25 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2016
Date Written: August 2016
From 1836 to 2011, gold's average annual real rate of price change is 1.1%, with a standard deviation of 13.1% and a negligible covariance with consumption growth. Because gold does not serve as a hedge against macroeconomic declines, its expected real rate of return should be close to the risk‐free rate of around 1%. These properties fit an asset‐pricing model with rare disasters and a high elasticity of substitution between gold services and ordinary consumption. In this scenario, gold's expected rate of return corresponds mostly to the unobserved dividend yield, with a small part comprising expected real price appreciation.
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