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Hard Times

  • John Y. Campbell
  • Stefano Giglio
  • Christopher Polk

This paper shows that the stock market downturns of 2000-2002 and 2007-09 have very different proximate causes. The early 2000's saw a large increase in the discount rates applied to corporate profits by rational investors, while the late 2000's saw a decrease in rational expectations of future profits. In each case the downturn reversed the trends of the previous boom. We reach these conclusions using a vector autoregressive model of aggregate stock returns and valuations, estimated imposing the cross-sectional restrictions of the intertemporal capital asset pricing model (ICAPM). As stock returns are very noisy, exploiting an economic model such as the ICAPM to extract information about future corporate profits from realized returns can potentially be very useful. We confirm that the ICAPM restrictions improve the out-of-sample forecasting performance of VAR models for stock returns, and that our conclusions are consistent with a simple graphical data analysis. Our findings imply that the 2007-09 downturn was particularly serious for rational long-term investors, who did not expect a strong recovery of stock prices as they did earlier in the decade.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16222.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16222.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Publication status: published as “Hard Times”, with Stefano Giglio and Christopher Polk, Review of Asset Pricing Studies 3:95-132, June 2013.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16222
Note: AP
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. John Y. Campbell, 1993. "Understanding Risk and Return," NBER Working Papers 4554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Whitney K. Newey & Richard J. Smith, 2004. "Higher Order Properties of Gmm and Generalized Empirical Likelihood Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 219-255, 01.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Long Chen & Xinlei Zhao, 2009. "Return Decomposition," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 5213-5249, December.
  6. Todd E. Clark & Kenneth D. West, 2005. "Approximately normal tests for equal predictive accuracy in nested models," Research Working Paper RWP 05-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  7. John Y. Campbell & Samuel B. Thompson, 2008. "Predicting Excess Stock Returns Out of Sample: Can Anything Beat the Historical Average?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1509-1531, July.
  8. John Y. Campbell, 1990. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 3246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Engsted, Tom & Pedersen, Thomas Q. & Tanggaard, Carsten, 2012. "Pitfalls in VAR based return decompositions: A clarification," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1255-1265.
  14. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 1995. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 253-63, July.
  15. John Campbell & Christopher Polk & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2005. "Growth or glamour? fundamentals and systemic risk in stock returns," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Ivo Welch & Amit Goyal, 2008. "A Comprehensive Look at The Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1455-1508, July.
  17. 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.
  18. Campbell, John, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Without Consumption Data," Scholarly Articles 3221491, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "Presidential Address: Discount Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(4), pages 1047-1108, 08.
  20. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2011. "Shocks and Crashes," NBER Working Papers 16996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. John Y. Campbell & Stefano Giglio & Christopher Polk & Robert Turley, 2012. "An Intertemporal CAPM with Stochastic Volatility," NBER Working Papers 18411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, May.
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