Geert Bekaert

Conditioning Information and Variance Bounds on Pricing Kernels

Coauthor(s): Jun Liu.


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Gallant, Hansen, and Tauchen (1990)Go show how to use conditioning information optimally to construct a sharper unconditional variance bound (the GHT bound) on pricing kernels. The literature predominantly resorts to a simple but suboptimal procedure that scales returns with predictive instruments and computes standard bounds using the original and scaled returns. This article provides a formal bridge between the two approaches. We propose an optimally scaled bound that coincides with the GHT bound when the first and second conditional moments are known. When these moments are misspecified, our optimally scaled bound yields a valid lower bound for the standard deviation of pricing kernels, whereas the GHT bound does not. We illustrate the behavior of the bounds using a number of linear and nonlinear models for consumption growth and bond and stock returns. We also illustrate how the optimally scaled bound can be used as a diagnostic for the specification of the first two conditional moments of asset returns.

Source: Review of Financial Studies
Exact Citation:
Bekaert, Geert, and Jun Liu. "Conditioning Information and Variance Bounds on Pricing Kernels." Review of Financial Studies 17, no. 2 (2004): 339-78.
Volume: 17
Number: 2
Pages: 339-78
Date: 2004