On the Expected Earnings Hypothesis Explanation of the Aggregate Returns–Earnings Association Puzzle

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2732-2763
Journal / PublicationJournal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
Issue number8
Online published18 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


We provide strong support for the underappreciated expected earnings hypothesis of a negative correlation between aggregate stock returns and earnings. For 1970–2000, our powerful modeling strategy incorporating macroeconomic information reveals that aggregate returns are significantly and negatively correlated with expected aggregate earnings changes but uncorrelated with unexpected aggregate earnings changes. However, this negative correlation changes after 2000, perhaps from heightened volatility or accounting changes. We also show that underlying macroeconomic information explains the power of aggregate earnings to predict future gross domestic product growth.