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A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns

  • Campbell, John

This paper shows that unexpected stock returns must be associated with changes in expected future dividends or expected future returns. A vector autoregressive method is used to break unexpected stock returns into these two components. In U.S. monthly data in 1927-88, one-third of the variance of unexpected returns is attributed to the variance of changing expected dividends, one-third to the variance of changing expected returns, and one-third to the covariance of the two components. Changing expected returns have a large effect on stock prices because they are persistent: a 1 percent innovation in the expected return is associated with a 4 or 5 percent capital loss. Changes in expected returns are negatively correlated with changes in expected dividends, increasing the stock market reaction to dividend news. In the period 1952-88, changing expected returns account for larger fraction of stock return variation than they do in the period 1927-51. Copyright 1991 by Royal Economic Society.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3207695.

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Date of creation: 1991
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Publication status: Published in Economic Journal
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3207695
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  1. David H. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "What Moves Stock Prices?," Working papers 487, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Campbell, J.Y. & Kyle, A.S., 1988. "Smart Money, Noise Trading And Stock Price Behavior," Papers 95, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  3. Conrad, Jennifer & Kaul, Gautam, 1988. "Time-Variation in Expected Returns," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 409-25, October.
  4. Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1988. "Mean reversion in stock prices : Evidence and Implications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 27-59, October.
  5. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  6. Campbell, John Y. & Clarida, Richard H., 1987. "The dollar and real interest rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 103-139, January.
  7. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  8. Campbell, John Y., 1987. "Stock returns and the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 373-399, June.
  9. Campbell, John & Shiller, Robert, 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings, and Expected Dividends," Scholarly Articles 3224293, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Culter, D.M. & Poterba, J.M. & Summers, L.H., 1990. "Speculative Dynamics," Working papers 544, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Campbell, John, 1990. "Measuring the Persistence of Expected Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207696, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Robert B. Litterman & Laurence Weiss, 1983. "Money, Real Interest Rates, and Output: A Reinterpretation of Postwar U.S. Data," NBER Working Papers 1077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Lam, Pok-sang & Mark, Nelson C, 1990. "Mean Reversion in Equilibrium Asset Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 398-418, June.
  14. Donald B. Keim & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "Predicting Returns in the Stock and Bond Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  15. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "The Persistence of Volatility and Stock Market Fluctuations," Working papers 353, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  16. Myung Jig Kim & Charles R. Nelson & Richard Startz, 1991. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices? A Reappraisal of the Empirical Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 515-528.
  17. Kenneth A. Froot & Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Intrinsic Bubbles: The Case of Stock Prices," NBER Working Papers 3091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Andrew W. Lo, A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "Stock Market Prices do not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 41-66.
  19. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  20. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
  21. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  22. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell, 1986. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 812, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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