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Four centuries of return predictability

Benjamin Golez and Peter Koudijs

Journal of Financial Economics, 2018, vol. 127, issue 2, 248-263

Abstract: We combine annual stock market data for the most important equity markets of the last four centuries: the Netherlands and UK (1629–1812), UK (1813–1870), and US (1871–2015). We show that dividend yields are stationary and consistently forecast returns. The documented predictability holds for annual and multi-annual horizons and works both in- and out-of-sample, providing strong evidence that expected returns in stock markets are time-varying. In part, this variation is related to the business cycle, with expected returns increasing in recessions. We also find that, except for the period after 1945, dividend yields predict dividend growth rates.

Keywords: Dividend-to-price ratio; Return predictability; Dividend growth predictability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G12 G17 N2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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