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Stock prices, expected returns, and inflation

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  • Steven A. Sharpe

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of expected inflation on stock prices and expected long-run returns. An ex ante estimates measure of expected long-run returns is derived by incorporating estimates of expected of future corporate cash flows into a variant of the Campbell-Shiller dividend-price ratio model. In this model, the log earnings-price ratio is expressed as a linear function of expected future returns, expected earnings growth rates, and the log of the current dividend-payout ratio. Expectations of earnings growth are inferred from equity analysts' earnings forecasts, while inflation expectations are drawn from surveys of professional forecasters. I find that the negative relation between equity valuations and expected inflation results from two effects: higher expected inflation coincides with (I) lower expected real earnings growth and (ii) higher required real returns. The earnings channel is not merely a reflection of inflation's recession-signalling properties; rather, much of the negative valuation effect results from a negative relation between expected inflation and expected longer-term real earnings growth. The effect of expected inflation on required (long-run) real stock returns is also substantial. A one percentage point increase in expected inflation raises required real stock returns about one percentage point, which on average implies a 20 percent decline in the level of stock prices. The inflation-related component of expected real stock returns is closely related to the component explained by real long-term bond yields.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 1999-02.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-02

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Keywords: Stock - Prices ; Inflation (Finance);

References

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  1. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings and Expected Dividends," NBER Working Papers 2511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Feldstein, Martin, 1980. "Inflation, tax rules and the stock market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 309-331, July.
  3. Campbell, John Y & Ammer, John, 1993. " What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-37, March.
  4. Chen, Nai-Fu, 1991. " Financial Investment Opportunities and the Macroeconomy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 529-54, June.
  5. Martha S. Scanlon, 1981. "Postwar trends in corporate rates of return," Monograph, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), number 1981pticro.
  6. Robert J. Shiller & Andrea E. Beltratti, 1990. "Stock Prices and Bond Yields: Can Their Co-Movements Be Explained in Terms of Present Value Models?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 953, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Pearce, Douglas K & Roley, V Vance, 1988. " Firm Characteristics, Unanticipated Inflation, and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(4), pages 965-81, September.
  8. Martin Feldstein & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Inflation and the Taxation of Capital Income in the Corporate Sector," NBER Working Papers 0312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Martin Feldstein, 1978. "Inflation and the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 0276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Inflation and the Valuation of Corporate Equities," NBER Working Papers 0824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Boudoukh, Jacob & Richardson, Matthew & Whitelaw, Robert F, 1994. " Industry Returns and the Fisher Effect," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1595-1615, December.
  14. Geske, Robert & Roll, Richard, 1983. " The Fiscal and Monetary Linkage between Stock Returns and Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 1-33, March.
  15. Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Nonadjustment of Nominal Interest Rates: A Study of the Fisher Effect," NBER Working Papers 0836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Bernard, Victor L., 1986. "Unanticipated inflation and the value of the firm," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 285-321, March.
  18. Campbell, John Y., 1999. "Asset prices, consumption, and the business cycle," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 19, pages 1231-1303 Elsevier.
  19. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
  20. William R. Nelson, 1999. "The aggregate change in shares and the level of stock prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-08, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Donald B. Keim & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "Predicting Returns in the Stock and Bond Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  22. Bodie, Zvi, 1976. "Common Stocks as a Hedge against Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 459-70, May.
  23. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  24. von Furstenberg, George M & Malkiel, Burton G, 1977. "Financial Analysis in an Inflationary Environment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 575-88, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christophe Faugere & Julian Van Erlach, 2003. "A General Theory of Stock Market Valuation and Return," Finance 0311005, EconWPA, revised 17 May 2004.
  2. Lynn Elaine Browne, 1999. "U.S economic performance: good fortune, bubble, or new era?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 3-20.
  3. David Dupuis & David Tessier, 2003. "The U.S. Stock Market and Fundamentals: A Historical Decomposition," Working Papers 03-20, Bank of Canada.
  4. Nathan S. Balke & Mark E. Wohar, 2001. "Explaining stock price movements: is there a case for fundamentals?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q III, pages 22-34.
  5. David Dupuis & David Tessier, 2004. "The U.S. Stock Market and Fundamentals: A Historical Decomposition," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 73, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  6. Pierre Villa, 2002. "Liquidité et passage de la valeur," Working Papers 2002-10, CEPII research center.
  7. Nathan S. Balke & Mark E. Wohar, 2001. "Low frequency movements in stock prices: a state space decomposition," Working Papers 0001, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  8. Christophe, Faugere, 2003. "A Required Yield Theory of Stock Market Valuation and Treasury Yield Determination," MPRA Paper 15579, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 04 Jun 2009.
  9. Ralph Chami & Thomas F. Cosimano & Connel Fullenkamp, 2001. "Capital Trading, Stock Trading, and the Inflation Tax on Equity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 575-606, July.
  10. John B. Carlson & Eduard A. Pelz & Mark Wohar, 2001. "Will the valuation ratios revert to their historical means? Some evidence from breakpoint tests," Working Paper 0113, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

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