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Labor income risk and asset returns

  • Christian Julliard

This paper shows, from the consumer’s budget constraint, that expected future labor income growth rates and the residuals of the cointegration relation among log consumption, log asset wealth and log current labor income (summarized by the variable cay of Lettau and Ludvigson (2001a)), should help predict U.S. quarterly stock market returns and explain the cross-section of average returns. I …nd that a) ‡uctuations in expected future labor income are a strong predictor of both real stock returns and excess returns over a Treasury bill rate, b) when this variable is used as conditioning information for the Consumption Capital Asset Pricing Model (CCAPM), the resulting linear factor model explains four …fth of the variation in observed average returns across the Fama and French (25) portfolios and prices correctly the small growth portfolio. The paper also …nds that about one third of the variance of returns is predictable, over a horizon of one year, using expected future labor income growth rates and cay jointly as forecasting variables.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 4811.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:4811
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  1. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-79, March.
  2. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
  3. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 1997. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," GSIA Working Papers 228, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  5. Wayne E. Ferson & Campbell R. Harvey, 1999. "Conditioning Variables and the Cross Section of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1325-1360, 08.
  6. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "The equity premium puzzle and the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 401-421, November.
  7. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  8. Mark Rubinstein, 1976. "The Valuation of Uncertain Income Streams and the Pricing of Options," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 407-425, Autumn.
  9. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
  10. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, 09.
  11. Jonathan A. Parker & Christian Julliard, 2003. "Consumption Risk and Cross-Sectional Returns," NBER Working Papers 9538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ferson, Wayne E & Kandel, Shmuel & Stambaugh, Robert F, 1987. " Tests of Asset Pricing with Time-Varying Expected Risk Premiums and Market Betas," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 201-20, June.
  13. John Lintner, 1965. "Security Prices, Risk, And Maximal Gains From Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 20(4), pages 587-615, December.
  14. Wayne E. Ferson & Sergei Sarkissian & Timothy Simin, 2002. "Spurious Regressions in Financial Economics?," NBER Working Papers 9143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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