Measuring and Modelling Variation in the Risk-Return Trade-off
Are excess stock market returns predictable over time and, if so, at what horizons and with which economic indicators? Can stock return predictability be explained by changes in stock market volatility? How does the mean return per unit risk change over time? This chapter reviews what is known about the time-series evolution of the risk-return tradeoff for stock market investment, and presents some new empirical evidence using a proxy for the log consumption-aggregate wealth ratio as a predictor of both the mean and volatility of excess stock market returns. We characterize the risk-return tradeoff as the conditional expected excess return on a broad stock market index divided by its conditional standard deviation, a quantity commonly known as the Sharpe ratio. Our own investigation suggests that variation in the equity risk-premium is strongly negatively linked to variation in market volatility, at odds with leading asset pricing models. Since the conditional volatility and conditional mean move in opposite directions, the degree of countercyclicality in the Sharpe ratio that we document here is far more dramatic than that produced by existing equilibrium models of financial market behaviour, which completely miss the sheer magnitude of variation in the price of stock market risk.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2001|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- John H. Cochrane, 1991.
"Volatility Tests and Efficient Markets: A Review Essay,"
NBER Working Papers
3591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cochrane, John H., 1991. "Volatility tests and efficient markets : A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 463-485, June.
- Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney, 2001.
"Time-Varying Risk Premia and the Cost of Capital: An Alternative Implication of the Q Theory of Investment,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3103, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lettau, Martin & Ludvigson, Sydney, 2002. "Time-varying risk premia and the cost of capital: An alternative implication of the Q theory of investment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 31-66, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3105. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.