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One Simple Test of Samuelson's Dictum for the Stock Market


  • Jeeman Jung
  • Robert Shiller


Samuelson (1998) offered the dictum that the stock market is "micro efficient" but "macro inefficient." That is, the efficient markets hypothesis works much better for individual stocks than it does for the aggregate stock market. In this paper, we present one simple test, based both on regressions and on a simple scatter diagram that vividly illustrates that there is some truth to Samuelson's dictum. The data comprise all U.S. firms on the CRSP tape that have survived since 1926.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeeman Jung & Robert Shiller, 2002. "One Simple Test of Samuelson's Dictum for the Stock Market," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm315, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Nov 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm315

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-853, October.
    2. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-179, March.
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    4. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1988. " Stock Prices, Earnings, and Expected Dividends," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 661-676, July.
    5. Campbell, John Y. & Yogo, Motohiro, 2006. "Efficient tests of stock return predictability," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 27-60, July.
    6. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
    7. 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.
    8. Elliott, Graham & Stock, James H., 1994. "Inference in Time Series Regression When the Order of Integration of a Regressor is Unknown," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(3-4), pages 672-700, August.
    9. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Beyond shocks: what causes business cycles?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun).
    10. Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1988. "Mean reversion in stock prices : Evidence and Implications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 27-59, October.
    11. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-574, May.
    12. Randolph B. Cohen & Christopher Polk & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2003. "The Value Spread," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 609-642, April.
    13. Paul A. Samuelson, 1998. "Summing up on business cycles: opening address," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun), pages 33-36.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "From Efficient Markets Theory to Behavioral Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 83-104, Winter.
    2. Nick Bloom, 2006. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks: Firm Level Estimation and a 9/11 Simulation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0718, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item


    Market Efficiency; Random Walk; Dividend Yield; Dividend Price Ratio; Present Value; Excess Volatility; Gordon Model;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading


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