AgPa #5: The Return on Everything

The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870–2015 (2019)
Òscar Jordà, Katharina Knoll, Dmitry Kuvshinov, Moritz Schularick, Alan M. Taylor
The Quarterly Journal of Economics 134(3), 1225-1298, URL

This week’s AGNOSTIC Paper is a deep dive into financial history. The authors estimate the total return of equity, housing, bonds, and bills in 16 advanced economies for the period from 1870 to 2015.

The paper is very comprehensive and I focused on the issues that are (in my opinion) most interesting for investors:

  • Real returns on risky assets were 7-8% from 1870 to 2015
  • Returns on risky assets were substantial but volatile
  • Realized risk premiums fluctuate widely across time and countries

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