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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. 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.
  2. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Scholarly Articles 3221490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," NBER Working Papers 1885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1988. " Stock Prices, Earnings, and Expected Dividends," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 661-76, July.
  5. 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.
  6. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "Speculative Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 3242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1984. "A Simple Account of the Behavior of Long-Term Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 44-48, May.
  9. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
  10. 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.
  11. Campbell, John, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207695, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 667, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Mishkin, F.S., 1988. "What Does The Term Structure Tell Us About Future Inflation?," Papers fb-_88-29, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  17. Litterman, Robert B & Weiss, Laurence M, 1985. "Money, Real Interest Rates, and Output: A Reinterpretation of Postwar U.S. Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 129-56, January.
  18. 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.
  19. John Y. Campbell, 1985. "Stock Returns and the Term Structure," NBER Working Papers 1626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Robert J. Shiller & Andrea E. Beltratti, 1990. "Stock Prices and Bond Yields: Can Their Co-Movements Be Explained in Terms of Present Value Models?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 953, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  21. 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.
  22. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," NBER Working Papers 2100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  24. Charles R. Nelson & Myung J. Kim, 1990. "Predictable Stock Returns: Reality or Statistical Illusion?," NBER Working Papers 3297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
  26. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "What Moves Stock Prices?," NBER Working Papers 2538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Campbell, John Y, 1990. "Measuring the Persistence of Expected Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 43-47, May.
  28. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
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