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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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8077.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8077.

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Date of creation: Jan 2001
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Publication status: published as Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2000. "Is the stock market overvalued?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 20-40.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8077
Note: AP EFG
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  1. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  2. John H. Cochrane, 1988. "Production Based Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 2776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 209-37, March.
  7. Kurz, M. & Beltratti, A., 1996. "The Equity Premium Is No Puzzle," Papers 282, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  8. 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, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 269-296, February.
  9. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  10. 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.
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