NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Origins of Stock Market Fluctuations

Daniel L. Greenwald, Martin Lettau, Sydney C. Ludvigson

NBER Working Paper No. 19818
Issued in January 2014, Revised in December 2014
NBER Program(s):AP, EFG

Three mutually uncorrelated economic disturbances that we measure empirically explain 85% of the quarterly variation in real stock market wealth since 1952. A model is employed to interpret these disturbances in terms of three latent primitive shocks. In the short run, shocks that affect the willingness to bear risk independently of macroeconomic fundamentals explain most of the variation in the market. In the long run, the market is profoundly affected by shocks that reallocate the rewards of a given level of production between workers and shareholders. Productivity shocks play a small role in historical stock market fluctuations at all horizons.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19818

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