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What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns

  • John Y. Campbell
  • John Ammer

This paper uses a log-linear asset pricing framework and a vector autoregressive model to break down movements in stock and bond returns into changes in expectations of future stock dividends, inflation, short-term real interest rates, and excess returns on stocks and bonds. In monthly postwar U.S. data, excess stock returns are found to be driven largely by news about future excess stock returns, while excess 10-year bond returns are driven largely by news about future inflation. Real interest rate changes have little impact on either stock or 10-year bond returns, although they do affect the short-term nominal interest rate and the slope of the term structure. These findings help to explain why postwar excess stock and bond returns have been almost uncorrelated.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3760.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3760.

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Date of creation: Jun 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Finance, vol 48, March 1993, p.3-37
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3760
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. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1988. "What Does the Term Structure Tell Us About Future Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 2626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Matthew Richardson & James H. Stock, 1990. "Drawing Inferences From Statistics Based on Multi-Year Asset Returns," NBER Working Papers 3335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Conrad, Jennifer & Kaul, Gautam, 1988. "Time-Variation in Expected Returns," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 409-25, October.
  8. Nelson, C.R. & Kim, M.J., 1990. "Predictable Stock Returns: Reality Or Statistical Illusion?," Working Papers 90-15, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  9. Campbell, John & Shiller, Robert, 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings, and Expected Dividends," Scholarly Articles 3224293, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Campbell, John, 1990. "Measuring the Persistence of Expected Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207696, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1990. "Business Cycle Properties of Selected U.S. Economic Time Series, 1959-1988," NBER Working Papers 3376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-79, March.
  14. John Y. Campbell, 1985. "Stock Returns and the Term Structure," NBER Working Papers 1626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1984. "A Simple Account of the Behavior of Long-Term Interest Rates," Scholarly Articles 3208216, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell, 1986. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 812, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  17. Fama, Eugene F & Bliss, Robert R, 1987. "The Information in Long-Maturity Forward Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 680-92, September.
  18. Campbell, John & Shiller, Robert, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Scholarly Articles 3122490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Robert B. Litterman & Laurence M. Weiss, 1984. "Money, real interest rates, and output: a reinterpretation of postwar U.S. data," Staff Report 89, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Shiller, Robert J. & Beltratti, Andrea E., 1992. "Stock prices and bond yields : Can their comovements be explained in terms of present value models?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 25-46, October.
  21. Gibbons, Michael R., 1989. "On the volatility of bond prices," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 139-175, January.
  22. Robert B. Barsky, 1986. "Why Don't the Prices of Stocks and Bonds Move Together?," NBER Working Papers 2047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 173-224.
  24. Fama, Eugene F., 1990. "Term-structure forecasts of interest rates, inflation and real returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 59-76, January.
  25. Cutler, David M & Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. "Speculative Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 529-46, May.
  26. Arturo Estrella & Gikas A. Hardouvelis, 1989. "The term structure as a predictor of real economic activity," Research Paper 8907, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  27. Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. "Dividend Yields and Expected Stock Returns: Alternative Procedures for Inference and Measurement," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 357-86.
  28. Bruce N. Lehmann, 1991. "Earnings, Dividend Policy, and Present Value Relations: Building Blocks of Dividend Policy Invariant Cash Flows," NBER Working Papers 3676, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  30. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "What Moves Stock Prices?," NBER Working Papers 2538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Scholarly Articles 3221490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  32. Shiller, Robert J. & Huston McCulloch, J., 1990. "The term structure of interest rates," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 627-722 Elsevier.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
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