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Consumption growth and time-varying expected stock returns

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  • Møller, Stig Vinther

Abstract

When the consumption growth rate is measured based upon fourth quarter data, it tracks predictable variation in future excess stock returns. Low fourth quarter consumption growth rates predict high future excess stock returns such that expected returns are high at business cycle troughs and low at business cycle peaks. The consumption growth rate loses predictive power when it is measured based upon other quarters. This is consistent with the insight of Jagannathan and Wang [2007. Journal of Finance 62, 1623-1661] that investors tend to review their consumption and investment plans during the end of each calendar year, and at possibly random times in between. The consumption growth rate measured based upon fourth quarter data is a much stronger predictive variable than benchmark predictive variables such as the dividend-price ratio, the term spread, and the default spread.

Suggested Citation

  • Møller, Stig Vinther, 2008. "Consumption growth and time-varying expected stock returns," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 129-136, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finlet:v:5:y:2008:i:3:p:129-136
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Goetzmann, William Nelson & Jorion, Philippe, 1993. " Testing the Predictive Power of Dividend Yields," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 663-679, June.
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    3. Nelson, Charles R & Kim, Myung J, 1993. " Predictable Stock Returns: The Role of Small Sample Bias," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 641-661, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Kothari, S. P. & Shanken, Jay, 1997. "Book-to-market, dividend yield, and expected market returns: A time-series analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 169-203, May.
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    8. Ravi Jagannathan & Yong Wang, 2007. "Lazy Investors, Discretionary Consumption, and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1623-1661, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Fuster & Benjamin Hebert & David Laibson, 2012. "Natural Expectations, Macroeconomic Dynamics, and Asset Pricing," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-48.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Return predictability Consumption growth;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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