Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-14-2011

Abstract

A central issue in asset pricing is whether asset prices move too much in relation to cash flows. We take advantage of the existence of two parallel markets for a set of cash flows to show that better measurement of cash flows can dramatically improve the performance of a dynamic dividend discount model. We apply this model to returns on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and REIT dividends. Unlike previous literature, we use out-of-sample estimation. We use a unique data set of directly held commercial real estate and augment information in REIT dividends with information from cash flows from this parallel market. When only information from REIT dividends is used, the model performs somewhat better than was previously found for the stock market (Campbell and Shiller (1988a)), which is congruous with the nature of REITs and the information content of their dividends. The results, however, further improve dramatically when information from direct property cash flows is added to the model. These findings suggest that the performance of dividend pricing models improves greatly with better measurement of cash flows, and thus contribute to the resolution of the excess volatility puzzle.

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