The Buffett Indicator: International Evidence
41 Pages Posted: 1 May 2022
Date Written: March 30, 2022
Warren Buffett suggested that the ratio of the market value of publicly traded stocks to economic output could identify equity market mispricings. We extend the existing research from the United States to international equity markets by investigating the return-predictive characteristics of the market value of equity-to-gross domestic product for a dataset comprising fourteen countries. The findings corroborate that the “Buffet indicator” explains a large fraction of ten-year return variation for the majority of countries outside the United States. Low ratios have predicted above-average investment returns, while periods of high ratios have, on average, been followed by below-average returns over the subsequent ten-year period. We also compare the “Buffett indicator” to other well-known stock market valuation signals and phenomena, such as the cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio and mean-reversion in stock returns.
Keywords: Equity market, investing, market timing, valuation
JEL Classification: F30, F60, G11, G12, G14, G15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation