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Cross-Section of a ‘Bubble’: Stock Prices and Dividends during the British Railway Mania

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  • Campbell, Gareth

Abstract

Historical ‘bubbles’ are often attributed to mispricing, but the empirical analysis of such episodes has been limited. This paper examines a notable but academically neglected period, known as the British Railway Mania, using a new dataset and a cross-sectional methodology which is unique to the study of historical asset price reversals. The main finding is that the cross-sectional variation in stock prices, in every week of the sample, is explained by the cross-sectional variation in dividends, growth and risk, with no significant differences between the railways and non-railways. This implies that an economic bubble was not responsible for the rise and fall in the prices of railway assets at this time.

Suggested Citation

  • Campbell, Gareth, 2010. "Cross-Section of a ‘Bubble’: Stock Prices and Dividends during the British Railway Mania," MPRA Paper 21821, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21821
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2008. "Econometric Tests Of Asset Price Bubbles: Taking Stock ," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 166-186, February.
    2. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Christian Julliard, 2008. "Money Illusion and Housing Frenzies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 135-180, January.
    3. Joakim Westerlund, 2007. "Testing for Error Correction in Panel Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(6), pages 709-748, December.
    4. Diba, Behzad T & Grossman, Herschel I, 1988. "Explosive Rational Bubbles in Stock Prices?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 520-530, June.
    5. Peter M. DeMarzo & Ron Kaniel & Ilan Kremer, 2008. "Relative Wealth Concerns and Financial Bubbles," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 19-50, January.
    6. 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 421-436, June.
    7. Kenneth D. West, 1987. "A Specification Test for Speculative Bubbles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(3), pages 553-580.
    8. Luboš Pástor & Pietro Veronesi, 2009. "Technological Revolutions and Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1451-1483, September.
    9. Bordo, Michael D & Jeanne, Olivier, 2002. "Monetary Policy and Asset Prices: Does 'Benign Neglect' Make Sense?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 139-164, Summer.
    10. Froot, Kenneth A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Intrinsic Bubbles: The Case of Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1189-1214, December.
    11. Flood, Robert P & Hodrick, Robert J, 1990. "On Testing for Speculative Bubbles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 85-101, Spring.
    12. repec:fip:fedgsq:y:2010:x:4 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Campbell, Gareth, 2010. "Leveraging the British Railway Mania: Derivatives for the Individual Investor," MPRA Paper 21822, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bubbles; financial crises; Railway Mania;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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