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Inflation and the stock market: Understanding the “Fed Model”

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  • Geert Bekaert
  • Eric Engstrom

Abstract

The so-called Fed model postulates that the dividend or earnings yield on stocks should equal the yield on nominal Treasury bonds, or at least that the two should be highly correlated. In US data there is indeed a strikingly high time series correlation between the yield on nominal bonds and the dividend yield on equities. This positive correlation is often attributed to the fact that both bond and equity yields comove strongly and positively with expected inflation. While inflation comoves with nominal bond yields for well-known reasons, the positive correlation between expected inflation and equity yields has long puzzled economists. We show that the effect is consistent with modern asset pricing theory incorporating uncertainty about real growth prospects and also habit-based risk aversion. In the US, high expected inflation has tended to coincide with periods of heightened uncertainty about real economic growth and unusually high risk aversion, both of which rationally raise equity yields. Our findings suggest that countries with a high incidence of stagflation should have relatively high correlations between bond yields and equity yields and we confirm that this is true in a panel of international data.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): Jan ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2009:i:jan:x:3

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Keywords: Inflation (Finance) ; Stock market;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Roberto A. De Santis & Carlo A. Favero & Barbara Roffia, 2012. "Euro Area Money Demand and International Portfolio Allocation: A Contribution to Assessing Risks to Price Stability," Working Papers 432, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Jaewon Choi & Matthew P. Richardson & Robert F. Whitelaw, 2014. "On the Fundamental Relation Between Equity Returns and Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 20187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. : Carlo A. Favero & : Arie E. Gozluklu & : Haoxi Yang, 2013. "Demographics and The Behavior of Interest Rates," Working Papers wpn13-10, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  4. Alexander David & Pietro Veronesi, 2009. "What Ties Return Volatilities to Price Valuations and Fundamentals?," NBER Working Papers 15563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brière, Marie & Ang, Andrew & Signori, Ombretta, 2012. "Inflation and Individual Equities," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7847, Paris Dauphine University.
  6. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian T. Lundblad & Stephan Siegel, 0. "What Segments Equity Markets?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(12), pages 3841-3890.
  7. Marie Brière & Ombretta Signori, 2011. "Inflation hedging portfolios in different regimes," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Portfolio and risk management for central banks and sovereign wealth funds, volume 58, pages 139-163 Bank for International Settlements.
  8. Acker, Daniella & Duck, Nigel W., 2013. "Inflation illusion and the US dividend yield: Some further evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 235-254.
  9. Brière, Marie & Signori, Ombretta, 2011. "Inflation-hedging Portfolios in Different Regimes," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7744, Paris Dauphine University.
  10. Li Gu & Dayong Huang, 2013. "Consumption, Money, Intratemporal Substitution, And Cross-Sectional Asset Returns," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 36(1), pages 115-146, 01.
  11. Liew, Freddy, 2012. "Forecasting inflation in Asian economies," MPRA Paper 36781, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Signori, Ombretta & Brière, Marie, 2012. "Inflation-Hedging Portfolios : Economic Regimes Matter," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/9296, Paris Dauphine University.

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