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Why Does the Stock Market Fluctuate?

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  • Robert B. Barsky
  • J. Bradford De Long

Abstract

Major long-run swings in the U. S. stock market over the past century are broadly consistent with a model driven by changes in current and expected future dividends in which investors must estimate the time-varying long-run dividend growth rate. Such an estimated long-run growth rate resembles a long distributed lag on past dividend growth, and is highly correlated with the level of dividends. Prices therefore respond more than proportionately to long-run movements in dividends. The time-varying component of dividend growth need not be detectable in the dividend data for it to have large effects on stock prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert B. Barsky & J. Bradford De Long, 1993. "Why Does the Stock Market Fluctuate?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 291-311.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:2:p:291-311.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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