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Taxes, regulations, and asset prices

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  • Ellen R. McGrattan
  • Edward C. Prescott

Abstract

U.S. stock prices have increased much faster than gross domestic product GDP) in the postwar period. Between 1962 and 2000, corporate equity value relative to GDP nearly doubled. In this paper, we determine what standard growth theory says the equity value should be in 1962 and 2000, the two years for which our steady-state assumption is a reasonable one. We find that the actual valuations were close to the theoretical predictions in both years. The reason for the large run-up in equity value relative to GDP is that the average tax rate on dividends fell dramatically between 1962 and 2000. We also find that, given legal constraints that effectively prohibited the holding of stocks as reserves for pension plans, there is no equity premium puzzle in the postwar period. The average returns on debt and equity are as theory predicts.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Taxes, regulations, and asset prices," Working Papers 610, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:610
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    Cited by:

    1. M. Fatih Guvenen, 2003. "A Parsimonious Macroeconomic Model for Asset Pricing: Habit Formation or Cross-sectional Heterogeneity?," RCER Working Papers 499, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    2. Lagos, Ricardo, 2010. "Asset prices and liquidity in an exchange economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 913-930, November.
    3. George M. Constantinides, 2002. "Rational Asset Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1567-1591, August.
    4. Cysne, Rubens Penha, 2005. "Equity-premium puzzle: evidence from Brazilian data," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 586, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    5. Vance Martin & G.C. Lim & Esfandiar Maasoumi, 2004. "Discounting The Equity Premium Puzzle," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 331, Econometric Society.
    6. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 2003. "The equity premium in retrospect," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 889-938 Elsevier.
    7. Lars Grüne & Willi Semmler, 2007. "Asset pricing with dynamic programming," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 233-265, May.
    8. Willi Semmler & Lars Grüne, 2004. "Asset Pricing with Delayed Consumption Decisions," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 59, Society for Computational Economics.
    9. Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "From Efficient Markets Theory to Behavioral Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 83-104, Winter.
    10. Eikseth, Hans Marius & Lindset, Snorre, 2009. "A note on capital asset pricing and heterogeneous taxes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-577, March.
    11. Longstaff, Francis A. & Piazzesi, Monika, 2004. "Corporate earnings and the equity premium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 401-421, December.
    12. Sialm, Clemens, 2006. "Stochastic taxation and asset pricing in dynamic general equilibrium," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 511-540, March.
    13. Lim, G.C. & Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Martin, Vance L., 2006. "A reexamination of the equity-premium puzzle: A robust non-parametric approach," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 173-189, August.
    14. Whelan, Shane, 2007. "Valuing Ireland's Pension System," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2007(2-Summer), pages 55-80.
    15. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Taxes, Regulations, and the Value of U.S. and U.K. Corporations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 767-796.
    16. Milos Bozovic, 2015. "Equity Premium in Serbia: A Different Kind of Puzzle?," MIC 2015: Managing Sustainable Growth; Proceedings of the Joint International Conference, Portorož, Slovenia, 28–30 May 2015, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper.
    17. Barrett, Alan & Kearney, Ide & O'Brien, Martin, 2007. "Quarterly Economic Commentary, Summer 2007," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number QEC20072, April.
    18. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Non-convexities in quantitative general equilibrium studies of business cycles," Staff Report 312, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    19. Rajnish Mehra, 2003. "The Equity Premium: Why is it a Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 9512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Tavares, Jose & Valkanov, Rossen, 2001. "The neglected effect of fiscal policy on stock and bond returns," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp413, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    21. Christophe Faugere & Julian Van Erlach, 2003. "The Equity Premium: Explained by GDP Growth and Consistent with Portfolio Insurance," Finance 0311004, EconWPA.
    22. Casey B. Mulligan, 2003. "Capital Tax Incidence: Fisherian Impressions from the Time Series," NBER Working Papers 9916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Longstaff, Francis & Piazzesi, Monika, 2002. "Corporate Earnings and the Equity Premium," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt3qn115m4, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asset pricing ; Taxation ; Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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