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Evaluating Asset-Pricing Models Using The Hansen-Jagannathan Bound: A Monte Carlo Investigation


  • Otrok, Christopher

    () (University of Virginia)

  • Ravikumar, B.

    () (University of Iowa)

  • Whiteman, Charles H.

    () (University of Iowa)


We conduct Monte Carlo experiments to examine whether the Hansen and Jagannathan (1991) bound is a useful device for evaluating asset pricing models. Specifically, we use recently developed statistical tests, which are based on a 'distance' between the model and the Hansen-Jagannathan bound, to compute the rejection rates of true models. We first demonstrate that previous Monte Carlo assessments suffer from subtle computational and conceptual errors. We then provide correct finite-sample critical values for asset pricing models with time separable preferences, and show how they depend upon nuisance parameters-risk aversion and the rate of time preference. Further, we show that the finite-sample distribution of the test statistic associated with the risk-neutral case is extreme, in the sense that critical values based on this distribution will deliver type I errors no larger than intended-regardless of risk aversion or the rate of time preference. Extending the analysis to accommodate other preferences, we show that in the state non-separable case, the small-sample distributions of the test statistics are influenced significantly by the degree of intertemporal substitution, but not by attitudes toward risk. For habit formation preferences, the small sample distributions are strongly influenced by the habit parameter. However, the maximal size critical values for time-separable preferences are appropriate for habit formation as well as state non-separable preferences. We conclude that with these critical values the HJ bound is indeed a useful evaluation device.

Suggested Citation

  • Otrok, Christopher & Ravikumar, B. & Whiteman, Charles H., 1998. "Evaluating Asset-Pricing Models Using The Hansen-Jagannathan Bound: A Monte Carlo Investigation," Working Papers 99-01, University of Iowa, Department of Economics, revised Jan 1999.
  • Handle: RePEc:uia:iowaec:99-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Raymond Kan & Cesare Robotti, 2016. "The Exact Distribution of the Hansen–Jagannathan Bound," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(7), pages 1915-1943, July.
    2. Raymond Kan & Cesare Robotti, 2008. "The exact distribution of the Hansen-Jagannathan bound," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2008-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    3. Houssa, Romain, 2013. "Uncertainty about welfare effects of consumption fluctuations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 35-62.
    4. Qiang Zhang, 2004. "Accounting for Human Capital and Weak Identification in Evaluating the Esptein-Zin-Weil Non-Expected Utility Model of Asset Pricing," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-289, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    5. Silos, Pedro, 2006. "Assessing Markov chain approximations: A minimal econometric approach," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1063-1079, June.
    6. Engsted, Tom, 2002. " Measures of Fit for Rational Expectations Models," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 301-355, July.
    7. Otrok, Christopher & Ravikumar, B & Whiteman, Charles, 2001. "Stochastic Discount Factor Models and the Equity Premium Puzzle," MPRA Paper 22938, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2004.

    More about this item


    Equity Premium; Asset Pricing; Spectral Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects


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