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The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870-2015

Òscar Jordà, Katharina Knoll, Dmitry Kuvshinov, Moritz Schularick, Alan M. Taylor

NBER Working Paper No. 24112
Issued in December 2017, Revised in May 2019
NBER Program(s):Asset Pricing Program, Program on the Development of the American Economy, Economic Fluctuations and Growth Program, International Finance and Macroeconomics Program, Monetary Economics Program

What is the aggregate real rate of return in the economy? Is it higher than the growth rate of the economy and, if so, by how much? Is there a tendency for returns to fall in the long-run? Which particular assets have the highest long-run returns? We answer these questions on the basis of a new and comprehensive dataset for all major asset classes, including housing. The annual data on total returns for equity, housing, bonds, and bills cover 16 advanced economies from 1870 to 2015, and our new evidence reveals many new findings and puzzles.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24112

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