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The Stabilization of the U.S. Economy: Evidence from the Stock Marke t

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  • Shapiro, Matthew D

Abstract

Until recently, economists widely believed that economic activity had become less variable in the United States following the end of World War II. Challenging this belief, new research suggests that key historical time series are spuriously volatile, a finding that is highly controversial. Data from the stock market may provide a vehicle for resolving the controversy. Economic theory relates stock prices to real activity; empirical tests also show a strong link between stock prices and activity. Financial data are accurately measured over long spans of time and hence are free of most of the measurement problems in other time series. Measures of stock prices show no stabilization in the post-World War II period relative to the pre-World War I or pre-Depression periods. These stock market data thus support the hypothesis that real activity has not been stabilized.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 78 (1988)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1067-79

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:78:y:1988:i:5:p:1067-79

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  1. S. Grossman & R. Shiller, . "The Determinants of the Variability of Stock Market Price," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 18-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 421-36, June.
  3. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "Are Output Fluctuations Transitory?," NBER Working Papers 1916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marsh, Terry A. & Merton, Robert C., 1984. "Dividend variability and variance bounds tests for the rationality of stock market prices," Working papers 1584-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  6. Romer, Christina, 1986. "Spurious Volatility in Historical Unemployment Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 1-37, February.
  7. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Persistence of Volatility and Stock Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1142-51, December.
  8. Barsky, Robert B., 1987. "The Fisher hypothesis and the forecastability and persistence of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, January.
  9. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1985. " An Unbiased Reexamination of Stock Market Volatility," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 677-87, July.
  10. Officer, R R, 1973. "The Variability of the Market Factor of the New York Stock Exchange," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 434-53, July.
  11. Stanley Fischer & Robert C. Merton, 1985. "Macroeconomics and Finance: The Role of the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 1291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Andrews, Donald W K & Fair, Ray C, 1988. "Inference in Nonlinear Econometric Models with Structural Change," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 615-39, October.
  13. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Peter Blair Henry, 2002. "Is Disinflation Good for the Stock Market?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1617-1648, 08.
  2. Christina D. Romer, 1999. "Changes in Business Cycles: Evidence and Explanations," NBER Working Papers 6948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bennett McCallum, 2000. "On signal extraction and non-certainty-equivalence in optimal monetary policy rules, comments," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Binswanger, Mathias, 2004. "Stock returns and real activity in the G-7 countries: did the relationship change during the 1980s?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 237-252, May.
  5. Schlote, Klaus Wilhelm, 1989. "Zu den Einflußfaktoren am deutschen Aktienmarkt bei festen und flexiblen Wechselkursen," Kiel Working Papers 363, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  6. Cochran, Steven J. & DeFina, Robert H., 1996. "Predictability in real exchange rates: Evidence from parametric hazard models," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 125-147.
  7. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1997. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Research Paper 9735, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Lizardo, Radhamés A. & Mollick, André V., 2009. "Do foreign purchases of U.S. stocks help the U.S. stock market?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 969-986, December.
  9. Bernstein, Asaf & Hughson, Eric & Weidenmier, Marc D., 2010. "Identifying the effects of a lender of last resort on financial markets: Lessons from the founding of the fed," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 40-53, October.
  10. Asaf Bernstein & Eric Hughson & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2008. "Can a Lender of Last Resort Stabilize Financial Markets? Lessons from the Founding of the Fed," NBER Working Papers 14422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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