Economic Growth and Equity Returns
Jay R. Ritter
University of Florida - Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
November 1, 2004
EFA 2005 Moscow Meetings Paper
It is widely believed that economic growth is good for stockholders. However, the cross-country correlation of real stock returns and per capita GDP growth over 1900-2002 is negative. Economic growth occurs from high personal savings rates and increased labor force participation, and from technological change. If increases in capital and labor inputs go into new corporations, these do not boost the present value of dividends on existing corporations. Technological change does not increase profits unless firms have lasting monopolies, a condition that rarely occurs. Countries with high growth potential do not offer good equity investment opportunities unless valuations are low.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: Economic Growth, Equity Premium Puzzle
JEL Classification: E44, F30, G15, N14, O16, O33, O40
Date posted: February 27, 2005
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