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Inflation, inflation risk, and stock returns

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  • John Ammer

Abstract

This paper investigates the empirical relation between inflation and stock returns in ten industrialized countries, with a focus on the implications for links between inflation and the macroeconomy. The stock return decomposition of Campbell and Shiller (1988) is used to determine the extent to which the negative contemporaneous stock return associated with a positive inflation surprise is due to (a) lower future real dividends and (b) higher future required real equity returns. The empirical results suggest that generally higher inflation is associated with both lower real dividends and lower required real equity returns in the future. The evidences favors corporate tax-related theories (e.g. Feldstein (1980))--in which distortions in the tax system cause an increase in inflation to raise the firm's effective cost of capital relative to the return earned by investors in the firm--relative to the "risk premium story" that has been credited to Tobin (1958). However, for the United States and the United Kingdom, estimates of the arbitrage pricing theory (APT) model with a conditionally heteroscedastic inflation risk factor suggest that inflation may have increased the average real cost of equity capital by as much as fifty basis points.

Suggested Citation

  • John Ammer, 1994. "Inflation, inflation risk, and stock returns," International Finance Discussion Papers 464, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:464
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Campbell, John Y & Ammer, John, 1993. " What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-37, March.
    2. Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The arbitrage theory of capital asset pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 341-360, December.
    3. John Y. Campbell & Pierre Perron, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know About Unit Roots," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 141-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rose, Andrew Kenan, 1988. " Is the Real Interest Rate Stable?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1095-1112, December.
    5. David P. Ely & Kenneth J. Robinson, 1989. "The stock market and inflation: a synthesis of the theory and evidence," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Mar, pages 17-29.
    6. Kaul, Gautam, 1987. "Stock returns and inflation : The role of the monetary sector," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 253-276, June.
    7. Mohammad Najand, 1991. "A Test Of The Risk Premium Hypothesis," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 14(3), pages 207-216, September.
    8. Martin Evans & Paul Wachtel, 1993. "Inflation regimes and the sources of inflation uncertainty," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 475-520.
    9. Mark J. Buono, 1989. "The Relationship Between The Variability Of Inflation And Stock Returns: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 12(4), pages 329-339, December.
    10. McDevitt, Catherine L., 1989. "The role of the nominal tax system in the common stock returns/expected inflation relationship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 93-107, July.
    11. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-179, March.
    12. Pearce, Douglas K & Roley, V Vance, 1988. " Firm Characteristics, Unanticipated Inflation, and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(4), pages 965-981, September.
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    14. Shanken, Jay, 1992. "On the Estimation of Beta-Pricing Models," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(1), pages 1-33.
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    16. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
    17. Connor, Gregory & Korajczyk, Robert A., 1988. "Risk and return in an equilibrium APT : Application of a new test methodology," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 255-289, September.
    18. Geske, Robert & Roll, Richard, 1983. " The Fiscal and Monetary Linkage between Stock Returns and Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 1-33, March.
    19. Huberman, Gur & Schwert, G William, 1985. "Information Aggregation, Inflation, and the Pricing of Indexed Bonds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 92-114, February.
    20. Gultekin, N Bulent, 1983. " Stock Market Returns and Inflation: Evidence from Other Countries," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 49-65, March.
    21. John Ammer, 1993. "Macroeconomic risk and asset pricing: estimating the apt with observable factors," International Finance Discussion Papers 448, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John Ammer & Jianping Mei, 1995. "Strategic returns to international diversification: An application to the equity markets of Europe, Japan and North America," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59.
    2. O'Reilly, B., 1998. "The Benefits of Low Inflation: Taking Shock "A nickel ain't worth a dime any more" [Yogi Berra]," Technical Reports 83, Bank of Canada.
    3. Brunner, Allan D & Kamin, Steven B, 1998. "Bank Lending and Economic Activity in Japan: Did 'Financial Factors' Contribute to the Recent Downturn?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(1), pages 73-89, January.

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    Keywords

    Inflation (Finance) ; Stock market;

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