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Hard Times

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  • John Y. Campbell
  • Stefano Giglio
  • Christopher Polk

Abstract

This paper shows that the stock market downturns of 2000-2002 and 2007-09 have very different proximate causes. The early 2000's saw a large increase in the discount rates applied to corporate profits by rational investors, while the late 2000's saw a decrease in rational expectations of future profits. In each case the downturn reversed the trends of the previous boom. We reach these conclusions using a vector autoregressive model of aggregate stock returns and valuations, estimated imposing the cross-sectional restrictions of the intertemporal capital asset pricing model (ICAPM). As stock returns are very noisy, exploiting an economic model such as the ICAPM to extract information about future corporate profits from realized returns can potentially be very useful. We confirm that the ICAPM restrictions improve the out-of-sample forecasting performance of VAR models for stock returns, and that our conclusions are consistent with a simple graphical data analysis. Our findings imply that the 2007-09 downturn was particularly serious for rational long-term investors, who did not expect a strong recovery of stock prices as they did earlier in the decade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16222.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Publication status: published as “Hard Times”, with Stefano Giglio and Christopher Polk, Review of Asset Pricing Studies 3:95-132, June 2013.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16222

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  1. Amit Goval & Ivo Welch, 2004. "A Comprehensive Look at the Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," NBER Working Papers 10483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Long Chen & Xinlei Zhao, 2009. "Return Decomposition," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 5213-5249, December.
  3. Engsted, Tom & Pedersen, Thomas Q. & Tanggaard, Carsten, 2012. "Pitfalls in VAR based return decompositions: A clarification," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1255-1265.
  4. John Campbell & Christopher Polk & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2005. "Growth or glamour? fundamentals and systemic risk in stock returns," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Polk, Christopher & Thompson, Samuel & Vuolteenaho, Tuomo, 2006. "Cross-sectional forecasts of the equity premium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 101-141, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Mahmoud Botshekan & Roman Kraeussl & Andre Lucas, 2010. "Cash Flow and Discount Rate Risk in Up and Down Markets: What is actually priced?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-116/2/DSF 3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. repec:dgr:uvatin:2010116 is not listed on IDEAS

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