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Estimation Risk, Market Efficiency, and the Predictability of Returns

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  • Jonathan Lewellen
  • Jay Shanken

Abstract

In asset pricing, estimation risk refers to investor uncertainty about the parameters of the return or cashflow process. We show that with estimation risk the observable properties of prices and returns can differ significantly from the properties perceived by rational investors. In particular, parameter uncertainty will tend to induce return predictability in ways that resemble irrational mispricing, and prices can violate familiar volatility bounds when investors are rational. Cross-sectionally, expected returns deviate from the CAPM even if investors attempt to hold mean-variance efficient portfolios, and these deviations can be predictable based on past dividends and prices. In short, estimation risk can be important for characterizing and testing market efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7699.

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Date of creation: May 2000
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7699

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Cited by:
  1. Amit Goyal & Ivo Welch, 2003. "Predicting the Equity Premium with Dividend Ratios," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(5), pages 639-654, May.
  2. Marquering, Wessel & Verbeek, Marno, 2004. "The Economic Value of Predicting Stock Index Returns and Volatility," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(02), pages 407-429, June.

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