Bayesian Reconciliation of Return Predictability

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWorking Paper/Preprint


This article considers a stable vector autoregressive (VAR) model and investigates return predictability in a Bayesian context. The VAR system comprises asset returns and the dividend-price ratio as proposed in Cochrane (2008), and allows pinning down the question of return predictability to the value of one particular model parameter. We develop a new shrinkage type prior for this parameter and compare our Bayesian approach to ordinary least squares estimation and to the reduced-bias estimator proposed in Amihud and Hurvich (2004). A simulation study shows that the Bayesian approach dominates the reduced-bias estimator in terms of observed size (false positive) and power (false negative). We apply our methodology to annual CRSP value-weighted returns running, respectively, from 1926 to 2004 and from 1953 to 2021. For the first sample, the Bayesian approach supports the hypothesis of no return predictability, while for the second data set weak evidence for predictability is observed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages48
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2023


  • VAR
  • Return predictability
  • Bayesian Control Function Approach
  • Shrinkage Priors

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