NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Bubbles for Fama

Robin Greenwood, Andrei Shleifer, Yang You

NBER Working Paper No. 23191
Issued in February 2017
NBER Program(s):AP, CF, IFM

We evaluate Eugene Fama’s claim that stock prices do not exhibit price bubbles. Based on US industry returns 1926-2014 and international sector returns 1985-2014, we present four findings: (1) Fama is correct in that a sharp price increase of an industry portfolio does not, on average, predict unusually low returns going forward; (2) such sharp price increases predict a substantially heightened probability of a crash; (3) attributes of the price run-up, including volatility, turnover, issuance, and the price path of the run-up can all help forecast an eventual crash and future returns; and (4) some of these characteristics can help investors earn superior returns by timing the bubble. Results hold similarly in US and international samples.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23191

 
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