Earnings Growth and the Bull Market of the 1990s: Is There a Case for Rational Exuberance?
39 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2004
Date Written: August 2004
This paper examines whether permanent earnings growth, crucial to stock valuation, increased during the 1990s as suggested by proponents of the 'New Economy. Using S&P 500 earnings for 1951-2000, we do not find strong evidence of either a one-time structural break or gradual change. However, the confidence interval on permanent earnings growth is wide enough to include an increase that is roughly consistent with the bull market of the late 1990s. Thus we cannot reject a rational basis for that exuberance.
Keywords: Irrational exuberance, New Economy, Earnings growth, Bull market
JEL Classification: E40, E44
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation