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Keywords:Asset pricing 

Working Paper
Idiosyncratic volatility, stock market volatility, and expected stock returns
We find that the value-weighted idiosyncratic stock volatility and aggregate stock market volatility jointly exhibit strong predictive power for excess stock market returns. The stock market risk-return relation is found to be positive, as stipulated by the CAPM; however, idiosyncratic volatility is negatively related to future stock market returns. Also, idiosyncratic volatility appears to be a pervasive macrovariable, and its forecasting abilities are very similar to those of the consumption-wealth ratio proposed by Lettau and Ludvigson (2001).
AUTHORS: Guo, Hui; Savickas, Robert
DATE: 2005

Working Paper
On the real-time forecasting ability of the consumption-wealth ratio
Lettau and Ludvigson (2001a) show that the consumption-wealth ratio-the error term from the cointegration relation among consumption, net worth, and labor income-forecasts stock market returns out of sample. In this paper, we reexamine their evidence using real-time data. Consistent with the early authors, we find that consumption and labor income data are subject to substantial revisions, which reflect (1) incorporating new information or methodologies and (2) reducing noise. Consequently, in contrast with the results obtained from the current vintage, the out-of-sample forecasting power of the consumption-wealth ratio is found to be negligible in real time. (Earlier version titled: Does the consumption-wealth ratio forecast stock market returns in real time?
DATE: 2003

Working Paper
Are the dynamic linkages between the macroeconomy and asset prices time-varying?
We estimate a number of multivariate regime switching VAR models on a long monthly data set for eight variables that include excess stock and bond returns, the real T-bill yield, predictors used in the finance literature (default spread and the dividend yield), and three macroeconomic variables (inflation, real industrial production growth, and a measure of real money growth). Heteroskedasticity may be accounted for by making the covariance matrix a function of the regime. We find evidence of four regimes and of time-varying covariances. We provide evidence that the best in-sample fit is provided by a four state model in which the VAR(1) component fails to be regime-dependent. We interpret this as evidence that the dynamic linkages between financial markets and the macroeconomy have been stable over time. We show that the four-state model can be helpful in forecasting applications and to provide one-step ahead predicted Sharpe ratios.
AUTHORS: Guidolin, Massimo; Ono, Sadayuki
DATE: 2005

Working Paper
What happened to the US stock market? Accounting for the last 50 years
The extreme volatility of stock market values has been the subject of a large body of literature. Previous research focused on the short run because of a widespread belief that, in the long run, the market reverts to well understood fundamentals. Our work suggests this belief should be questioned as well. First, we show actual dividends cannot account for the secular trends of stock market values. We then consider a more comprehensive measure of capital income. This measure displays large secular fluctuations that roughly coincide with changes in stock market trends. Under perfect foresight, however, this measure fails to account for stock market movements as well. We thus abandon the perfect foresight assumption. Assuming instead that forecasts of future capital income are performed using a distributed lag equation and information available up to the forecasting period only, we find that standard asset pricing theory can be reconciled with the secular trends in the stock market. Nevertheless, our study leaves open an important puzzle for asset pricing theory: the market value of U.S. corporations was much lower than the replacement cost of corporate tangible assets from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s.
AUTHORS: Boldrin, Michele; Peralta-Alva, Adrian
DATE: 2009

Working Paper
Regime shifts in mean-variance efficient frontiers: some international evidence
Regime switching models have been assuming an increasingly central role in financial applications because of their well-known ability to capture the presence of rich non-linear patterns in the joint distribution of asset returns. After reviewing key concepts and technical issues related to specifying, estimating, and using multivariate Markov switching models in financial applications, in this paper we examine how the presence of regimes in means, variances, and covariances of asset returns translates into explicit dynamics of the Markowitz mean-variance frontier. In particular, we show both theoretically and through an application to international equity portfolio diversification that substantial differences exist between bull and bear regime-specific frontiers, both in statistical and in economic terms. Using Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) investable indices for five countries/macro-regions, we characterize mean-variance frontiers and optimal portfolio strategies in bull periods, in bear periods, and in periods where high uncertainty exists on the nature of the current regime.
AUTHORS: Guidolin, Massimo; Ria, Federica
DATE: 2010

Working Paper
Asset prices, exchange rates and the current account
This paper analyses the role of asset prices in comparison to other factors, in particular exchange rates, as a driver of the US trade balance. It employs a Bayesian structural VAR model that requires imposing only a minimum of economically meaningful sign restrictions. We find that equity market shocks and housing price shocks have been major determinants of the US current account in the past, accounting for up to 32% of the movements of the US trade balance at a horizon of 20 quarters. By contrast, shocks to the real exchange rate have been much less relevant, explaining less than 7% and exerting a more temporary effect on the US trade balance. Our findings suggest that sizeable exchange rate movements may not necessarily be a key element of an adjustment of today's large current account imbalances, and that in particular relative global asset price changes could be a more potent source of adjustment.
AUTHORS: Fratzscher, Marcel; Juvenal, Luciana; Sarno, Lucio
DATE: 2008

Working Paper
Why Are Exchange Rates So Smooth? A Household Finance Explanation
Empirical moments of asset prices and exchange rates imply that pricing kernels are almost perfectly correlated across countries. Otherwise, observed real exchange rates would be too smooth for high Sharpe ratios. However, the cross country correlation among macro fundamentals is weak. We reconcile these facts in a two-country stochastic growth model with heterogeneous households and a home bias in consumption. In our model, only a small fraction of households trade domestic and foreign equities. We show that this mechanism can quantitatively account for the smoothness of exchange rates in the presence of volatile pricing kernels and weakly correlated macro fundamentals.
AUTHORS: Chien, YiLi; Lustig, Hanno; Naknoi, Kanda
DATE: 2015-11-27

Working Paper
Limited stock market participation and asset prices in a dynamic economy
We present a consumption-based model that explains the equity premium puzzle through two channels. First, because of borrowing constraints, the shareholder cannot completely diversify his income risk and requires a sizable risk premium on stocks. Second, because of limited stock market participation, the precautionary saving demand lowers the risk-free rate but not stock return and generates a substantial liquidity premium. Our model also replicates many other salient features of the data, including the first two moments of the risk-free rate, excess stock volatility, stock return predictability, and the unstable relation between stock volatility and the dividend yield.
DATE: 2003

Working Paper
Leveraged borrowing and boom-bust cycles
Investment booms and asset "bubbles" are often the consequence of heavily leveraged borrowing and speculations of persistent growth in asset demand. We show theoretically that dynamic interactions between leveraged borrowing and persistent asset demand can generate a multiplier-accelerator mechanism that transforms a one-time technological innovation into large and long-lasting boom-bust cycles. The predictions are consistent with the basic features of investment booms and the consequent asset-market crashes led by excessive credit expansion.
AUTHORS: Pintus, Patrick A.; Wen, Yi
DATE: 2010

Working Paper
1/N and long run optimal portfolios: results for mixed asset menus
Recent research [e.g., DeMiguel, Garlappi and Uppal, (2009), Rev. Fin. Studies] has cast doubts on the out-of-sample performance of optimizing portfolio strategies relative to naive, equally weighted ones. However, existing results concern the simple case in which an investor has a one-month horizon and meanvariance preferences. In this paper, we examine whether their result holds for longer investment horizons, when the asset menu includes bonds and real estate beyond stocks and cash, and when the investor is characterized by constant relative risk aversion preferences which are not locally mean-variance for long horizons. Our experiments indicates that power utility investors with horizons of one year and longer would have on average benefited, ex-post, from an optimizing strategy that exploits simple linear predictability in asset returns over the period January 1995 - December 2007. This result is insensitive to the degree of risk aversion, to the number of predictors being included in the forecasting model, and to the deduction of transaction costs from measured portfolio performance.
AUTHORS: Fugazza, Carolina; Guidolin, Massimo; Nicodano, Giovanna
DATE: 2010



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