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Predictability of Asset Returns and the Efficient Market Hypothesis

  • Pesaran, M. Hashem

    ()

    (University of Cambridge)

This paper is concerned with empirical and theoretical basis of the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). The paper begins with an overview of the statistical properties of asset returns at different frequencies (daily, weekly and monthly), and considers the evidence on return predictability, risk aversion and market efficiency. The paper then focuses on the theoretical foundation of the EMH, and show that market efficiency could co-exit with heterogeneous beliefs and individual irrationality so long as individual errors are cross sectionally weakly dependent in the sense defined by Chudik, Pesaran, and Tosetti (2010). But at times of market euphoria or gloom these individual errors are likely to become cross sectionally strongly dependent and the collective outcome could display significant departures from market efficiency. Market efficiency could be the norm, but it is likely to be punctuated with episodes of bubbles and crashes. The paper also considers if market inefficiencies (assuming that they exist) can be exploited for profit.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5037.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Aman Ullah and David E. Giles (eds.), Handbook of Empirical Economics and Finance, Taylor & Francis. 2010
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5037
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  1. Chudik, A. & Pesaran, M.H. & Tosetti, E., 2009. "Weak and Strong Cross Section Dependence and Estimation of Large Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0924, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Pesaran, M.H., 2010. "Conditional Volatility and Correlations of Weekly Returns and the VaR Analysis of 2008 Stock Market," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1025, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. John Y. Campbell, 1985. "Stock Returns and the Term Structure," NBER Working Papers 1626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Burton G. Malkiel, 2003. "The Efficient Market Hypothesis and Its Critics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 59-82, Winter.
  5. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Weale, Martin, 2006. "Survey Expectations," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  6. Pesaran, Bahram & Pesaran, M. Hashem, 2010. "Conditional volatility and correlations of weekly returns and the VaR analysis of 2008 stock market crash," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1398-1416, November.
  7. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  8. Pesaran, M. H. & Timmermann, A., 1996. "A Recursive Modelling Approach to Predicting UK Stock Returns'," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9625, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. George-Marios Angeletos & Guido Lorenzoni & Alessandro Pavan, 2010. "Beauty Contests and "Irrational Exuberance": A Neoclassical Approach," Discussion Papers 1502, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  11. Black, Angela & Fraser, Patricia, 1995. "U.K. Stock Returns: Predictability and Business Conditions," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 63(0), pages 85-102, Suppl..
  12. Granger, Clive W. J., 1992. "Forecasting stock market prices: Lessons for forecasters," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-13, June.
  13. Andrew W. Lo & A. Craig MacKinlay, 1987. "Stock Market Prices Do Not Follow Random Walks: Evidence From a Simple Specification Test," NBER Working Papers 2168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Clare, A D & Thomas, S H & Wickens, M R, 1994. "Is the Gilt-Equity Yield Ratio Useful for Predicting UK Stock Returns?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 303-15, March.
  15. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  16. Clare, Andrew D & Psaradakis, Zacharias & Thomas, Stephen H, 1995. "An Analysis of Seasonality in the U.K. Equity Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 398-409, March.
  17. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan G, 2004. "Real Time Econometrics," CEPR Discussion Papers 4402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Jarque, Carlos M. & Bera, Anil K., 1980. "Efficient tests for normality, homoscedasticity and serial independence of regression residuals," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 255-259.
  19. Breen, William & Glosten, Lawrence R & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1989. " Economic Significance of Predictable Variations in Stock Index Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1177-89, December.
  20. Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F & McDonald, Bill, 1990. " Predicting Stock Returns in an Efficient Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1109-28, September.
  21. 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.
  22. Ferson, Wayne E & Harvey, Campbell R, 1993. "The Risk and Predictability of International Equity Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(3), pages 527-66.
  23. Jose A. Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2003. "Overconfidence and Speculative Bubbles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1183-1219, December.
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