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Equity Returns and Inflation: The Puzzlingly Long Lags

  • James R. Lothian

    (Fordham University)

  • Cornelia H. McCarthy

    (Fordham University)

This paper examines data for stock prices and price levels of 14 developed countries during the post-WWII era and compares their behavior in that sample with behavior over the past two centuries in the UK and the US. Contrary to much of the literature of the past several decades, we find that nominal equity prices do, in fact, keep pace with movements in the overall price level. Our results suggest, however, that this is only the case over long periods. The puzzle therefore is not that equities fail the test as inflation hedges, as had been quite widely believed, but that they take so long to pass.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/if/papers/0311/0311007.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Finance with number 0311007.

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Date of creation: 12 Nov 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0311007
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  1. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  2. Geske, Robert & Roll, Richard, 1983. " The Fiscal and Monetary Linkage between Stock Returns and Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 1-33, March.
  3. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1992. "Is the Fisher effect for real? : A reexamination of the relationship between inflation and interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 195-215, November.
  4. Lothian, James R. & Taylor, Mark P., 1997. "Real exchange rate behavior," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 945-954, December.
  5. Crowder, William J & Hoffman, Dennis L, 1996. "The Long-Run Relationship between Nominal Interest Rates and Inflation: The Fisher Equation Revisited," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 102-18, February.
  6. Gultekin, N Bulent, 1983. " Stock Market Returns and Inflation: Evidence from Other Countries," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 49-65, March.
  7. Friedman, Milton, 1977. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 451-72, June.
  8. Taylor, Mark P. & Sarno, Lucio, 1998. "The behavior of real exchange rates during the post-Bretton Woods period," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-312, December.
  9. O'Connell, Paul G. J., 1998. "The overvaluation of purchasing power parity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-19, February.
  10. Pierre Perron & Robert J. Shiller, 1984. "Testing the Random Walk Hypothesis: Power Versus Frequency of Observation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 732, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Hakkio, Craig S. & Rush, Mark, 1991. "Cointegration: how short is the long run?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 571-581, December.
  12. Fama, Eugene F, 1981. "Stock Returns, Real Activity, Inflation, and Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 545-65, September.
  13. James Lothian & Yusif Simaan, 1998. "International Financial Relations Under the Current Float: Evidence from Panel Data," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 293-313, October.
  14. Barnes, Michelle & Boyd, John H. & Smith, Bruce D., 1999. "Inflation and asset returns," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 737-754, April.
  15. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Inflation and the Stock Market," NBER Chapters, in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 186-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
  18. Boudoukh, Jacob & Richardson, Matthew, 1993. "Stock Returns and Inflation: A Long-Horizon Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1346-55, December.
  19. Choudhry, Taufiq, 2001. "Inflation and rates of return on stocks: evidence from high inflation countries," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 75-96, March.
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