News Shocks and Asset Prices

Publication Date
Systemic Risk Centre Discussion Papers DP 34
Publication Authors

We study the importance of anticipated shocks (news) for understanding the comovement between macroeconomic quantities and asset prices. We find that four-quarter anticipated investment shocks are an important source of fluctuations for macroeconomic variables: they account for about half of the variance in hours and investment. However, it is the four-quarter anticipated productivity shock that is driving a large fraction of consumption and most of the price-dividend ratio fluctuations. These productivity news are key for the model to reproduce the empirical tendency for stock-market valuations and excess returns to lead the business cycle. Importantly, a model that does not use asset price information in the estimation would downplay the role of productivity news; in this case, the model implies that return moves (almost) completely contemporaneously with the economic activity, counterfactually with the data.