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Interpreting Cointegrated Models

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  • John Y. Campbell
  • Robert J. Shiller

Abstract

Error-correction models for cointegrated economic variables are commonly interpreted as reflecting partial adjustment of one variable to another. We show that error-correction models may also arise because one variable forecasts another. Reduced-form estimates of error-correction models cannot be used to distinguish these interpretations. In an application, we show that the estimated coefficients in the Marsh-Merton [I9871 error-correction model of dividend behavior in the stock market are roughly implied by a near-rational expectations model wherein dividends are persistent and prices are disturbed by some persistent random noise. Their results thus do not demonstrate partial adjustment or "smoothing" by managers, but may reflect little more than the persistence of dividends and the noisiness of prices.

Suggested Citation

  • John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "Interpreting Cointegrated Models," NBER Working Papers 2568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2568
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-987, December.
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    3. Granger, C. W. J., 1981. "Some properties of time series data and their use in econometric model specification," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 121-130, May.
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    8. Black, Fischer, 1986. " Noise," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 529-543, July.
    9. Davidson, James E H, et al, 1978. "Econometric Modelling of the Aggregate Time-Series Relationship between Consumers' Expenditure and Income in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(352), pages 661-692, December.
    10. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
    11. Kleidon, Allan W, 1986. "Variance Bounds Tests and Stock Price Valuation Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 953-1001, October.
    12. Nickell, Stephen, 1985. "Error Correction, Partial Adjustment and All That: An Expository Note," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 47(2), pages 119-129, May.
    13. 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.
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