for plausible values of risk aversion, is too low to be consistent with consumption and asset return data. We adopt this characterization of the puzzle, due to Hansen and Jagannathan (1991), and establish two results: (i) resolutions of the puzzle based on complete frictionless markets and non-separabilities in preferences are very sensitive to small changes in the consumption data, and (ii) models with frictions avoid this sensitivity problem. Using quarterly data from 1947-97, we calibrate a state non-separable model and a time non-separable model to satisfy the Hansen-Jagannathan volatility bound and show that the two resolutions are not robust. We support our argument via a bootstrap experiment where the models almost always violate the bound. These violations are primarily due to the fact that small changes in consumption growth moments imply changes in the mean of the stochastic discount factor, which render the volatility of the stochastic discount factor to be too low relative to the bound. Asset-pricing models with frictions, however, are much more successful in the bootstrap experiment relative to the case without frictions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 22938.

in new window

Date of creation: Nov 2001
Date of revision: Nov 2004
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22938
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  2. 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.
  3. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
  4. Phillippe Weil, 1997. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1833, David K. Levine.
  5. Christopher Otrok & B. Ravikumar & Charles H. Whiteman, 2000. "Evaluating Asset-Pricing Models Using The Hansen-Jagannathan Bound: A Monte Carlo Investigation," Virginia Economics Online Papers 350, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  6. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  7. G. Constantinides, 1990. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1397, David K. Levine.
  8. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  9. Luttmer, Erzo G J, 1996. "Asset Pricing in Economies with Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1439-67, November.
  10. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Mark, 1992. "Testing Volatility Restrictions on Intertemporal Marginal Rates of Substitution Implied by Euler Equations and Asset Returns," NBER Technical Working Papers 0124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 4088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Gregory, Allan W. & Smith, Gregor W., 1992. "Sampling variability in Hansen-Jagannathan bounds," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 263-267, March.
  13. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-87, June.
  14. S. Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1990. "Asset Returns with Transactions Cost and Uninsured Risk: A Stage III Exercise," NBER Working Papers 3481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1997. "Habit persistence and asset returns in an exchange economy," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  16. Hua He and David M. Modest., 1992. "Market Frictions and Consumption-Based Asset Pricing," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-223, University of California at Berkeley.
  17. Burnside, Craig, 1994. "Hansen-Jagannathan Bounds as Classical Tests of Asset-Pricing Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(1), pages 57-79, January.
  18. S Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Asset Returns with transaction costs and uninsured individual risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 648, David K. Levine.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22938. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.