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The 1929 stock market: Irving Fisher was right

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  • Ellen R. McGrattan
  • Edward C. Prescott

Abstract

Many stock market analysts think that in 1929, at the time of the crash, stocks were overvalued. Irving Fisher argued just before the crash that fundamentals were strong and the stock market was undervalued. In this paper, we use growth theory to estimate the fundamental value of corporate equity and compare it to actual stock valuations. Our estimate is based on values of productive corporate capital, both tangible and intangible, and tax rates on corporate income and distributions. The evidence strongly suggests that Fisher was right. Even at the 1929 peak, stocks were undervalued relative to the prediction of theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "The 1929 stock market: Irving Fisher was right," Staff Report 294, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:294
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Siklos, Pierre L., 2008. "The Fed's reaction to the stock market during the great depression: Fact or artefact?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 164-184, April.
    2. Albrecht Ritschl & Monique Ebell, 2007. "Real Origins of the Great Depression: Monopoly Power, Unions and the American Business Cycle in the 1920s," 2007 Meeting Papers 712, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Razzak, Weshah, 2013. "An Empirical Study of Sectoral-Level Capital Investments in New Zealand," MPRA Paper 52461, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. A. Bruggeman & M. Hradisky & V. PĂ©rilleux, 2005. "Share prices, house prices and monetary policy," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iii, pages 65-78, September.
    5. Lee, Junghoon, 2016. "The impact of idiosyncratic uncertainty when investment opportunities are endogenous," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 105-124.
    6. Steven M. Shugan, 2007. ": Does Good Marketing Cause Bad Unemployment?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(1), pages 1-17, 01-02.

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    Keywords

    Depressions ; Stock market;

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