Winston Wei Dou

Macro-Finance Decoupling: Robust Evaluations of Macro Asset Pricing Models

Joint with Xu Cheng, Zhipeng Liao

Econometrica Forthcoming, August 2021

This paper shows that robust inference under weak identification is important to the evaluation of many influential macro asset pricing models, including (time-varying) rare-disaster risk models and long-run risk models. Building on recent developments in the conditional inference literature, we provide a novel conditional specification test by simulating the critical value conditional on a sufficient statistic. This sufficient statistic can be intuitively interpreted as a measure capturing the macroeconomic information decoupled from the underlying content of asset pricing theories. Macro-finance decoupling is an effective way to improve the power of the specification test when asset pricing theories are difficult to refute because of a severe imbalance in the information content about the key model parameters between macroeconomic moment restrictions and asset pricing cross-equation restrictions. We apply the proposed conditional specification test to the evaluation of a time-varying rare-disaster risk model and the construction of robust model uncertainty sets.