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Is the Stock Market Overvalued?


  • Ellen R. McGrattan
  • Edward C. Prescott


The value of U.S. corporate equities in the first half of 2000 was close to 1.8 times U.S. gross national income. Some stock market analysts have argued that the market is overvalued at this level. We use standard economic theory and find that the market is correctly valued. In theory, the market value of equity plus debt liabilities should equal the value of productive assets plus debt assets. Since the net value of debt is currently low, the market value of equity should be approximately equal to the market value of productive assets. We find that the market value of productive assets is roughly 1.8 GNPs and is therefore in line with the market value of equity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Is the Stock Market Overvalued?," NBER Working Papers 8077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8077
    Note: AP EFG

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. George M. Constantinides & John B. Donaldson & Rajnish Mehra, 2002. "Junior Can't Borrow: A New Perspective on the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 269-296.
    3. Mordecai Kurz & Andrea Beltratti, "undated". "The Equity Premium is No Puzzle," Working Papers 96004, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    4. John H. Cochrane, 1988. "Production Based Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 2776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:cdl:ucsbec:21-98 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
    7. Stephen R. Bond & Jason G. Cummins, 2000. "The Stock Market and Investment in the New Economy: Some Tangible Facts and Intangible Fictions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 61-124.
    8. Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2000. "Towards an Explanation of Household Portfolio Choice Heterogeneity: Nonfinancial Income and Participation Cost Structures," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1102, Econometric Society.
    9. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-275, May.
    10. Cochrane, John H, 1991. " Production-Based Asset Pricing and the Link between Stock Returns and Economic Fluctuations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 209-237, March.
    11. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
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    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical


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