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Mean Reversion in Equilibrium Asset Prices

  • Stephen G. Cecchetti
  • Pok-sang Lam
  • Nelson C. Mark

Recent empirical studies have found that stock returns contain substantial negative serial correlation at long horizons. We examine this finding with a series of Monte Carlo simulations in order to demonstrate that it is consistent with an equilibrium model of asset pricing. When investors display only a moderate degree of risk aversion, commonly used measures of mean reversion in stock prices calculated from actual returns data nearly always lie within a 60 percent confidence interval of the median of the Monte Carlo distributions. From this evidence, we conclude that the degree of serial correlation in the data could plausibly have been generated by our model.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2762.

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Date of creation: Nov 1988
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as American Economic Review, Vol. 80, No. 3, pp. 398-418, (June 1990).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2762
Note: ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Grossman, Sanford J & Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "The Determinants of the Variability of Stock Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 222-27, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Kenneth D. West, 1986. "Dividend Innovations and Stock Price Volatility," NBER Working Papers 1833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 421-36, June.
  5. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1062-88, October.
  6. 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.
  7. Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. " Does the Stock Market Rationally Reflect Fundamental Values?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 591-601, July.
  8. LeRoy, Stephen F, 1973. "Risk Aversion and the Martingale Property of Stock Prices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(2), pages 436-46, June.
  9. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  11. Michener, Ronald W, 1982. "Variance Bounds in a Simple Model of Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 166-75, February.
  12. Neftci, Salih N, 1984. "Are Economic Time Series Asymmetric over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 307-28, April.
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