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. 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 show that there is a strong and statistically robust correlation between low macroeconomic volatility and high asset prices: the estimated posterior probability of being in a low volatility state explains 30 to 60 percent of the post-war variation in the log price-dividend ratio, depending on the measure of consumption analyzed. Next, we study a rational asset pricing model with regime switches in both the mean and standard deviation of consumption growth, where the probabilities of a regime change are calibrated to match estimates from post-war data. Plausible parameterizations of the model are found to account for a significant fraction of the run-up in asset valuation ratios observed in the late 1990s.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10270.
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.
- Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney & Wachter, Jessica, 2006. "The Declining Equity Premium: What Role Does Macroeconomic Risk Play?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5519, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "The Declining Equity Premium: What Role Does Macroeconomic Risk Play?," 2004 Meeting Papers 644, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- 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-2004-02-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2004-02-01 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-FIN-2004-02-01 (Finance)
- NEP-MAC-2004-02-01 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-RMG-2004-02-01 (Risk Management)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney, 2002.
"Expected Returns and Expected Dividend Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "Limited Asset Market Participation and the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution," NBER Working Papers 8896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004.
"Understanding Trend and Cycle in Asset Values: Reevaluating the Wealth Effect on Consumption,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 276-299, March.
- Martin Lettau & Sydney Ludvigson, 2003. "Understanding Trend and Cycle in Asset Values: Reevaluating the Wealth Effect on Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bonomo, m. & Garcia, r., 1991.
"Can Well-Fitted Equilibrium Asset Pricing Model Produce Mean Reversion?,"
Cahiers de recherche
9127, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Bonomo, Marco & Garcia, Rene, 1994. "Can a Well-Fitted Equilibrium Asset-Pricing Model Produce Mean Reversion?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 19-29, Jan.-Marc.
- Bonomo, m. & Garcia, r., 1991. "Can Well-Fitted Equilibrium Asset Pricing Model Produce Mean Reversion?," Cahiers de recherche 9127, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- MArco Antonio Bonomo & Rene Garcia, 1992. "Can a well-fitted equilibrium asset pricing model produce mean reversion?," Textos para discussÃ£o 270, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
- Campbell, John, 1991.
"A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns,"
3207695, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 2000.
"Stock prices and fundamentals,"
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Apr.
- Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 631-49, July.
- Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "Limited Asset Market Participation and the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 825-853, August.
- Marco Cagetti & Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams, 2002. "Robustness and Pricing with Uncertain Growth," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 363-404, March.
- Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2001.
"Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics Or Lower Propensity To Pay?,"
Journal of Applied Corporate Finance,
Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(1), pages 67-79.
- Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 2001. "Disappearing dividends: changing firm characteristics or lower propensity to pay?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 3-43, April.
- Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, . "Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics or Lower Propensity to Pay?."," CRSP working papers 509, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
- Sydney Ludvigson, 1999.
"Consumption And Credit: A Model Of Time-Varying Liquidity Constraints,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 434-447, August.
- Sydney Ludvigson, 1996. "Consumption and credit: a model of time-varying liquidity constraints," Research Paper 9624, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Bansal, Ravi & Lundblad, Christian, 2002. "Market efficiency, asset returns, and the size of the risk premium in global equity markets," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 195-237, August.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.