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Inflation Illusion and Stock Prices

  • John Y. Campbell
  • Tuomo Vuolteenaho

We empirically decompose the S&P 500's dividend yield into (1) a rational forecast of long-run real dividend growth, (2) the subjectively expected risk premium, and (3) residual mispricing attributed to the market's forecast of dividend growth deviating from the rational forecast. Modigliani and Cohn's (1979) hypothesis and the persistent use of the Fed model' by Wall Street suggest that the stock market incorrectly extrapolates past nominal growth rates without taking into account the impact of time-varying inflation. Consistent with the Modigliani-Cohn hypothesis, we find that the level of inflation explains almost 80% of the time-series variation in stock-market mispricing.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 94 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 19-23

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:2:p:19-23
Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828041301533
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  1. Campbell, John Y & Ammer, John, 1993. " What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-37, March.
  2. Campbell, John, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207695, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Geske, Robert & Roll, Richard, 1983. " The Fiscal and Monetary Linkage between Stock Returns and Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 1-33, March.
  4. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1988. "What Does the Term Structure Tell Us About Future Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 2626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," NBER Working Papers 2100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. John Y. Campbell & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2004. "Inflation Illusion and Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 19-23, May.
  7. Fama, Eugene F, 1975. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Predictors of Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 269-82, June.
  8. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1991. "The Information in the Longer Maturity Term Structure about Future Inflation," NBER Working Papers 3126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Boudoukh, Jacob & Richardson, Matthew, 1993. "Stock Returns and Inflation: A Long-Horizon Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1346-55, December.
  10. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
  11. Christopher Polk & Samuel Thompson & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2004. "New Forecasts of the Equity Premium," NBER Working Papers 10406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Brandt, Michael W. & Wang, Kevin Q., 2003. "Time-varying risk aversion and unexpected inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1457-1498, October.
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