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.
Systemic Risk Centre Discussion Papers DP 34