Working Paper No. 244
By Anne Vila Wetherilt and Simon Wells
This paper revisits the issue of long-horizon equity return predictability for the United Kingdom in the context of the dynamic dividend discount model of Campbell and Shiller. This model attributes predictable variation in equity prices to predictable variation in expected returns. The model is supported by the theoretical asset pricing literature, which shows how the variation in expected returns can be related to investors’ time-varying preferences for risk. The paper considers various empirical specifications that are consistent with the Campbell and Shiller model and finds that they are supported by UK equity data. In particular, there is weak evidence that the dividend yield has predictive ability for long-horizon excess returns. The paper also examines some of the econometric issues brought up by recent research, in particular the small-sample bias, and applies appropriate statistical corrections. It further shows that the model’s predictive ability depends greatly on the sample period over which the model is estimated.