The forward- and the equity-premium puzzles: two symptoms of the same illness?

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Using information on US domestic financial data only, we build a stochastic discount factor—SDF— and check whether it accounts for foreign markets stylized facts that escape consumption based models. By interpreting our SDF as the projection of a pricing kernel from a fully specified model in the space of returns, our results indicate that a model that accounts for the behavior of domestic assets goes a long way toward accounting for the behavior of foreign assets prices. We address predictability issues associated with the forward premium puzzle by: i) using instruments that are known to forecast excess returns in the moments restrictions associated with Euler equations, and; ii) by pricing Lustig and Verdelhan (2007)’s foreign currency portfolios. Our results indicate that the relevant state variables that explain foreign-currency market asset prices are also the driving forces behind U.S. domestic assets behavior.

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