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237
Risks for the long run: A potential resolution of asset pricing puzzles
 JOURNAL OF FINANCE
, 1994
"... We model consumption and dividend growth rates as containing (i) a small longrun predictable component and (ii) fluctuating economic uncertainty (consumption volatility). These dynamics, for which we provide empirical support, in conjunction with Epstein and Zin’s (1989) preferences, can explain ke ..."
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Cited by 350 (30 self)
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We model consumption and dividend growth rates as containing (i) a small longrun predictable component and (ii) fluctuating economic uncertainty (consumption volatility). These dynamics, for which we provide empirical support, in conjunction with Epstein and Zin’s (1989) preferences, can explain key asset markets phenomena. In our economy, financial markets dislike economic uncertainty and better longrun growth prospects raise equity prices. The model can justify the equity premium, the riskfree rate, and the volatility of the market return, riskfree rate, and the pricedividend ratio. As in the data, dividend yields predict returns and the volatility of returns is timevarying.
Investing for the long run when returns are predictable
 Journal of Finance
, 2000
"... We examine how the evidence of predictability in asset returns affects optimal portfolio choice for investors with long horizons. Particular attention is paid to estimation risk, or uncertainty about the true values of model parameters. We find that even after incorporating parameter uncertainty, th ..."
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Cited by 283 (0 self)
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We examine how the evidence of predictability in asset returns affects optimal portfolio choice for investors with long horizons. Particular attention is paid to estimation risk, or uncertainty about the true values of model parameters. We find that even after incorporating parameter uncertainty, there is enough predictability in returns to make investors allocate substantially more to stocks, the longer their horizon. Moreover, the weak statistical significance of the evidence for predictability makes it important to take estimation risk into account; a longhorizon investor who ignores it may overallocate to stocks by a sizeable amount. ONE OF THE MORE STRIKING EMPIRICAL FINDINGS in recent financial research is the evidence of predictability in asset returns. 1 In this paper we examine the implications of this predictability for an investor seeking to make sensible portfolio allocation decisions. We approach this question from the perspective of horizon effects: Given the evidence of predictability in returns, should a longhorizon investor allocate his wealth differently from a shorthorizon investor? The motivation for thinking about the problem in these terms is the classic work of Samuelson ~1969! and Merton ~1969!. They show that if asset returns are i.i.d., an investor with power utility who rebalances his portfolio optimally should choose the same asset allocation, regardless of investment horizon. In light of the growing body of evidence that returns are predictable, the investor’s horizon may no longer be irrelevant. The extent to which the horizon does play a role serves as an interesting and convenient way of thinking about how predictability affects portfolio choice. Moreover, the results may shed light on the common but controversial advice that investors with long horizons should allocate more heavily to stocks. 2
Consumption, Aggregate Wealth, and Expected Stock Returns
 THE JOURNAL OF FINANCE • VOL. LVI, NO. 3 • JUNE 2001
, 2001
"... This paper studies the role of fluctuations in the aggregate consumption–wealth ratio for predicting stock returns. Using U.S. quarterly stock market data, we find that these fluctuations in the consumption–wealth ratio are strong predictors of both real stock returns and excess returns over a Treas ..."
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Cited by 150 (18 self)
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This paper studies the role of fluctuations in the aggregate consumption–wealth ratio for predicting stock returns. Using U.S. quarterly stock market data, we find that these fluctuations in the consumption–wealth ratio are strong predictors of both real stock returns and excess returns over a Treasury bill rate. We also find that this variable is a better forecaster of future returns at short and intermediate horizons than is the dividend yield, the dividend payout ratio, and several other popular forecasting variables. Why should the consumption–wealth ratio forecast asset returns? We show that a wide class of optimal models of consumer behavior imply that the log consumption–aggregate wealth ~human capital plus asset holdings! ratio summarizes expected returns on aggregate wealth, or the market portfolio. Although this ratio is not observable, we provide assumptions under which its important predictive components for future asset returns may be expressed in terms of observable variables, namely in terms of consumption, asset holdings and labor income. The framework implies that these variables are cointegrated, and
Resurrecting the (C)CAPM: A CrossSectional Test When Risk Premia Are TimeVarying
 Journal of Political Economy
, 2001
"... This paper explores the ability of conditional versions of the CAPM and the consumption CAPM—jointly the (C)CAPM—to explain the cross section of average stock returns. Central to our approach is the use of the log consumption–wealth ratio as a conditioning variable. We demonstrate that such conditio ..."
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Cited by 139 (5 self)
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This paper explores the ability of conditional versions of the CAPM and the consumption CAPM—jointly the (C)CAPM—to explain the cross section of average stock returns. Central to our approach is the use of the log consumption–wealth ratio as a conditioning variable. We demonstrate that such conditional models perform far better than unconditional specifications and about as well as the FamaFrench threefactor model on portfolios sorted by size and booktomarket characteristics. The conditional consumption CAPM can account for the difference in returns between lowbooktomarket and highbooktomarket portfolios and exhibits little evidence of residual size or booktomarket effects. We are grateful to Eugene Fama and Kenneth French for graciously providing the
A Comprehensive Look at the Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction,” working paper
, 2004
"... Given the historically high equity premium, is it now a good time to invest in the stock market? Economists have suggested a whole range of variables that investors could or should use to predict: dividend price ratios, dividend yields, earningsprice ratios, dividend payout ratios, net issuing rati ..."
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Cited by 125 (4 self)
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Given the historically high equity premium, is it now a good time to invest in the stock market? Economists have suggested a whole range of variables that investors could or should use to predict: dividend price ratios, dividend yields, earningsprice ratios, dividend payout ratios, net issuing ratios, bookmarket ratios, interest rates (in various guises), and consumptionbased macroeconomic ratios (cay). The typical paper reports that the variable predicted well in an insample regression, implying forecasting ability. Our paper explores the outofsample performance of these variables, and finds that not a single one would have helped a realworld investor outpredicting the thenprevailing historical equity premium mean. Most would have outright hurt. Therefore, we find that, for all practical purposes, the equity premium has not been predictable, and any belief about whether the stock market is now too high or too low has to be based on theoretical prior, not on the empirically variables we have explored.
Asset pricing at the millennium
 Journal of Finance
"... This paper surveys the field of asset pricing. The emphasis is on the interplay between theory and empirical work and on the tradeoff between risk and return. Modern research seeks to understand the behavior of the stochastic discount factor ~SDF! that prices all assets in the economy. The behavior ..."
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Cited by 123 (3 self)
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This paper surveys the field of asset pricing. The emphasis is on the interplay between theory and empirical work and on the tradeoff between risk and return. Modern research seeks to understand the behavior of the stochastic discount factor ~SDF! that prices all assets in the economy. The behavior of the term structure of real interest rates restricts the conditional mean of the SDF, whereas patterns of risk premia restrict its conditional volatility and factor structure. Stylized facts about interest rates, aggregate stock prices, and crosssectional patterns in stock returns have stimulated new research on optimal portfolio choice, intertemporal equilibrium models, and behavioral finance. This paper surveys the field of asset pricing. The emphasis is on the interplay between theory and empirical work. Theorists develop models with testable predictions; empirical researchers document “puzzles”—stylized facts that fail to fit established theories—and this stimulates the development of new theories. Such a process is part of the normal development of any science. Asset pricing, like the rest of economics, faces the special challenge that data are generated naturally rather than experimentally, and so researchers cannot control the quantity of data or the random shocks that affect the data. A particularly interesting characteristic of the asset pricing field is that these random shocks are also the subject matter of the theory. As Campbell, Lo, and MacKinlay ~1997, Chap. 1, p. 3! put it: What distinguishes financial economics is the central role that uncertainty plays in both financial theory and its empirical implementation. The starting point for every financial model is the uncertainty facing investors, and the substance of every financial model involves the impact of uncertainty on the behavior of investors and, ultimately, on mar* Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
What does the Yield Curve Tell us about GDP Growth?
, 2003
"... A lot, including a few things you may not expect. Previous studies find that the term spread forecasts GDP but these regressions are unconstrained and do not model regressor endogeneity. We build a dynamic model for GDP growth and yields that completely characterizes expectations of GDP. The model d ..."
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Cited by 101 (4 self)
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A lot, including a few things you may not expect. Previous studies find that the term spread forecasts GDP but these regressions are unconstrained and do not model regressor endogeneity. We build a dynamic model for GDP growth and yields that completely characterizes expectations of GDP. The model does not permit arbitrage. Contrary to previous findings, we predict that the short rate has more predictive power than any term spread. We confirm this finding by forecasting GDP outofsample. The model also recommends the use of lagged GDP and the longest maturity yield to measure slope. Greater efficiency enables the yieldcurve model to produce superior outofsample GDP forecasts than unconstrained OLS at all horizons.
Transaction costs and predictability: Some utility cost calculations
 Journal of Financial Economics
, 1999
"... We examine the loss in utility for a consumer who ignores any or all of the following: (1) the multiperiod nature of the consumer's portfoliochoice problem, (2) the empirically documented predictability of asset returns, or (3) transaction costs. Both the costs of behaving myopically and ignoring ..."
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Cited by 90 (14 self)
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We examine the loss in utility for a consumer who ignores any or all of the following: (1) the multiperiod nature of the consumer's portfoliochoice problem, (2) the empirically documented predictability of asset returns, or (3) transaction costs. Both the costs of behaving myopically and ignoring predictability can be substantial, although allowing for intermediate consumption reduces these costs. Ignoring realistic transaction costs ("xed and proportional) imposes signi"cant utility costs that range from 0.8 % up to 16.9 % of wealth. For the scenarios that we consider, the presence of transaction costs always increases the utility cost of behaving myopically, but decreases the utility cost of
Understanding Predictability
 JOURNAL OF POITICAL ECONOMY
, 2004
"... We propose a general equilibrium model with multiple securities in which investors’ risk preferences and expectations of dividend growth are time varying. While time varying risk preferences induce the standard positive relation between the dividend yield and expected returns, time varying expected ..."
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Cited by 89 (4 self)
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We propose a general equilibrium model with multiple securities in which investors’ risk preferences and expectations of dividend growth are time varying. While time varying risk preferences induce the standard positive relation between the dividend yield and expected returns, time varying expected dividend growth induces a negative relation between them. These offsetting effects reduce the ability of the dividend yield to forecast returns and eliminate its ability to forecast dividend growth, as observed in the data. The model links the predictability of returns to that of dividend growth, suggesting specific changes to standard linear predictive regressions for both. The model’s predictions are con…rmed empirically.