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104
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 164 (17 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
The equity share in new issues and aggregate stock returns
 JOURNAL OF FINANCE
, 2000
"... The share of equity issues in total new equity and debt issues is a strong predictor of U.S. stock market returns between 1928 and 1997. In particular, firms issue relatively more equity than debt just before periods of low market returns. The equity share in new issues has stable predictive power i ..."
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Cited by 160 (25 self)
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The share of equity issues in total new equity and debt issues is a strong predictor of U.S. stock market returns between 1928 and 1997. In particular, firms issue relatively more equity than debt just before periods of low market returns. The equity share in new issues has stable predictive power in both halves of the sample period and after controlling for other known predictors. We do not find support for efficient market explanations of the results. Instead, the fact that the equity share sometimes predicts significantly negative market returns suggests inefficiency and that firms time the market component of their returns when issuing securities.
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 150 (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 131 (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 130 (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
The Equity Premium
 Journal of Finance
, 2002
"... We estimate the equity premium using dividend and earnings growth rates to measure the expected rate of capital gain. Our estimates for 1951 to 2000, 2.55 percent and 4.32 percent, are much lower than the equity premium produced by the average stock return, 7.43 percent. Our evidence suggests that t ..."
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Cited by 118 (3 self)
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We estimate the equity premium using dividend and earnings growth rates to measure the expected rate of capital gain. Our estimates for 1951 to 2000, 2.55 percent and 4.32 percent, are much lower than the equity premium produced by the average stock return, 7.43 percent. Our evidence suggests that the high average return for 1951 to 2000 is due to a decline in discount rates that produces a large unexpected capital gain. Our main conclusion is that the average stock return of the last halfcentury is a lot higher than expected.
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 94 (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.
Housing collateral, consumption insurance, and risk premia, Working paper
, 2002
"... In a model with housing collateral, the ratio of housing wealth to human wealth shifts the conditional distribution of asset prices and consumption growth. A decrease in house prices reduces the collateral value of housing, increases household exposure to idiosyncratic risk, and increases the condit ..."
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Cited by 62 (2 self)
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In a model with housing collateral, the ratio of housing wealth to human wealth shifts the conditional distribution of asset prices and consumption growth. A decrease in house prices reduces the collateral value of housing, increases household exposure to idiosyncratic risk, and increases the conditional market price of risk. Using aggregate data for the US, we find that a decrease in the ratio of housing wealth to human wealth predicts higher returns on stocks. Conditional on this ratio, the covariance of returns with aggregate risk factors explains eighty percent of the crosssectional variation in annual size and booktomarket portfolio returns. 1
Predicting Excess Stock Returns Out of Sample: Can Anything Beat the Historical Average?
, 2004
"... Goyal and Welch (2006) argue that the historical average excess stock return forecasts future excess stock returns better than regressions of excess returns on predictor variables. In this paper we show that many predictive regressions beat the historical average return, once weak restrictions are i ..."
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Cited by 58 (2 self)
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Goyal and Welch (2006) argue that the historical average excess stock return forecasts future excess stock returns better than regressions of excess returns on predictor variables. In this paper we show that many predictive regressions beat the historical average return, once weak restrictions are imposed on the signs of coefficients and return forecasts. The outofsample explanatory power is small, but nonetheless is economically meaningful for meanvariance investors. Even better results can be obtained by imposing the restrictions of steadystate valuation models, thereby removing the need to estimate the average from a short sample of volatile stock returns. Towards the end of the last century, academic finance economists came to take seriously the view that aggregate stock returns are predictable. During the 1980’s a number of papers studied valuation ratios, such as the dividendprice ratio, earningsprice ratio, or smoothed earningsprice ratio. Valueoriented investors in the tradition of Graham and Dodd (1934) had always asserted that high valuation ratios are an indication of an undervalued stock market and should predict high subsequent returns, but these ideas did not carry much weight in the academic literature until authors such as Rozeff (1984), Fama and French (1988), and Campbell and Shiller (1988a,b) found that valuation ratios are positively correlated with subsequent returns and that the implied predictability of returns is substantial at longer horizons. Around the same time, several papers pointed out that yields on short and longterm Treasury and corporate bonds are correlated with subsequent stock returns [Fama and Schwert
The Declining Equity Premium: What Role Does Macroeconomic Risk Play?
 THE REVIEW OF FINANCIAL STUDIES
, 2006
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