Predictable Stock Returns: Reality or Statistical Illusion?
Recent research suggests that stock returns are predictable from fundamentals such as dividend yield, and that the degree of predictability rises with the length of the horizon over which return is measured. This paper investigates the magnitude of two sources of small simple bias in these results. First, it is a standard result in econometrics that regression on the lagged value of the dependent variable is biased in finite samples. Since a fundamental such as the price/dividend ratio is a statistical proxy for lagged price, predictive regressions are potentially subject to a corresponding small sample bias. This may create the illusion that one can buy low and sell high in the sample even if the relationship is useless for forecasting. Second, multiperiod returns are positively autocorrelated by construction, raising the possibility of spurious regression. Standard errors which are computed from the asymptotic formula may not be large enough in small samples. A set of Monte Carlo experiments are presented in which data are generated by a version of the present value model in which the discount rate is constant so returns are not in fact predictable. We show that a number of the characteristica of the historical results can be replicated simply by the combined effects of the two small sample biases.
|Date of creation:||Mar 1990|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published as "Predictable Stock Returns: The Role of Small Sample Bias", JF, Vol. 48, no. 2 (1993): 641-661.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985.
"Time Series Regression with a Unit Root,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
740R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1986.
- Keim, Donald B. & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1986.
"Predicting returns in the stock and bond markets,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 357-390, December.
- 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.
- Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986.
"A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
- Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
- Robert J. Shiller, 1980.
"Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?,"
NBER Working Papers
0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Campbell, J.Y. & Shiller, R.J., 1988.
"Stock Prices, Earnings And Expected Dividends,"
334, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
- Campbell, John & Shiller, Robert, 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings, and Expected Dividends," Scholarly Articles 3224293, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings and Expected Dividends," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 858, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings and Expected Dividends," NBER Working Papers 2511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Culter, D.M. & Poterba, J.M. & Summers, L.H., 1990.
544, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Myung Jig Kim & Charles R. Nelson & Richard Startz, 1988. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices? A Reappraisal of the Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
- 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.
- James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 2343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
- Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Mark, 1988.
"Mean Reversion in Equilibrium Asset Prices,"
NBER Working Papers
2762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Evans, G B A & Savin, N E, 1984. "Testing for Unit Roots: 2," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1241-69, September.
- Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-53, October.
- Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3297. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.