The Equity Premium: Explained by GDP Growth and Consistent with Portfolio Insurance
We find that the long-run equity premium is fully explained by GDP growth and that it is consistent with a short-term portfolio insurance motive. We first derive the macroeconomic equivalent of the standard sustainable growth formula to determine the long-run average return on stocks. The average stock market return depends on the GDP/capita growth rate and the retention rate net of share repurchases. Next, we determine the economy’s return on corporate assets and show that the return on corporate debt is related to overall GDP growth. After calibrating key macro economic/finance parameters, we obtain values for expected equity and corporate debt returns that respectively match the S&P 500 and 3- month T-bill historical arithmetic average returns. Our first conclusion is that in the long-run, the equity premium is generated by economic growth. Our second key result is that the equity premium is also closely approximated by the premium paid on a put option to maintain the value of $1 invested in the market when long-term investors wish to insure against downside risk on a year-to-year basis. These results have implications regarding how risk-free debt is priced and about the economy’s capital structure.
|Date of creation:||05 Nov 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||Type of Document - pdf; prepared on Win2000; to print on HP LaserJet 4 plus; pages: 21; figures: None. Pdf document|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hayne E. Leland., 1979.
"Who Should Buy Portfolio Insurance?,"
Research Program in Finance Working Papers
95, University of California at Berkeley.
- R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010.
"The equity premium: a puzzle,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1401, David K. Levine.
- Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2002.
"The Equity Premium,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 637-659, 04.
- Merton, Robert C & Scholes, Myron S & Gladstein, Mathew L, 1982. "The Returns and Risks of Alternative Put-Option Portfolio Investment Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-55, January.
- Rajnish Mehra, 2003. "The Equity Premium: Why is it a Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 9512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001.
"Taxes, regulations, and asset prices,"
610, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, .
"Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics or Lower Propensity to Pay?.","
CRSP working papers
509, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
- Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2001. "Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics Or Lower Propensity To Pay?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(1), pages 67-79.
- Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 2001. "Disappearing dividends: changing firm characteristics or lower propensity to pay?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 3-43, April.
- Scholes, Myron, 1976. "Taxes and the Pricing of Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 319-32, May.
- Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001.
"Is the Stock Market Overvalued?,"
NBER Working Papers
8077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rubinstein, Mark, 1984. " A Simple Formula for the Expected Rate of Return of an Option over a Finite Holding Period," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(5), pages 1503-09, December.
- Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
- Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1989. "Portfolio Insurance and Financial Market Equilibrium," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(4), pages 455-72, October.
- Kurz, M. & Beltratti, A., 1996. "The Equity Premium Is No Puzzle," Papers 282, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Arturo Estrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1983. "Average Marginal Tax Rates U.S. Household Interest and Dividend Income 1954-80," NBER Working Papers 1201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roger G. Ibbotson & Peng Chen, 2003. "Long-Run Stock Returns: Participating in the Real Economy," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm354, Yale School of Management.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0311004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.