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The variability of inflation and real stock returns

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  • Xiaoqiang Hu
  • Thomas Willett

Abstract

While a negative correlation between inflation and real stock returns has been well documented, the cause of this relationship has been the subject of considerable controversy. The most plausible causal interpretation is the variability hypothesis which points to a chain from higher inflation to greater variability and uncertainty to depressed economic activity, hence generating a link between inflation and expected returns. The previous studies have not found support for this hypothesis, however, and Fama's noncausal proxy hypothesis has gained considerable currency. It is argued that there have been serious methodological problems with the previous tests of the variability hypothesis. When these are corrected, we find strong support for the causal variability hypothesis in the post war data for the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaoqiang Hu & Thomas Willett, 2000. "The variability of inflation and real stock returns," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(6), pages 655-665.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apfiec:v:10:y:2000:i:6:p:655-665
    DOI: 10.1080/096031000438006
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mustapha Ibn Boamah, 2017. "Common Stocks and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of G7 and BRICS," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 45(2), pages 213-224, June.
    2. Mondher bellalah & Umie Habiba, 2013. "Impact of Macroeconomic Factors on Stock Exchange Prices: Evidence from USA Japan and China," THEMA Working Papers 2013-15, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    3. Bharat Kolluri & Mahmoud Wahab, 2008. "Stock returns and expected inflation: evidence from an asymmetric test specification," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 371-395, May.
    4. Samih Antoine Azar, 2013. "The Spurious Relation between Inflation Uncertainty and Stock Returns: Evidence from the U.S," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 3, pages 99-109, November.
    5. Claudiu Tiberiu Albulescu & Christian Aubin & Daniel Goyeau, 2017. "Stock prices, inflation and inflation uncertainty in the U.S.: testing the long-run relationship considering Dow Jones sector indexes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(18), pages 1794-1807, April.
    6. Francisco Jareno, 2008. "Spanish stock market sensitivity to real interest and inflation rates: an extension of the Stone two-factor model with factors of the Fama and French three-factor model," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(24), pages 3159-3171.
    7. Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2002. "Why was Stock Market Volatility so High During the Great Depression? Evidence from 10 Countries During the Interwar Period," CEPR Discussion Papers 3254, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Claudiu Albulescu & Christian Aubin & Daniel Goyeau, 2016. "Stock prices, inflation and inflation uncertainty in the U.S.: Testing the long-run relationship considering Dow Jones sector indexes," Papers 1603.01231, arXiv.org.
    9. Díaz, Antonio & Jareño, Francisco, 2009. "Explanatory factors of the inflation news impact on stock returns by sector: The Spanish case," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 349-368, September.

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