The real versus the financial economy: A global tale of stability versus volatility
AbstractThe question how the real and the financial side of a capitalist economy relate to each other has been a frequently recurring topic in the history of economic thought. Our paper addresses this question from the viewpoint that capital ultimately seeks returns from its perpetual reallocation and essentially faces two choices: it can either be entrepreneurially allocated to real economic activity, or it can be financially invested in legal claims against such activity. Adopting such a perspective, we study here how real and financial returns relate to each other over the past fifteen years, both within and across countries, by considering more than 30,000 publicly traded firms in more than forty countries that stand for 70% of the global population and about 90% of world income. We compare the average rates of return to both types of investment and their respective volatilities. While average returns, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, turn out to be roughly equal across the two domains, the volatility of financial returns exceeds real volatility by an order of magnitude. From a systemic point of view, these findings raise the question why capital would seek out financial investments in the first place. --
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 Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2013-8.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Profit rates; growth rates of market value; excess volatility;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
- L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
- G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies
- F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-02-16 (All new papers)
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.:
- Jesús Crespo-Cuaresma & Adelina Gschwandtner, 2003.
"The competitive environment hypothesis revisited: Nonlinearity, nonstationrity and profit persistence,"
Vienna Economics Papers
0316, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
- Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Adelina Gschwandtner, 2006. "The competitive environment hypothesis revisited: non-linearity, nonstationarity and profit persistence," Applied Economics, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 465-472.
- Giuseppe Ciccarone, 2004. "Finance and the Cambridge equation," Review of Political Economy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 163-177.
- LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-74, May.
- Merton H. Miller & Franco Modigliani, 1961. "Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34, pages 411.
- Xavier Gabaix, 2009.
"The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations,"
NBER Working Papers
15286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alfarano, Simone & Milaković, Mishael, 2008.
"Does Classical Competition Explain the Statistical Features of Firm Growth?,"
Economics Working Papers
2008,03, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
- Alfarano, Simone & Milakovic, Mishael, 2008. "Does classical competition explain the statistical features of firm growth?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 272-274, December.
- Alfarano, Simone & Milaković, Mishael & Irle, Albrecht & Kauschke, Jonas, 2012.
"A statistical equilibrium model of competitive firms,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 136-149.
- Irle, Albrecht & Milaković, Mishael & Alfarano, Simone & Kauschke, Jonas, 2008. "A Statistical Equilibrium Model of Competitive Firms," Economics Working Papers 2008,10, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
- Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-617, December.
- R. Cont, 2001. "Empirical properties of asset returns: stylized facts and statistical issues," Quantitative Finance, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 223-236.
- Burgstahler, David & Dichev, Ilia, 1997. "Earnings management to avoid earnings decreases and losses," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 99-126, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.