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A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns

Listed author(s):
  • Campbell, John Y

This paper shows that unexpected stock returns must be associated with changes in expected future dividends or expected future returns. A vector autoregressive method is used to break unexpected stock returns into these two components. In U.S. monthly data in 1927-88, one-third of the variance of unexpected returns is attributed to the variance of changing expected dividends, one-third to the variance of changing expected returns, and one-third to the covariance of the two components. Changing expected returns have a large effect on stock prices because they are persistent: a 1 percent innovation in the expected return is associated with a 4 or 5 percent capital loss. Changes in expected returns are negatively correlated with changes in expected dividends, increasing the stock market reaction to dividend news. In the period 1952-88, changing expected returns account for larger fraction of stock return variation than they do in the period 1927-51. Copyright 1991 by Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 101 (1991)
Issue (Month): 405 (March)
Pages: 157-179

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:101:y:1991:i:405:p:157-79
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  1. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings and Expected Dividends," NBER Working Papers 2511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Campbell, John Y, 1990. "Measuring the Persistence of Expected Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 43-47, May.
  3. Campbell, John Y. & Clarida, Richard H., 1987. "The dollar and real interest rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 103-139, January.
  4. Keim, Donald B. & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1986. "Predicting returns in the stock and bond markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 357-390, December.
  5. Andrew W. Lo, A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "Stock Market Prices do not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 41-66.
  6. John Y. Campbell & Albert S. Kyle, 1993. "Smart Money, Noise Trading and Stock Price Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 1-34.
  7. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-265, April.
  8. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "Speculative Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 3242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Mark, 1988. "Mean Reversion in Equilibrium Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 2762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Conrad, Jennifer & Kaul, Gautam, 1988. "Time-Variation in Expected Returns," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 409-425, October.
  11. Litterman, Robert B & Weiss, Laurence M, 1985. "Money, Real Interest Rates, and Output: A Reinterpretation of Postwar U.S. Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 129-156, January.
  12. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
  13. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "The Persistence of Volatility and Stock Market Fluctuations," Working papers 353, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "What Moves Stock Prices?," NBER Working Papers 2538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1988. "Mean reversion in stock prices : Evidence and Implications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 27-59, October.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Kenneth A. Froot & Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Intrinsic Bubbles: The Case of Stock Prices," NBER Working Papers 3091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-273, April.
  20. Myung Jig Kim & Charles R. Nelson & Richard Startz, 1988. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices? A Reappraisal of the Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Campbell, John, 1987. "Stock Returns and the Term Structure," Scholarly Articles 3207699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
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