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Are blue chip stock market indices good proxies for all-shares market indices? The case of the Brussels Stock Exchange 1833–2005

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  • Annaert, Jan
  • Buelens, Frans
  • Cuyvers, Ludo
  • De Ceuster, Marc
  • Deloof, Marc
  • De Schepper, Ann

Abstract

In this article, we calculate a market-weighted return index for the 20 largest stocks listed on the Brussels Stock Exchange over the period 1833–2005, based on a new, unique and high-quality database. We find that this index captures the most important stylised facts of the value-weighted return of all shares listed on the Brussels Stock Exchange in this period. Our results support the empirical practice of concentrating on just the largest stocks. The indices we construct are based on one of the longest Belgian time series available. The indices take into account the exact dividends, the timing of the dividend cash flows and all capital operations. We are therefore able to decompose total returns into capital gain returns and dividend returns, which is not possible with most historical return series. We show that, to construct a credible return index, it is crucial to fully take into account dividends.

Suggested Citation

  • Annaert, Jan & Buelens, Frans & Cuyvers, Ludo & De Ceuster, Marc & Deloof, Marc & De Schepper, Ann, 2011. "Are blue chip stock market indices good proxies for all-shares market indices? The case of the Brussels Stock Exchange 1833–2005," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 277-308, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:fihrev:v:18:y:2011:i:03:p:277-308_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorda, Oscar & Knoll, Katharina & Kuvshinov, Dmitry & Schularick, Moritz & Taylor, Alan M., 2017. "The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870–2015," Working Paper Series 2017-25, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    2. Prat, Georges, 2013. "Equity risk premium and time horizon: What do the U.S. secular data say?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 76-88.
    3. Hannah, Leslie, 2017. "The London Stock Exchange 1869-1929: new bloody statistics for old?," Economic History Working Papers 82404, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    4. Raphael Hekimian & David Le Bris, 2016. "US Crashes of 2008 and 1929 How did the French market react? An empirical study," EconomiX Working Papers 2016-21, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    5. Annaert, Jan & Mensah, Lord, 2014. "Cross-sectional predictability of stock returns, evidence from the 19th century Brussels Stock Exchange (1873–1914)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 22-43.

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