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Was There a Bubble in the 1929 Stock Market?

  • Rappoport, Peter
  • White, Eugene N.

Standard tests find that no bubbles are present in the stock price data for the last one hundred years. In contrast., historical accounts, focusing on briefer periods, point to the stock market of 1928-1929 as a classic example of a bubble. While previous studies have restricted their attention to the joint behavior of stock prices and dividends over the course of a century, this paper uses the behavior of the premia demanded on loans collateralized by the purchase of stocks to evaluate the claim that the boom and crash of 1929 represented a bubble. We develop a model that permits us to extract an estimate of the path of the bubble and its probability of bursting in any period and demonstrate that the premium behaves as would be expected in the presence of a bubble in stock prices. We also find that our estimate of the bubble's path has explanatory power when added to the standard cointegrating regressions of stock prices and dividends, in spite of the fact that our stock price and dividend series are cointegrated.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 53 (1993)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
Pages: 549-574

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:53:y:1993:i:03:p:549-574_01
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  1. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 785, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Robert B. Barsky & J. Bradford De Long, 1989. "Bull and Bear Markets in the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 3171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ray C. Fair & Matthew D. Shapiro & Kathryn M. Dominguez, 1986. "Forecasting the Depression: Harvard Versus Yale," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 808, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. White, Eugene Nelson, 1986. "Before the Glass-Steagall Act: An analysis of the investment banking activities of national banks," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 33-55, January.
  5. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  6. Miron, Jeffrey A. & Romer, Christina D., 1990. "A New Monthly Index of Industrial Production, 1884–1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(02), pages 321-337, June.
  7. Peter C.B. Phillips & Pierre Perron, 1986. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series Regression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 795R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Sep 1987.
  8. Durlauf, Steven N & Phillips, Peter C B, 1988. "Trends versus Random Walks in Time Series Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1333-54, November.
  9. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:102:y:1987:i:3:p:697-700 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Joe Mattey and Richard Meese., 1986. "Empirical Assessment of Present Value Relations," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 162, University of California at Berkeley.
  11. Robert P. Flood & Robert J. Hodrick, 1989. "Testable Implications of Indeterminacies in Models with Rational Expectations," NBER Working Papers 2903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  13. White, Halbert & Domowitz, Ian, 1984. "Nonlinear Regression with Dependent Observations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 143-61, January.
  14. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Specification Test for Speculative Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 2067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jaffee, Dwight M., 1975. "Cyclical variations in the risk structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 309-325, July.
  17. Hamilton, James D, 1986. "On Testing for Self-fulfilling Speculative Price Bubbles," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 545-52, October.
  18. Engle, Robert F. & Yoo, Byung Sam, 1987. "Forecasting and testing in co-integrated systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 143-159, May.
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