The 1929 stock market: Irving fisher was right

Ellen R. McGrattan, Edward Prescott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Many stock market analysts think that in 1929, at the time of the crash, stocks were overvalued. Irving Fisher argued just before the crash that fundamentals were strong and the stock market was undervalued. In this article, we use growth theory to estimate the fundamental value of corporate equity and compare it to actual stock valuations. Our estimate is based on values of productive corporate capital, both tangible and intangible, and tax rates on corporate income and distributions. The evidence strongly suggests that Fisher was right. Even at the 1929 peak, stocks were undervalued relative to the prediction of theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1009
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Economic Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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