Equity Duration and Predictability
51 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2020 Last revised: 3 Aug 2020
Date Written: January 14, 2020
One of the most puzzling findings in asset pricing is that expected returns dominate variation in the dividend-to-price ratio, leaving little room for dividend growth rates. Even more puzzling is that this dominance only emerged after 1945. We develop a present value model to argue that a general increase in equity duration can explain these findings. As cash flows to investors accrue further into the future, shocks to highly persistent expected returns become relatively more important than shocks to growth rates. We provide supportive empirical evidence from dividend strips, the time-series, and the cross-section of stocks.
Keywords: duration, dividend-to-price ratio, return predictability, dividend growth predictability
JEL Classification: G12, G17, N2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation