IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Reconciling the Return Predictability Evidence

Listed author(s):
  • Martin Lettau
  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh

Evidence of stock-return predictability by financial ratios is still controversial, as documented by inconsistent results for in-sample and out-of-sample regressions and by substantial parameter instability. This article shows that these seemingly incompatible results can be reconciled if the assumption of a fixed steady state mean of the economy is relaxed. We find strong empirical evidence in support of shifts in the steady state and propose simple methods to adjust financial ratios for such shifts. The in-sample forecasting relationship of adjusted price ratios and future returns is statistically significant and stable over time. In real time, however, changes in the steady state make the in-sample return forecastability hard to exploit out-of-sample. The uncertainty of estimating the size of steady-state shifts rather than the estimation of their dates is responsible for the difficulty of forecasting stock returns in real time. Our conclusions hold for a variety of financial ratios and are robust to changes in the econometric technique used to estimate shifts in the steady state. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhm074
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 1607-1652

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:4:p:1607-1652
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Oxford University Press, Journals Department, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513 USA.

Fax: 919-677-1714
Web page: https://academic.oup.com/rfs
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www4.oup.co.uk/revfin/subinfo/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2001. "Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics Or Lower Propensity To Pay?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(1), pages 67-79.
  2. Ivo Welch & Amit Goyal, 2008. "A Comprehensive Look at The Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1455-1508, July.
  3. M. Fatih Guvenen, 2003. "A Parsimonious Macroeconomic Model for Asset Pricing: Habit Formation or Cross-sectional Heterogeneity?," RCER Working Papers 499, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Jessica A. Wachter, 2008. "The Declining Equity Premium: What Role Does Macroeconomic Risk Play?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1653-1687, July.
  5. Owen Lamont, 1998. "Earnings and Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1563-1587, October.
  6. Amihud, Yakov & Hurvich, Clifford M., 2004. "Predictive Regressions: A Reduced-Bias Estimation Method," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(04), pages 813-841, December.
  7. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-853, October.
  8. Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. "Dividend Yields and Expected Stock Returns: Alternative Procedures for Inference and Measurement," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 357-386.
  9. 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.
  10. Lior Menzly & Tano Santos & Pietro Veronesi, 2004. "Understanding Predictability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-47, February.
  11. Mankiw, N Gregory & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1986. "Risk and Return: Consumption Beta versus Market Beta," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 452-459, August.
  12. 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.
  13. Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney C., 2005. "Expected returns and expected dividend growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 583-626, June.
  14. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-179, March.
  15. Amit Goyal & Ivo Welch, 2003. "Predicting the Equity Premium with Dividend Ratios," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(5), pages 639-654, May.
  16. Hanno N. Lustig & Stijn G. Van Nieuwerburgh, 2005. "Housing Collateral, Consumption Insurance, and Risk Premia: An Empirical Perspective," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1167-1219, June.
  17. Llubos Pástor, 2001. "The Equity Premium and Structural Breaks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1207-1239, 08.
  18. Calvet, Laurent & Gonzalez-Eiras, Martín & Sodini, Paolo, 2004. "Financial Innovation, Market Participation, and Asset Prices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 431-459, September.
  19. Jacob Boudoukh & Roni Michaely & Matthew Richardson & Michael R. Roberts, 2007. "On the Importance of Measuring Payout Yield: Implications for Empirical Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 877-915, April.
  20. Walter Torous & Rossen Valkanov & Shu Yan, 2004. "On Predicting Stock Returns with Nearly Integrated Explanatory Variables," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 937-966, October.
  21. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2010. "How Much Does Household Collateral Constrain Regional Risk Sharing?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 265-294, April.
  22. John Y. Campbell & Samuel B. Thompson, 2005. "Predicting the Equity Premium Out of Sample: Can Anything Beat the Historical Average?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2084, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  23. Yakov Amihud & Clifford Hurvich & Yi Wang, 2004. "Hypothesis Testing in Predictive Regressions," Finance 0412022, EconWPA.
  24. Wayne E. Ferson & Sergei Sarkissian & Timothy T. Simin, 2003. "Spurious Regressions in Financial Economics?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1393-1414, August.
  25. Campbell, John Y. & Yogo, Motohiro, 2006. "Efficient tests of stock return predictability," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 27-60, July.
  26. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Taxes, Regulations, and the Value of U.S. and U.K. Corporations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 767-796.
  27. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2001. "Stock Return Predictability: Is it There?," NBER Working Papers 8207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Lewellen, Jonathan, 2004. "Predicting returns with financial ratios," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 209-235, November.
  29. Bossaerts, Peter & Hillion, Pierre, 1999. "Implementing Statistical Criteria to Select Return Forecasting Models: What Do We Learn?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 405-428.
  30. John H. Cochrane, 2008. "The Dog That Did Not Bark: A Defense of Return Predictability," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1533-1575, July.
  31. Valkanov, Rossen, 2003. "Long-horizon regressions: theoretical results and applications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 201-232, May.
  32. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
  33. Jacob Boudoukh & Matthew Richardson & Robert Whitelaw, 2005. "The Myth of Long-Horizon Predictability," NBER Working Papers 11841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:4:p:1607-1652. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.