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Inflation Illusion and Stock Prices

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  • John Y. Campbell
  • Tuomo Vuolteenaho

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • John Y. Campbell & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2004. "Inflation Illusion and Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 19-23, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:2:p:19-23
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828041301533
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Boudoukh, Jacob & Richardson, Matthew, 1993. "Stock Returns and Inflation: A Long-Horizon Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1346-1355, December.
    4. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
    5. 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.
    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. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-179, March.
    8. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1990. "What does the term structure tell us about future inflation?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 77-95, January.
    9. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1990. "The Information in the Longer Maturity Term Structure about Future Inflation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 815-828.
    10. Christopher Polk & Samuel Thompson & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2004. "New Forecasts of the Equity Premium," NBER Working Papers 10406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. 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.
    12. Fama, Eugene F, 1975. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Predictors of Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 269-282, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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