The dynamics of U.S. equity risk premia: lessons from professionals'view

University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX, EconomiX Working Papers 01/2009;
Source: RePEc


Semi-annual surveys carried out by J. Livingston on a panel of experts have enabled us to compute the expected returns over the time span 1-semester and 2-semesters ahead on a portfolio made up of US industrial stocks. We calculated about 3000 individual ex-ante equity risk premia over the period 1952 to 1993 (82 semesters) defined as the difference between these expected stock returns and the risk-free forward rate given by zero coupon bonds. Unlike any other study, our contribution is to analyse premia deduced from surveys data, at the micro level, per date and over a long period. Three main conclusions may be drawn from our analysis of these ex-ante premia. First, the mean values of these premia are closer to the predictions derived from the consumption-based asset pricing theory than the ones obtained for the ex-post premia. Second, the experts' professional affiliation appears to be a significant criterion in discriminating premia. Third, in accordance with the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, individual ex-ante premia depend both on macroeconomic and idiosyncratic common factors: the former are represented by a set of macroeconomic variables observable by all agents, and the latter by experts’ personal forecasts about the future state of the economy, as defined by expected inflation and industrial production growth rate.

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Available from: Georges Prat, Jul 07, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: An ex-ante equity risk premium is the difference between the expected return of a risky asset at time t for a given future time horizon and an equivalent maturity risk-free interest rate. Using annual US secular data from 1871 to 2008, this study aims to model simultaneously ex-ante equity risk premia for two polar horizons: the one period ahead horizon (i.e. the "short term" premium) and the infinite time horizon (i.e. the "long term" premium). Expectations being represented by traditional adaptive processes, large disparities in the dynamics of the two premia are evidenced. According to the conditional CAPM, each premium is at time t the product of the price of risk by the expected variance of returns, these magnitudes being horizon dependant. The expected variances depend on the past values of the centered squared returns (we found 5 and 8 years for the one year and the infinite horizon, respectively). For each horizon, the price of risk is determined by a spread of interest rates capturing economic factors of uncertainty and by an unobservable variable determined according to the kalman filter methodology (i.e. a state variable). The state variables are supposed to capture the influence of hidden variables and of non directly measurable psychological effects. The model gives a valuable representation of the short term and long term premia.
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