An Emerging Market: The NYSE from 1815 to 1871

Posted: 19 May 1998

See all articles by Roger G. Ibbotson

Roger G. Ibbotson

Yale School of Management; Zebra Capital Management, LLC

William N. Goetzmann

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 1996

Abstract

This paper analyzes a new database of substantially all stocks listed on the NYSE over its early history. We collect prices and dividends from primary sources -- i.e. financial periodicals -- for all listed stocks on the New York Stock Exchange over its early history. We construct a monthly index of NYSE equity prices over the 1815-1871 period, and a monthly index with dividends over the 1825-1871 period. We find that NYSE equities returned between 7.7% and 11.8% per year in arithmetic terms between the years 1825 and 1871. We also find that income returns represented a high proportion of total return for stocks in the nineteenth century. This may be due to differences in taxation, or may be due to the changing public attitude towards substitution of capital gains for income.

JEL Classification: N21

Suggested Citation

Ibbotson, Roger G. and Goetzmann, William N., An Emerging Market: The NYSE from 1815 to 1871 (May 1996). Yale School of Management Working Paper No. F-49. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=7564

Roger G. Ibbotson

Yale School of Management ( email )

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William N. Goetzmann (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance ( email )

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