The Declining Equity Premium: What Role Does Macroeconomic Risk Play?
AbstractAggregate stock prices, relative to virtually any indicator of fundamental value, soared to unprecedented levels in the 1990s. Even today, after the market declines since 2000, they remain well above historical norms. Why? We consider one particular explanation: a fall in macroeconomic risk, or the volatility of the aggregate economy. Empirically, we find a strong correlation between low frequency movements in macroeconomic volatility and low frequency movements in the stock market. To model this phenomenon, we estimate a two-state regime switching model for the volatility and mean of consumption growth, and find evidence of a shift to substantially lower consumption volatility at the beginning of the 1990s. We then use these estimates from post-war data to calibrate a rational asset pricing model with regime switches in both the mean and standard deviation of consumption growth. Plausible parameterizations of the model are found to account for a significant portion of the run-up in asset valuation ratios observed in the late 1990s.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5519.
Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Other versions of this item:
- Martin Lettau & Sydney Ludvigson & Jessica Wachter, 2005. "The declining equity premium: what role does macroeconomic risk play?," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Jessica A. Wachter, 2008. "The Declining Equity Premium: What Role Does Macroeconomic Risk Play?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1653-1687, July.
- Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "The Declining Equity Premium: What Role Does Macroeconomic Risk Play?," 2004 Meeting Papers 644, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Jessica A. Wachter, 2004. "The Declining Equity Premium: What Role Does Macroeconomic Risk Play?," NBER Working Papers 10270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-04-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2006-04-08 (Business Economics)
- NEP-FIN-2006-04-08 (Finance)
- NEP-FMK-2006-04-08 (Financial Markets)
- NEP-MAC-2006-04-08 (Macroeconomics)
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