The Equity Premium

Posted: 28 Nov 2003

See all articles by Eugene F. Fama

Eugene F. Fama

University of Chicago - Finance

Kenneth R. French

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Abstract

We estimate the equity premium using dividend and earnings growth rates to measure the expected rate of capital gain. Our estimates for 1951 to 2000, 2.55 percent and 4.32 percent, are much lower than the equity premium produced by the average stock return, 7.43 percent. Our evidence suggests that the high average return for 1951 to 2000 is due to a decline in discount rates that produces a large unexpected capital gain. Our main conclusion is that the average stock return of the last half-century is a lot higher than expected.

Suggested Citation

Fama, Eugene F. and French, Kenneth R., The Equity Premium. Journal of Finance, Vol. 57, pp. 637-659, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=309176

Eugene F. Fama (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Finance ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-7282 (Phone)
773-702-9937 (Fax)

Kenneth R. French

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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