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Are Stock Returns Predictable? A Test Using Markov Chains

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  • McQueen, Grant
  • Thorley, Steven

Abstract

This paper uses a Markov chain model to test the random walk hypothesis of stock prices. Given a time series of returns, a Markov chain is defined by letting one state represent high returns and the other represent low returns. The random walk hypothesis restricts the transition probabilities of the Markov change to be equal irrespective of the prior years. Annual real returns are shown to exhibit significant nonrandom walk behavior in the sense that low (high) returns tend to follow runs of high (low) returns in the postwar period. Copyright 1991 by American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • McQueen, Grant & Thorley, Steven, 1991. " Are Stock Returns Predictable? A Test Using Markov Chains," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 239-263, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:46:y:1991:i:1:p:239-63
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    Cited by:

    1. Emekter, Riza & Jirasakuldech, Benjamas & Snaith, Sean M., 2009. "Nonlinear dynamics in foreign exchange excess returns: Tests of asymmetry," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 179-192, July.
    2. Paul Zimmerman & John Yun & Christopher Taylor, 2013. "Edgeworth Price Cycles in Gasoline: Evidence from the United States," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 42(3), pages 297-320, May.
    3. Tan, Baris & Yilmaz, Kamil, 2002. "Markov chain test for time dependence and homogeneity: An analytical and empirical evaluation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, pages 524-543.
    4. João Nicolau & Flavio Riedlinger, 2015. "Estimation and inference in multivariate Markov chains," Statistical Papers, Springer, vol. 56(4), pages 1163-1173, November.
    5. Charles Ka Yui Leung & Patrick Wai Yin Cheung & Erica Jiajia Ding, 2008. "Intra-metropolitan Office Price and Trading Volume Dynamics: Evidence from Hong Kong," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 11(2), pages 47-74.
    6. Yang, Jian & Cabrera, Juan & Wang, Tao, 2010. "Nonlinearity, data-snooping, and stock index ETF return predictability," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 200(2), pages 498-507, January.
    7. repec:eee:finana:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:176-191 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Chiang, Raymond & Liu, Peter & Okunev, John, 1995. "Modelling mean reversion of asset prices towards their fundamental value," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1327-1340, November.
    9. Chiang, Raymond & Davidson, Ian & Okunev, John, 1997. "Some further theoretical and empirical implications regarding the relationship between earnings, dividends and stock prices," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 17-35, January.
    10. Wang, Tao & Yang, Jian, 2010. "Nonlinearity and intraday efficiency tests on energy futures markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 496-503, March.
    11. Juan Reboredo & José Matías & Raquel Garcia-Rubio, 2012. "Nonlinearity in Forecasting of High-Frequency Stock Returns," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 40(3), pages 245-264, October.
    12. Dmitry Kulikov, 2012. "Testing for Rational Speculative Bubbles on the Estonian Stock Market," Research in Economics and Business: Central and Eastern Europe, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, vol. 4(1).
    13. Baur, Robert Frederick, 1992. "Overreaction in futures markets," ISU General Staff Papers 1992010108000010973, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    14. Chen, Son-Nan & Jeon, Kisuk, 1998. "Mean reversion behavior of the returns on currency assets," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 185-200.
    15. Reboredo, Juan C. & Rivera-Castro, Miguel A. & Miranda, José G.V. & García-Rubio, Raquel, 2013. "How fast do stock prices adjust to market efficiency? Evidence from a detrended fluctuation analysis," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(7), pages 1631-1637.
    16. Brett Olsen & Jeffrey Stokes, 2015. "Is Farm Real Estate The Next Bubble?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 355-376, April.
    17. N. Vijayamohanan Pillai, 2004. "Causality and error correction in Markov chain: Inflation in India revisited," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 366, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.

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