Ensaios sobre o fator estocástico de descontos
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This work proposes alternative ways to consistently estimate an abstract measure, crucial to the study of intertemporal decisions, which is at the core of most macroeconomics and financial studies: the Stochastic Discount Factor (SDF). Using the Pricing Equation in a panel-data framework, is constructed a novel consistent estimator of the SDF which relies on the fact that its logarithm is pervasive to all asset returns of the economy. The resulting estimator is very simple to compute, does not dependent on strong economic assumptions, is suitable for testing different preference specifications or investigating intertemporal substitution puzzles, and can be used as basis to construct an estimator for the risk-free rate. Alternative identification strategies are applied and a parallel between it and identifications strategies based on other frameworks is drawn. Adding structure to the initial setup, two environments were the asymptotic distribution can be derived are presented. Finally, methodologies proposed are applied US and Brazilian data. Preference specifications usually found in the macro literature, as well as a class of state dependent preferences, are tested. The results for the US economy are particularly interesting, by performing formal tests, we cannot reject standard preference specifications used in the literature and estimates of the relative risk-aversion coefficient are between 1 and 2, and statistically indistinguishable from the unity. Moreover, for the class of state dependent preferences and using US quarterly data from 1972:1 and 2001:4, we estimate a highly dynamic path for the relative risk-aversion (rra) coefficient, confined to the interval [1.15, 2.05], and also reject the hypothesis of a constant level.