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Equity Return Predictability, Time Varying Volatility and Learning About the Permanence of Shocks

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  • Daniel L. Tortorice

    ()
    (International Business School, Brandeis University)

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    Abstract

    I consider a consumption based asset pricing model where the consumer does not know if shocks to dividends are stationary (temporary) or non-stationary (permanent). The agent uses a Bayesian learning algorithm with a bias towards recent observations to assign probability to each process. While the true process is stationary, the consumer's beliefs change as he misinterprets a drift in dividends from their steady state value as an increased likelihood that the dividend process is non-stationary. Belief changes result in large swings in asset prices which are subsequently reversed. The model then is consistent with a broad array of asset pricing puzzles. It predicts the negative correlation between current returns and future returns and the PE ratio and future returns. Consistent with the data, I also find that consumption growth negatively correlates with future returns and the PE ratio and consumption growth forecast future consumption growth. The model amplifies return volatility over the benchmark rational expectations case and exactly matches the standard deviation of consumption. Finally, the model generates time varying volatility consistent with the data on quarterly equity returns.

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    File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP70.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School in its series Working Papers with number 70.

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    Length: 41 pages
    Date of creation: May 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:70

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    Postal: MS032, P.O. Box 9110, Waltham, MA 02454-9110
    Web page: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Consumption; Savings; Asset Pricing; Learning; Expectations;

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    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2007. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0839, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Garey Ramey & Wouter J. den Haan & Joel Watson, 2000. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 482-498, June.
    3. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    4. Christian Haefke & Marcus Sonntag & Thijs van Rens, 2006. "Wage Rigidity and Job Creation," 2006 Meeting Papers 773, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    7. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
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