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Hard Times

  • Campbell, John Y.
  • Giglio, Stefano
  • Polk, Christopher

We show that the stock market downturns of 2000–2002 and 2007–2009 have very different proximate causes. The early 2000s saw a large increase in the discount rates applied to profits by rational investors, while the late 2000s saw a decrease in rational expectations of future profits. We reach these conclusions by using a VAR model of aggregate stock returns and valuations, estimated both without restrictions and imposing the cross-sectional restrictions of the intertemporal capital asset pricing model (ICAPM). Our findings imply that the 2007–2009 downturn was particularly serious for rational long-term investors, whose losses were not offset by improving stock return forecasts as in the previous recession. (JEL G12, N22)

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 12172786.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of Asset Pricing Studies
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:12172786
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  1. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "Presidential Address: Discount Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(4), pages 1047-1108, 08.
  2. John Y. Campbell, 1993. "Understanding Risk and Return," NBER Working Papers 4554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-79, March.
  4. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2013. "Shocks and Crashes," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2013, Volume 28, pages 293-354 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Polk, Christopher & Thompson, Samuel & Vuolteenaho, Tuomo, 2006. "Cross-sectional forecasts of the equity premium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 101-141, July.
  6. Schroder, Mark & Skiadas, Costis, 1999. "Optimal Consumption and Portfolio Selection with Stochastic Differential Utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 68-126, November.
  7. Whitney Newey & Richard Smith, 2003. "Higher order properties of GMM and generalised empirical likelihood estimators," CeMMAP working papers CWP04/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. John H. Cochrane, 2006. "The Dog That Did Not Bark: A Defense of Return Predictability," NBER Working Papers 12026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John Y. Campbell & Christopher Polk & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2010. "Growth or Glamour? Fundamentals and Systematic Risk in Stock Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 305-344, January.
  10. Clark, Todd E. & West, Kenneth D., 2007. "Approximately normal tests for equal predictive accuracy in nested models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 291-311, May.
  11. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-44, January.
  12. Amit Goval & Ivo Welch, 2004. "A Comprehensive Look at the Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," NBER Working Papers 10483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Campbell, John & Thompson, Samuel P., 2008. "Predicting Excess Stock Returns Out of Sample: Can Anything Beat the Historical Average?," Scholarly Articles 2622619, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Tom Engsted & Thomas Q. Pedersen & Carsten Tanggaard, 2010. "Pitfalls in VAR based return decompositions: A clarification," CREATES Research Papers 2010-09, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  15. Todd E. Clark & Kenneth D. West, 2004. "Using out-of-sample mean squared prediction errors to test the Martingale difference hypothesis," Research Working Paper RWP 04-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  16. Bryan Kelly & Seth Pruitt, 2013. "Market Expectations in the Cross-Section of Present Values," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(5), pages 1721-1756, October.
  17. Campbell, John Y & Giglio, Stefano W & Polk, Christopher & Turley, Robert, 2015. "An Intertemporal CAPM with Stochastic Volatility," CEPR Discussion Papers 10681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Ravi Bansal & Dana Kiku & Ivan Shaliastovich & Amir Yaron, 2012. "Volatility, the Macroeconomy and Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 18104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Campbell, John Y, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing without Consumption Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 487-512, June.
  20. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
  21. Long Chen & Xinlei Zhao, 2009. "Return Decomposition," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 5213-5249, December.
  22. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-86, April.
  23. 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.
  24. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, September.
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