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The Stock Market and the Corporate Sector: Profit-Based Approach

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  • Anwar M. Shaikh

Abstract

This paper shows that the empirical movements of stock prices can be explained directly by fundamentals. The real stock market rate of return is shown to closely track the real incremental rate of profit of the corporate sector, with the two rates displaying similar means and standard deviations. It is argued that the two are linked by capital flows between the sectors through a process we call "turbulent arbitrage". Actual equity prices closely track the prices closely track the prices warranted by this model, and unlike the standard results, are less volatile than the warranted ones. The theoretical approach taken in this paper implies that the incremental profit rate is the required rate of return for the stock market return. The observed volatility on stock market returns and prices arises from the fact that the required rate is itself highly volatile, driven by cyclical and other short term fluctuations in aggregate demand. It is then easy to see why conventional theoretical models, which typically assume constant required rates of return (discount rates) and constant dividend growth rates, are largely unable to explain the movements in stock prices. On the other hand, since the incremental rate of profit (net of interest) is essentially the change in earnings normalized by investment, the findings of this paper accord well the experience "on the street" that stock price movements are driven by interest rates and changes in earnings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_146.

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Date of creation: Sep 1995
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_146

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References

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  1. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, . "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _124, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  2. Campbell, John, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207695, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Campbell, John, 1990. "Measuring the Persistence of Expected Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207696, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Feldstein, Martin S & Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Towards an Economic Theory of Replacement Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(3), pages 393-423, May.
  5. Shiller, Robert J, 1989. " Comovements in Stock Prices and Comovements in Dividends," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 719-29, July.
  6. Culter, D.M. & Poterba, J.M. & Summers, L.H., 1990. "Speculative Dynamics And The Role Of Feedback Traders," Working papers 545, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  8. Robert B. Barsky & J. Bradford De Long, 1992. "Why Does the Stock Market Fluctuate?," NBER Working Papers 3995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-617, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tsoulfidis, Lefteris & Tsaliki, Persefoni, 2011. "Classical competition and regulating capital: theory and empirical evidence," MPRA Paper 51334, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.
  2. John Sarich, 2006. "What do we know about the real exchange rate? A classical cost of production story," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 469-496.
  3. Anwar Shaikh, 2010. "Reflexivity, path dependence, and disequilibrium dynamics," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 33(1), pages 3-16, October.
  4. Lefteris Tsoulfidis, 2011. "Classical vs. Neoclassical Conceptions of Competition," Discussion Paper Series 2011_11, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Nov 2011.
  5. Andrea Vaona, 2011. "Further econometric evidence on the gravitation and convergence of industrial rates of return on regulating capital," Working Papers 08/2011, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  6. Stefania Tescari & Andrea Vaona, 2013. "Regulating rates of return do gravitate in US manufacturing!," Working Papers 19/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  7. Stravelakis, Nikos, 2013. "Hilferding over Marx: A Political Economy Viewpoint of Struggles in the Left 1900-1933 and the Modern Revival," MPRA Paper 50064, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Andrea Vaona, 2010. "On the gravitation and convergence of industry incremental rates of return in OECD countries," Working Papers 03/2010, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  9. Bilgili, Faik, 2003. "Dynamic implications of fiscal policy: Crowding-out or crowding-in?," MPRA Paper 24111, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Dec 2009.

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