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Volatility tests and efficient markets : A review essay

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  • Cochrane, John H.

Abstract

This essay examines what volatility tests tell us about the data and what implications we should derive from them. It argues that volatility tests do not tell us that "prices are too volatile", implying that "markets are inefficient", but rather that "(discounted) returns are forecastable", implying that "current discount rate models leave a residual". It also argues that the discount rate residuals documented by volatility tests (and equivalent return forecasting regressions or Euler equation tests) are suggestive of rational, business cycle-induced discount rate movements, rather than "fads" or other inefficiencies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (1991)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 463-485

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:27:y:1991:i:3:p:463-485

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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  1. Mankiw, N.G. & Romer, D. & Shapiro, M.D., 1989. "Stock Market Forecastability And Volatility: A Statistical Appraisal," Papers 89-21, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  2. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 2343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  4. Flood, Robert P & Hodrick, Robert J, 1990. "On Testing for Speculative Bubbles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 85-101, Spring.
  5. Cochrane, John H, 1992. "Explaining the Variance of Price-Dividend Ratios," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 243-80.
  6. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "An Introduction to the Theory of Rational Expectations under Asymmetric Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 541-59, October.
  7. Hamilton, James D. & Whiteman, Charles H., 1985. "The observable implications of self-fulfilling expectations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 353-373, November.
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