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An Emerging Market: The NYSE From 1815 to 1871


  • William N. Goetzmann

    () (Yale University, School of Management)

  • Roger G. Ibbotson

    () (School of Management)


This paper analyzes a new database of substantially all stocks listed on the NYSE over its early history. We collect prices and dividends from primary sources -- i.e. financial periodicals -- for all listed stocks on the New York Stock Exchange over its early history. We construct a monthly index of NYSE equity prices over the 1815-1871 period, and a monthly index with dividends over the 1825-1871 period. We find that NYSE equities returned between 7.7% and 11.8% per year in arithmetic terms between the years 1825 and 1871. We also find that income returns represented a high proportion of total return for stocks in the nineteenth century. This may be due to differences in taxation, or may be due to the changing public attitude towards substitution of capital gains for income.

Suggested Citation

  • William N. Goetzmann & Roger G. Ibbotson, 1998. "An Emerging Market: The NYSE From 1815 to 1871," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm49, Yale School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm49

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bryan Routledge & Stanley Zin, 2009. "Model Uncertainty and Liquidity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 543-566, October.
    2. M. Mufakharul Islam, 1986. "Discussion," The Indian Economic & Social History Review, , vol. 23(2), pages 217-226, June.
    3. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
    4. Colin F. Camerer & Howard Kunreuther, 1989. "Decision processes for low probability events: Policy implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 565-592.
    5. Robert Lensink & Paul Steen & Elmer Sterken, 2005. "Uncertainty and Growth of the Firm," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 381-391, May.
    6. Johan Walden, 2004. "Real Investments under Knightian Uncertainty," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2496, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Apr 2004.
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    Cited by:

    1. Llubos Pástor, 2001. "The Equity Premium and Structural Breaks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1207-1239, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913


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